10 Reasons Why Internal Communication is Important in the Workplace
Like a human being, a company has to have an internal communication mechanism, a “nervous system,” to coordinate its actions.
— Bill Gates
Effective internal communication is the lifeline of any successful organization. How information flows within a company directly impacts productivity and employee engagement. Yet many organizations fail to recognize the importance of internal communication.
In this article, we will demonstrate why internal communication should be a top priority through 10 vital and compelling reasons. Let’s dive into it.
- Concept of Internal Communication
- Importance of Internal Communication in the Workplace
- Building an Effective Internal Communication Strategy
What is Internal Communication?
Internal communication is the function that allows us to share information within a company. It applies to all types of workplace communication, such as communication between employers and employees, and peer-to-peer communication.
The main objective of internal communication is to facilitate open and seamless communication across an organization's departments and among coworkers. The idea is to have an open dialogue between the management and the employees while enabling employees to voice their opinions.
The quality of internal communication determines the health and productivity of the organization. Therefore, your organization’s internal communication cannot be an afterthought. You must recognize the importance and work towards its improvement in the long run.
Recommended Resource: Listen to the Vantage Influencer Podcast about Redefining Internal Communications
Importance of Internal Communication in the Workplace
1. Internal Communication Provides Clarity and Purpose
Effective internal communication keeps employees informed about the company's mission, values, goals, and strategies. When employees understand the bigger picture, they feel more connected to the organizational purpose.
This clarity of vision is crucial for motivation and engagement. Regular updates through various channels like email, intranet, and team meetings enable employees to stay in the loop.
2. Information Flow Enables Seamless Workflows
Smooth internal communication eliminates information silos between departments. When employees can easily exchange information and expertise across teams, it enables efficient collaboration and workflows.
Tools like instant messaging such as Skype, Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc. and knowledge bases, allow quick information access. This improves productivity as employees spend less time tracking down information.
3. Internal Communication Shape Company Culture
A company's culture is shaped by how it structures it's communication system. A strong and consistent communication system can help reinforce the company's values and bring employees together. It contributes to the overall personality and identity of the organization.
Things like town hall meetings, emails from management, and team events help reinforce key messages that contribute towards a unified, stronger company culture that everyone can easily grasp.
4. Two-way Communication Fosters Inclusion
Employees want their voices heard and feedback valued. Two-way communication channels like surveys, forums, and feedback loops enable engagement. When management incorporates employee input in decision-making, it makes staff feel included. This boosts morale and motivation levels for better performance.
Source: Vantage Pulse
Companies can use employee feedback platforms to enable employees to voice their concerns. A platform like Vantage Pulse allows employees to share their feedback anonymously, without any fear of reprisal.
5. Communication Provides Reassurance
During times of change in an organization, it's common to feel unsure about what's happening. But when the company communicates clearly and reassures about the transition, it can help people feel more at ease during these transitions.
Sharing information about when things will happen, who will be affected, and what comes next can reduce anxiety among employees.
It's also important to let everyone know about the help available during the change. This caring approach helps everyone adapt to the changes more successfully.
6. Information Access Reduces Knowledge Loss
Having a centralized knowledge management system like wikis, databases, and community forums. It makes it easy for people to share what they know. This reduces knowledge loss when employees leave the company.
A centralized system also makes learning quicker for new employees because they can easily find the information they need. At the same time, digital tools make it simple to collect and share knowledge effectively.
7. Informed Employees Deliver Better Service
When employees are well-informed, they can offer better service while interacting with the customers. When frontline teams are empowered through internal communications, they can confidently address customer needs.
Communicating updates on new products, campaigns, and FAQs helps employees prepare to deliver superior experiences. This has a direct positive impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty.
8. Employees as Brand Ambassadors
The way the public sees a company is influenced by what's said and done inside the company. When employees connect with the company's values and goals, it comes across in how they talk and act.
Employees acting as brand ambassadors, commonly referred to as employee advocacy, have a big role in building the company's reputation through what they say to others.
Good internal communication is essential for giving employees the tools they need to be strong advocates for the company.
9. Timely Communication Mitigates Reputation Damage
Internal communication plays an important role in providing guidance during a crisis within the organization. A quick and urgent response from the management can help employees maintain a calm work environment and manage reputation damage within the company.
The management and the leaders must quickly deliver reassuring messages through all communication channels. Providing regular updates helps to prevent rumors and the situation from getting worse. Being transparent while communicating demonstrates that the company is doing a good job of safeguarding its reputation.
10. Surveys and Metrics Enable Continuous Improvement
Regularly checking how well internal communication is working is really important.
Its effectiveness can be assessed by asking employees what they think through surveys, focus groups, and meetings.
Listening to what employees have to say helps you find out where things might not be working well, what's bothering them, and what they might need.
By looking at how often people use different tools, how often they read their messages, and how the content is doing, you can figure out how to make things work even better. When you use a data-driven approach to improve our communication, you can keep enhancing it over time.
How To Build An Internal Communication Strategy That Works
Now that you have understood the importance of internal communication, you must also learn how to create an effective internal communication strategy.
Creating an effective internal communications strategy presents challenges for large companies with dispersed workforces.
A study shows that more than 36% of employees think that ineffective internal communication leads to unnecessary rework and wasted time because of miscommunication.
So, what are the steps that can help you overcome the challenges and lead you towards creating an effective strategy? Let’s have a glimpse.
- Evaluate current internal communication (IC) strategy to identify areas for improvement, such as relevance of content, delivery channels, timing, leadership involvement, and two-way engagement.
- Set clear goals and objectives for the IC strategy tied to key performance indicators (KPIs) for IC, employees, and business. Measure progress over time.
- Identify distinct employee groups or "personas" based on job role, location, language, generation, preferences, etc. to customize communication.
- Create and distribute personalized, targeted content to each employee group to improve relevance and engagement.
- Prioritize timely communication and updates, especially for frontline workers who may lack regular digital access.
- Consolidate communication tools into a streamlined ecosystem or central platform to avoid overwhelming employees.
- Implement a dedicated employee communication app to segment audiences, personalize content, and analyze data.
- Continuously measure IC success through defined KPIs and gain insights using analytics to optimize and demonstrate ROI.
To learn more about creating an effective internal communication strategy in detail, check out our article on 8 Steps to Building a Successful Internal Communications Strategy.
According to a research, just 40% companies have an overarching IC strategy to cover more than one year.
In today's fast-paced work environment, internal communication should be an essential component of every orgainzation’s business strategy. When executed effectively, it unlocks employee potential, propels growth, and cultivates a vibrant organizational culture.
Utilize the tips from this article to establish a strong foundation for internal communication. Leverage data and feedback to refine it continuously. Transform internal communication into a competitive advantage that boosts your organization to new levels of success.