10| Minute Read – Written by Kimberley

The Ultimate Internal Communications Handbook

What is Internal Communication?

Internal communication is what companies and organisations use to stay connected with their employees, they use internal communications software to do this.

Internal communications is a way for departments to keep their teams up to date with the objectives and goals of the department and company and to inform employees of information regarding the organisation. 

Download Now -> Free Internal Comms Strategy Template

 

Internal communication has been used for many years and is in place to make sure employees are informed of company news, company announcements, company roadmaps as well as to understand and communicate the organisation’s overall company objectives and plans for the future. 

Internal communications best practices 2021 are a combination of using the right tools, the right internal communications software, creating good content, producing a sound internal communications strategy and following your internal communication strategy plan.

Contents of Internal Communications Handbook

Internal Comms Strategy Template

When it comes to executing your internal communications campaign, an Internal Communications Strategy brief is a must-have.

Download your free template today!

5 Reasons Internal Communications are Important

  1. Keep your employees in the loop and informed

  2. Communicate important messaging and information

  3. Encourages collaboration and conversation between employees 

  4. Builds and fosters employee culture

  5. Promotes the organisation and brand and can create company advocates

What is Internal Communication Software?

Internal communications software is the internal tool that is used to facilitate the sending of internal communications and to assist in the execution of the internal communications strategy. Internal communications software is used to send critical internal communications and also acts as the gel between employees and organisations.

With the Coronavirus pandemic, internal communications have become more critical than ever and having a reliable internal communications software has been more important than ever.

Pre pandemic, internal communications were sometimes overlooked and looked at as something that was not business-critical.

But with more and more organisations adopting a work from home policy internal communications will continue to stay relevant in today’s world.

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What are Internal Communications Tools?

Internal communication tools are what organisations use to execute their internal communications strategy. 

Tools for internal communications can come in different forms and can include digital tools such as email newsletters, intranets and video. Internal communication tools can also come in a non-digital form including print, workplace signage, posters and letters etc.

Download Now -> Free Internal Comms Strategy Template

Types of Internal Communications Tools

Internal communications best practices require the use of tools to carry out their practices. Tools for internal communications facilitate organisations and companies with their internal communication.  These types of tools are found in internal communications software.

Internal communications software include the following tools: 

  • Internal comms email templates
  • Engagement rate scoring
  • Marketing Automation 
  • Email Automation
  • Newsletters
  • Social Media and Social Media Management Tools
  • Video and Video Conferencing Tools
  • Surveys
  • Polls
  • Forums and Chats
  • Intranets
  • Whiteboards
  • Instant messaging 
  • Team bonding tools
  • Social Networks
  • Digital Signage

The Difference Between Internal and External Communication in Business?

Internal business communication is the multitude of daily interactions between the people working in your organisation. Internal communications are there to facilitate the business’s primary function. They include both the company CEO’s morale-boosting speeches all the way to the office junior’s update on postal deadlines.

External business communications are the messages your company transmits outside of your business.
It’s the marketing materials you use to attract customers or the conversations you have with suppliers and shareholders. Your external communication’s main aim is to promote a positive business image.

Best Practices For Internal and External Communication Strategies

  • Research and use the right tool for your internal and external communication. Sometimes one tool works better for one than the other. Branch out and use different tools for both internal and external communication for maximum results.
  • Try and use tools that allow you to measure and monitor engagement rates.
  • Know your audience for internal and external communication. Your internal audience could also be your external audience e.g. if you are selling a product or service, you internal audience may be interested and become advocates.
  • Listen and respond to your audience. There will be feedback from both internal and external communications and it’s important you listen and action.
  • Create interesting communications that both internal and external audiences will want to hear about. Be relevant, relatable, influential and knowledgeable.

Download Now -> Free Internal Comms Strategy Template

7 Best Internal Communications Ideas That Leave You Wanting More

Below is a list of ideas including fun internal communications ideas and creative internal communications ideas. Try and use these in your next internal comms or think of other innovative internal communications ideas and give them a go!

Less Is More

Try not to make your internal comms lengthy, wordy or time-wasting. Short and sweet, straight to the point works best for internal communications.

Use Polls

Polls are a great way to gain insight into what your readers are thinking, what they like, don’t like and to gain opinion on particular topics to start a conversation. They are a fun internal communication idea.

Keep Secrets (Which you eventually reveal)

Build up some suspense with your readers. Reveal some interesting information in the next month’s comms. This will help increase engagement rates and may get people talking.

Get to Know Your People Series

Make your audience resonate with your internal communications. Introduce a get to know you people series whereby you select somebody each week who you will do a short interview with. Your readers will look forward to getting to know their colleagues each week.

Introduce Competitions

Who doesn’t like competition? Use your internal comms as an outlet to communicate your competitions. Make sure they are interesting and if there is a giveaway it is something of interest to your internal comms audience.

