With remote or hybrid work becoming the norm, the need for open and transparent communication in a business is shooting up. Without physical interaction in a workplace, it’s difficult to keep everyone in the loop.
According to Gallup, 74 percent of employees feel like they’re missing out on important news. When employees don’t feel engaged, it can cause a steep decline in productivity and motivation.
Not only that internal communication can be a way to gain valuable feedback. This way, your employees feel recognized and heard.
So how do you get the “right information” across to your employees? Let’s go through 11 internal communication channels you can use in the workplace.
What is internal communication? A brief look.
Let’s answer the burning question on your mind: what is internal communication?
Internal communication refers to how leadership shares information with employees.
This information can be: news, updates, or resources dispersed to share the company’s purpose and vision.
Although it is said that the HR and PR department is responsible for all of this, it can really be handled by any other department of the company.
Each has its value and is crucial to your entire internal communications strategy.
It's also necessary to:
- Understand the aim of many types of internal communication.
- Where each type fits into the larger internal communications plan.
- Learn the proper tone or style when approaching each type.
11 Internal communication channels for you & your team ( + examples)
Think about what you want to achieve with your internal communications. Ask yourself:
- Who do you need to communicate with?
- What communication channels would be useful for your audience?
- Is your communication method synchronous or asynchronous?
A variety of internal communication techniques are needed to develop a comprehensive plan that would make it beneficial for the business.
We’ve mentioned the top 11 methods to create a communicative work environment.
#1. Top-down communication
Known primarily as “ downwards communication,” this method covers all the messaging that follows down the chain of command.
Each level receives information from the one above until it reaches the end of the chain.
Gallup research states that defining purpose in work is one of the increasingly important components of employee engagement. Hearing from the boss does the trick!
For that, this effective leadership communication should keep the tone and target audience in mind.
These usually release information about company updates, business strategy, progress reports and so on.
Often, they're scheduled beforehand by the HR, PR or comms team.
Townhalls are a good example of increasing leadership visibility.
They’re a company-wide meeting involving an overview of all business transactions and updates.
Weekly or monthly newsletters can also be an effective way to keep employees up to date.
#2. Change management communication
Whether your company is changing policies or going through a merger, it can be challenging for employees.
In that case, it’s better to communicate as soon as possible. Change is a scary thing, combatting that with a face-to-face/virtual meeting could be the solution.
These should have the option to have a feedback session. The management should be clear about the change and how it would directly or indirectly affect all parties involved.
All employee concerns must be answered. When it comes to hierarchical changes, communication through manager cascades gets the message across.
#3. Peer-to-peer communication
In any organization, there’s bound to be communication among your teams, internally & externally. Most organizations now strive to have more diverse and different workforces.
The goal here is to encourage sharing ideas, promote company culture and keep the informal conversation going.
Discussion forums help facilitate that process, especially regarding company reviews. Usually, employees communicate via social networks they’re connected to.
Of course, for formal communication, there are enterprise tools like Slack, Teams to collaborate on.
#4. Information delivery communication
Without having the proper information, it’s hard to get any task done.
Each employee must be trained on their responsibilities and policies. This further impacts customer service and experience.
Most data is stored on your organization’s DMS, intranet software or company devices.
It can get messy to manage so much information at one time. A good way to tackle this is to have job aid documentation available for anyone struggling with completing their work.
Otherwise, share a single source where all this data is accessible across teams. Ensure it’s labeled or arranged properly.
#5. Employee-upwards communication
The flow of information shouldn’t always be downwards. It can cause employees to feel disengaged and unappreciated.
Allowing all staff, regardless of seniority – a voice in contributing to the organization’s direction is hugely empowering.
It’s proven that this type of internal communication possibly has the biggest impact on overall business performance.
Create staff/pulse surveys to tap into how our staff feel about any new changes or ask for feedback. Give them a safe (and anonymous) space to let everything out.
Scribe top tip: For specific decisions, polls can effectively gather input.
