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Internal communication is essential in any organization. Irrespective of the size of your organization, it is important that the people of your organization are well connected.
Effective communication between employees and leaders can aid in improving the efficiency and smooth running of a business.
It also has a huge impact on teamwork, employee engagement, employee productivity, and employee experience.
What is internal communication?
According to research, about 45 percent of employees believe that their managers do not provide genuine information. The same study showed that about 70 percent of the employees believe that they know very little about company’s strategies. These figures depict the relevance of internal communication in an organization.
Internal communication is a group of methods or techniques through which the organization’s employees participate and collaborate. These processes aid in the effective flow of information in an organization and are considered immensely necessary.
Internal communication mainly occurs between the three strata of an organization:
- top management
Internal communication can be divided in terms of direction. These include vertical, horizontal, and diagonal.
Vertical communication happens when employees of lower management communicate directly with the higher authorities of the company.
Horizontal communication occurs when the employees of a specific department communicate directly with the employees of other departments.
Diagonal communication takes place when the employees of a department directly communicate with the leaders of other departments. By doing so, they can remove loops in communication.
Internal communication examples
Internal communication is quite evident in the daily workings of any organization internal communication tools. A few examples are as follows:
- Meetings via videos or live
- Events include employee get together, reunions, or other such occasions
- Messages include emails, letters, newsletters, etc.
- Training includes both on-the-job and off-the-job training
- Publications such as company yearbooks
- Internal audits
- Word of mouth throughout the organization via employees
- Culture includes cultural activities organized by the firm to bridge the gap between the employees
- Business storytelling involves interactive sessions between guests of the firm and its employees. Guests may involve eminent people from the industry, celebrities, politicians, etc.
- Knowledge sharing tools and processes. These are owned and controlled by the organization.
Types of internal communication
Various types of internal communication take place between the entire human capital of an organization.
Although the process is collectively known as internal communication, there are different names for each form of communication.
The naming helps to understand and differentiate between the communicator and the audience.
Some types of internal communication are as follows:
This type of communication usually occurs between peers. These communications are critical since they have a direct impact on the day-to-day activities of the same.
Although many organizations direct peers to use emails to communicate, others provide their employees with private chat rooms. Such initiatives help discuss daily trivia. However, these rooms are monitored by the organization to prevent data leaks.
Changes are inevitable and difficult. The difficulty mainly arises when these changes create an impact on the workings of the organization.
Moreover, the organization needs to track if the change has the anticipated outcome or not.
When an organization implements change, it is necessary to ensure that they are implemented and adopted by the employees.
Therefore whenever changes are employed in an organization, the leaders tend to release modes of communication to inform the employees.
Each leader’s responsibility is to ensure that the employees are aware and at par with it.
Also known as emergency communication, these are special forms of communication that travel across departments and hierarchies.
This form of communication usually occurs when the organization undergoes a crisis or situation.
This occurs when the employees are informed, alerted, updated, or given guidelines concerning the situation.
For example, the death of a CEO or the acquiring of the organization.
Most organizations use internal communication to form groups that can provide support to the employees during such scenarios.
The recent pandemic situation has been a great lesson for organizations worldwide.
In this form of communication, the organization aids in bridging the gap between their employees.
By incorporating a unique list of missions and codes of conduct, the organization nurtures the cultures of each employees.
To do so, organizations use company events and corporate social responsibility (CSR) schemes.
For example, companies organized online events such as brunch sessions or online themed sessions during the pandemic situation.
These sessions enriched the employee experience and helped them to stay connected.
Employee initiated communication
In this form of communication, both the communicator and the audience are employees. This is mainly because this type of communication moves between departments.
The main advantage of this form of communication is that it boosts employee morale and empowers them. It also allows them to have opinions and the strength to speak out loud. This information can be easily transformed into content and recorded as videos or articles.
These communications can then be spread across the private networking platforms of the organization.
This type of internal communication includes the transfer of data and information amongst employees.
Irrespective of the organization’s size, each of them has a large amount of information to deal with daily.
Often there might be scenarios wherein employees need access to other information to complete a project or so.
Such scenarios require the need for a database wherein employees can find the information they are looking for.
Few examples of this form of communication include company repositories, company knowledge bases, company FAQs, etc.
Leadership initiated communication
This form of internal communication by the leaders of the firm, especially the CEO or any other board member.
Therefore these messages are directed towards all the employees of the firm.
One of the prime examples of this form of communication was evident in the acts of Indra Nooyi.
She is one of the most successful and renowned CEOs of PepsiCo. The company improved through her efforts and communication skills.
These types of internal communication show how an effective communication system can impact the workings of an organization. Moreover, it depicts the need to have effective internal communication.
Importance of internal communication
Internal communication is essential for the success of an organization. These are evident in the following scenarios:
Increases the engagement of employees
Effective internal communication can improve employee engagement. This is because when the employees are aware of the organization’s workings, they feel known and appreciated. These basic human attributes can alter the image of the brand for their employees.
Moreover, this is also financially beneficial for the organization, mainly because it increases employee retention. Moreover, internal communication can help the organization advertise internal events, club memberships, free food services, free pick-up, drop-off services, etc.
Improves employee productivity
When the employees of an organization are aware of the organization’s objectives, they can better connect with the same. This helps them align their personal goals with that of their organization. This can significantly improve the productivity of the employees and lead to the growth of the same.
Such an indication from the firm also encourages the employees to input their ideas and opinions. The formation of such idea pools is extremely beneficial for the success of an organization.
Acts as a bridge between various people
In an organization, there are various kinds of people. These people can be classified according to their authority, ethnicity, etc.
Effective internal communication can build bridges between people and build healthy relationships. These relationships are especially helpful in decision-making and executing changes in the management.
Another advantage of healthy relationships is that it aids in diminishing rumors in the management.
Office gossip is a common thing in all organizations. This gossips often make or break an organization.
According to real-life evidence, there have been multiple instances in which employees have unearthed restricted data from the organization. These revelations have led to massive social benefits.
Aids in improving focus
Internal communication can significantly improve the focus of departments. When all the departments are aware of the goals of the organization, they can make better decisions. This improves goal setting and productivity of the employees. This also helps in planning projects ahead of time. Moreover, this significantly improves the organization’s revenue.
Helps in change management
Change is part and parcel of life. The constant improvement in technology and the rising competition usually directs changes in organizations. However, they need to ensure that they incorporate change management effectively.
To ensure this, management uses various modes of internal communication. By ensuring the same, organizations can track their performance in the current market scenario and alter accordingly.
Promotes the image of the brand
The working of any organization is a matter of interest for various groups in the market. This includes customers, investors, employees, the government, etc. This is why any organization must control and improve its image directly.
Effective internal communication is proof that the organization is efficient and functional. It also depicts the relationship between the organization and its workforce.
Can easily cross boundaries
Geographical barriers do you hinder effective internal communication. It flows beyond boundaries and time zones. This feature was particularly evident in the operations of international firms, especially during the pandemic.
During this phase, international organizations used multiple methods through which they have been able to run their business successfully. Internal communication helped employees stay connected and better understand the changes of the organization. Therefore they were able to take effective actions and depict improved efficiency in daily trivia.
The relevance of internal communication is quite evident. The need to prepare a well-planned communication strategy is also evident from the above piece.
Using the given communication methods, any organization can ace the communication game and improve its growth. Moreover, good internal communication can create a great working environment for employees and attract more and more audiences.