Make Your Communications Arty

A nice creative internal communications idea. Use graphics, nice photographs, infographics, colours and generally try to make your internal comms visually appealing. If you don’t have a graphic designer in house, then outsource to an agency – it will be worth it when you see the results.

Use Video Snippets

Videos have lots of benefits when it comes to internal comms. Video is fast becoming the preferred method of communication for internal communications. Try embedding a video into your next email or newsletter.

Developing an Internal Communications Strategy

If you’re at a loss of how to develop your own internal communications strategy, try downloading our strategy template here, and pair it off with our handy article on how to develop your strategy.

For you to develop the best internal communications strategy, there are a few fundamentals you need to be clear on in order to develop your internal communications strategy:

Why

  • Measurable Goals (e.g. increase participation on internal team comms, measured by 20% increase in replies to our messaging)

Who

  • Target audience (e.g. everyone in the Marketing team)

How

  • Message and tone (e.g. celebrate wins and invite feedback. Use a friendly, and casual tone.)
  • Medium and Channel (e.g. weekly email via our marketing automation tool: Swift Digital)

10 Methods You Can Use For Effective Internal Communications Strategy

Internal Communication Strategy Template

Creating an internal communication strategy and action plan template does require tactics, work and of course, time, which we all know is very precious. 

So, we have taken the guesswork out of planning your internal communications and have come up with this handy internal comms template plan. The internal communications plan excel template is available to download in both Excel and Google Sheets.

The internal comms strategy and action template include five key steps which if followed will assist you in creating internal communications that will help you hit your KPIs and increase your engagement rates.

Download Now -> Free Internal Comms Strategy Template

17 Internal Communications Tactics

What are Internal Communication Survey's?

Employees are most productive when they understand how their work fits into the company’s larger goals.

Developing an internal communications strategy that is in line with the culture of your company is an important step toward a more engaged and productive workplace.

Why Conduct an Internal Communication Survey?

Before committing too many resources to new communication efforts, it’s best to survey employees to gauge what aspects of the company’s communication are working well or poorly.

After all, your employees are the stakeholders in this process, and it’s always best to get stakeholder input before such a major undertaking.

Tips For Conducting an Internal Communication Survey

  • Keep the internal communication survey short and stick to terminology that your employees will understand. The internal communication survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete, and it should have fewer than 20 questions.
  • Use a focus group of employees to vet your survey before sending it to everyone. The goal of these focus groups is to ensure the clarity of the employee survey questions.
  • Keep it anonymous so employees feel free to voice any issues or concerns without fear of retribution. Be sure to advertise this anonymity when sending out the internal communication survey.
  • Follow through on suggestions or problem areas identified in the survey. Employee engagement levels are improved when people feel they are being listened to, but employees will feel betrayed if you survey them only to ignore their opinions and feedback.

10 Internal Communication Survey Questions

  1. Do you get the information you need when you need it?
  2. How would you rate your awareness of the company’s goals?
  3. Do you know how your work helps the company meet its goals and objectives?
  4. How transparent do you feel management is with you?
  5. Do senior members of the organisation regularly share views on issues of importance?
  6. What is your level of understanding of the long-term competitive strategy of the organisation?
  7. Do departments in the organisation communicate frequently with each other?
  8. Does the organisation’s internal use of social media improve communication between you and your colleagues?
  9. Does the company’s internal use of social media give you a sense of belonging and community?
  10. Do you feel valued in the workplace?

What is an Internal Communication Policy?

An internal communication policy is a document that outlines an organisation’s policy and approach for its internal communication with its employees. The internal policy highlights the internal communication policy and procedures and acknowledges what information can be shared and communicated internally in the workplace.

An internal communication policy is factual, timely, accurate and legal.

Download Now -> Free Internal Comms Strategy Template

Why you Need an Internal Communication Policy

  • Employee productivity increases by 20 to 25% in organisations where employees are connected.
  • 53% of the workforce remains in engagement purgatory. They may be generally satisfied but are not cognitively and emotionally connected to their work and workplace.
  • To make sure your internal communications are relevant and appropriate and employees are well informed. 
  • Confusion at work leads to reduced productivity, frustration and the feeling of unsettlement.
  • In 2015, only 32% of employees were engaged at work. The Harvard Business Review discusses how improving employee engagement affects productivity, increasing it by as much as 22%.

6 Best Internal Communications Tools

Use Powerful Marketing Automation Software For Your Internal Communications

Do you need help with the creation and automation of your internal communications? Swift Digital is an internal communications software that helps you manage your internal communications and stakeholders.

Here at Swift Digital, we can help get you started with the planning of your internal communications with our useful internal communications template. We also have tips on internal communications best practices and a bunch of internal communication examples to help make your internal communication campaign successful.

To find out how your business can get the best out of Swift Digital’s internal communications software, contact our team today on 02 9929 7001

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