#6. Company culture communication
Ninety-four percent of executives believe a strong company culture is key to business success. It’s further associated with employee retention as well as attracting new talent.
But defining a set of missions or values doesn’t cover it.
How do you live and breathe the culture? You can:
- Hold in-person/virtual events to ensure employee well-being. These should be fun ice-breaking sessions to encourage better relationships.
- Create an internal committee dedicated to these causes.
- Send out newsletters describing company values also serve as a great medium of visual communication to promote work culture.
Not sure what will work? Ask your teams!
#7. Crisis management communication
As the name suggests, crises come without any warning. They can range from a sudden health & safety update to a warning for upcoming natural disasters.
Take the COVID pandemic as an example here. How effectively do you get that message across to your employees?
An announcement on social media or internal communication platforms is an easy way to reach employees quickly.
Of course, you have to navigate any damage made in the process. Agility isn’t the only factor to consider. The information has to be accurate and reflect the effect of the crisis at hand.
For any health-related issues, a handbook or guide addressing policies and company statement help immensely in calming employees down. Make sure you’re addressing everyone involved in a clear and simple manner.
Conducting a post-crisis survey to see what could be done better next time is necessary.
That way, you can improve upon your strategy as you go on.
#8. New hire communication
Onboarding a new employee to any organization means you’ll have to start from scratch.
They’re completely unaware of how things work, what they should do and who's responsible for what.
For updating it and when? Ask yourself if you have effective documentation to answer all these questions.
Other than that, they make themselves feel welcome as it sets the tone for the rest of their time in the company.
Book one-on-one meetings with their respective teams so they can catch up on everything they’ll need.
Why don’t you introduce yourself to a virtual/in-person buddy who can help them navigate their work environment?
#9. Employee rewards & recognition communication
Another Gallup report found that when recognition is embedded in the organization’s culture, employees are 5x as likely to see a path to grow at their organization.
It’s natural to want to go up the corporate ladder. E
mployees who feel their contributions are valued by their employer continue to do their best. This is especially true when employees demonstrate behavior consistent with the company’s values.
Employee rewards don’t necessarily have monetary value to be meaningful. Extra time off from work, gift cards, event tickets and such are great alternatives.
Even a shout-out in a meeting can do wonders in boosting employee morale.
#10. Campaign communication
Campaigns are usually associated with sales tactics, designed to achieve a specific outcome over a limited period. They are a valuable tool to deliver messages across multiple demographics, providing multifaceted opportunities to deliver core messages.
To capture your employees' attention, slowly roll out teasers with information about a particular campaign. Don’t double down on any singular channel, spread the message across multiple ones. Email newsletters, one of the examples of asynchronous communication, can also be used as a channel. After implementing various materials, the results should be fed back into the system to enable a better outcome next time.
#11. Diversity & inclusion communication
DEI efforts across any organization have increased over the years. A McKinsey report shows that companies should pay much greater attention to inclusion, even when they are relatively diverse.
To provide these groups with a voice, create a platform to discuss relevant issues.
These can be specific meetings or even a Q/A session where all efforts are discussed. An internal monthly newsletter encompassing these initiatives and activities can also get the job done.
Consider that many leaders and staff can disagree about the best way to communicate internally.
You should also consider the percentage of your workforce that’s remote, hybrid, and in-office.
This defines how synchronous or asynchronous communication affects their productivity.
A combination of all these can lead to a workforce that's aligned in the same direction.
This can bring about increased efficiency, greater employee loyalty and an excellent client experience.
Use Scribe to streamline internal communication
To implement the designated best practices, take advantage of the right tools. This is where you can roll out Scribe to help automate your internal communication documentation.
It enables you to collaborate and store your business data securely. You can even update it from time to time.
Scribe generates a step-by-step guide with screenshots, links, and in-depth instructions — all in minutes!
Here's a Scribe in action. (And it only took 15 seconds to make!)
Never manually document another process again, and help your teams easily share workflows and upskill their colleagues.
The bottom line? Internal communication is a vital way to help your team to grow and succeed. Set them up for success with the right tools — like Scribe!