Even the CIA, where information is protected for safety purposes, must provide effective communication between leaders and employees. The same is true for every business, large or small. The mission and vision of a company cannot be successfully met without proper and effective internal communication strategies.
Internal communication refers to how leaders and employees exchange information and ideas within the company. It is crucial to avoid misunderstandings, resolve conflicts, build better teams, and increase morale and job satisfaction. Otherwise, a business faces higher employee turnover, distrust of leaders, poor customer service, lower productivity, and unhealthy culture.
Implementing an internal communication plan that works is crucial to a company's success, especially in times of a pandemic when remote work became the norm. Research estimates show up to 30 percent of workers will be remote workers by the end of 2021. Because working just part-time remotely can save the country billions, it's time to establish proper organizational communication.
To do this, it's essential to understand the types of internal communications.
Successful businesses use various communication methods. Each one must produce positive outcomes, whether it's a memo from the boss or a video conference.
Below are five common types of internal communication channels and why they're important.
Leadership down is often called top-down or leader-employee internal communication. This downward communication and flow of information is essential because employees need to hear directly from the people in charge.
Sharing daily goals, announcements, changes, and shout-outs can be done via emails, video conferences, or morning motivational meetings.
Employee up or employee-to-leader sharing of information starts at the bottom and makes its way to the company's leaders. This is an upward communication method that allows staff members to relay information and feedback to higher levels of management.
Discussion forums are one of the most popular representations of this type of employee communication. Answering surveys and polls and making suggestions for improvement are examples.
Businesses face all sorts of crises. COVID-19 is the most recent crisis affecting businesses around the world. Many found they were not as prepared as they should be to handle such a massive crisis. To avoid this in the future, a crisis management plan must be created and communicated before, during, and after the crisis.
Businesses need access to all team members to make announcements, review roles and responsibilities, ask and answer questions, and reassure everyone the company is still on track for success - or explain how to change course toward success if needed.
Employees of a business spend a lot of time together. They must bond and form positive relationships. Employee engagement is crucial to success. Coworkers need to share information, send messages about work-related issues, encourage one another, ask questions, and receive quick answers--even when remote work and technology has changed business communication.
With this type, guidelines must be followed that keep internal communications healthy and positive.
As a company grows, hiring new team members will be necessary. Internal communication methods for onboarding are important to welcome, train, and motivate new staff. If a company hires multiple employees, a group onboarding program that promotes team building can be created.
This type of internal communication allows businesses to set new employees up for success.
There are different modes of internal communication that make it easier to implement the types listed above.
Leaders and team members may wonder which way is the best way to communicate internally. Some prefer emails, while others prefer calls. Some text, some like meeting face-to-face. The number of people to include also makes a difference. Sending a message to one employee may require a different mode than when sending a message to groups.
Work location helps determine which mode of internal communication is most effective. Whether you work remotely or are back at the office, there are benefits to each. A blend of synchronous and asynchronous communication offers the most freedom and adaptability.
To use both communication modes, a business needs to create an internal communication strategy.
Many companies have not taken the time to create an internal communication strategy, even when they know it is key to employee engagement and productivity. The reason may be that they don't understand what it is and how to get started.
An internal communication strategy is a guideline to keep employees on the same page, keep them informed, and build company culture. Strategies can also prevent panic during a crisis, provide access to resources, and motivate everyone to work toward the company's mission and vision.
An internal communication strategy will detail the different tools needed for improvement.
Different tools provide different benefits. Businesses may need a variety of tools to improve internal communication, depending on the function. Below are everyday needs matched with the best type of tool.
Now it's time to develop a strategy.
Right now, just 13% of employees report agreeing that their company's internal communication strategy is effective. The first step in changing this is by reviewing the old strategy. Figure out what works and doesn't work. Start a new system by analyzing how to incorporate the tools already working for the company. Then,
You may be wondering if this strategy can be applied to remote work too. There are challenges to remote work that differ from working in the office. Examples include feeling isolated, unexpected distractions, conflict resolution, and technical issues.
Examples of what internal communication tools can do for you including:
At Friday, we can help you create your company's unique internal communication strategy to provide a positive impact. We help you choose the right tools and support you as you roll them out to every member of your team so your business can grow and succeed.