12+ Types of Internal Communication You Should Consider

Communication within a company takes various forms and is just as important as reaching out to customers, suppliers, and job applicants. If you have not given much consideration to the various ways you and your employees communicate, the types of internal communication listed below will give you some food for thought.

Internal Meeting - Types of Internal Communication

What is Internal Communication?

Internal communications include how management conveys information to employees and how it listens to them. This connection is crucial to sharing the company’s purpose with its workers and giving their work within the company meaning.

Internal communication has four key functions within the company:

  1. Keeps employees informed
  2. Allows information to flow efficiently between employees and between employees and management
  3. Helps to build positive morale among staff members
  4. Allows management to address employees’ questions and concerns

 

No employee will want to work for a company that does not share anything with them. They want to know that their contributions are appreciated and whether the company is doing well. Since we live in an information age where we are constantly being bombarded with messages, a company that is reticent about sharing with its own staff is going to be immediately suspect, especially with millennials. This generation has grown up in the age of social media, where anything and everything is available for comment online.

Employees should be informed of company news directly from the company. Internal news should be made available constantly. This should not be a strategy that is only used to convey news items during times when the company is facing a crisis. Employees are more likely to approach managers with questions or concerns when news and updates are being shared as a matter of course instead of something that only occurs during adversity.

Guide Internal Communication Planning

Guide

Internal Communications Planning

Create a plan that rewards your employees and your bottom line

 

Types of Internal Communication in an Organization

Not all companies are the same, which means that different types of internal communication may work for individual businesses. The list below sets out several types of internal communication examples used by companies today. How many of them do you already use? Which ones are you interested in applying to your business?

 

1. Top-down Communication

This type of internal business communication covers all types of information being shared from executives down the chain to employees. It’s not enough for senior managers/executives to be visible in an organization; they also need to be heard by workers.

Keep in mind that in some large corporations, some staff members may never have met the people in charge of making major decisions that affect them and their work. They may not even know what these people look like.

Communications being delivered from top management down are traditionally used to let workers know about business strategies and other company-wide directions being introduced. These messages are usually quite formal and may be in the form of an e-mail, newsletter, or a video message. The Human Resources, Marketing, or other departments in the company may also comment on the message, if appropriate.

 

LeaderShip Corner - LumApps Intranet Use Case

Leadership Corner - LumApps Intranet Use Case

 

2. Employee to Management Communication

Employee experience and employee engagement at work have become even more important to employers than ever before. Companies have recognized that they contribute to making the business more profitable, along with several other benefits. The company has a responsibility to provide encouragement and tools for employees to share their thoughts with management. The company could miss out on some innovative ideas if it fails to listen to what its employees are thinking.

These tools may include virtual suggestion boxes where employees can tell the management what they would do to improve operations. Alternatively, management could put forward one or more ideas and ask the employees for feedback on which policies to implement.

 

3. Informal Employee Communication

In today’s business environment, employees should be encouraged to connect. It makes sense that they would get to know their own team members. Managers should encourage workers to reach out to other employees from other departments on a casual basis in the hallways or while getting coffee.

Executives can set an example by making a point of speaking to employees, asking their names, and inquiring about what they are currently working on. This behavior helps to create an atmosphere where informal communication is encouraged. The benefit to the company is that when an employee is looking for help on a project, they are more likely to know who to turn to within the company because they are already familiar with peers who have the expertise they need.

 

4. Change Announcements

This is the form of internal communication that employees likely dread the most: the one where a manager announces that something in the workplace will be changing. People like things to stay the same – even if the change will lead to something that will be something positive. Change is, in a word, scary.

Just when someone feels comfortable in their role with the company and gets to know everyone in their department, it seems that something changes. The manager sends a message letting the workgroup know that the office is moving to a new location. The manager whom everyone likes and works well with is being promoted and a new manager is taking their place. New products are being introduced and some older ones are being discontinued.

These changes can be announced in a face-to-face meeting, by e-mail, in small pieces over time so that employees don’t become overwhelmed.

 

5. Onboarding Communication

Your company’s onboarding communication sets the tone for your relationship with employees. It starts from before a formal offer of employment is made and extends through the early days that a new employee starts work. If your Human Resources department is communicating with candidates in a way that appears unprofessional, it would make a jobseeker think twice about joining your company.

Once hired, you’ll want to ensure that your new employee is welcomed warmly on their first day. They should meet their supervisor and the team members they will be working with promptly. Show your new employee that their arrival was expected by having a desk or a workspace prepared for them in advance. If your current employees make the effort to make a new hire feel welcome, it will do wonders to improve employee engagement.

 

lumapps-hero-onboardingcenter

Onboarding Center - LumApps Intranet Use Case

 

6. Face-to-Face Meetings

Meetings are an example of internal business communication that a lot of people wish they could avoid. With so many other ways to convey information other than having at least two people sitting in the same room, the consensus is that they are a waste of time in many cases. This is not necessarily the case.

E-mail and text messages do allow for sharing ideas and documents, but they don’t do a great job of capturing a person’s tone. Emojis can help with this, but much of what someone is trying to get across has to do with their body language. This is much easier to interpret during a face-to-face meeting. These meetings also assist in developing positive working relationships between employees.

 

7. Campaign Communication

Your employees may be involved in a sales or marketing campaign. Depending on the size of your company, there could be several workgroups involved in helping to ensure its success, such as in-house web design, writing (copy and blog posts), customer service, and training. Since the campaign has several moving parts, there will be several meetings and messages shared with the teams to achieve a set outcome during a specific time frame.

These messages may be shared during team meetings:

  • by e-mail
  • by text message
  • during video conferences
  • by phone
  • in written reports…

As the campaign continues, there will be promotional activities to generate interest. Data will be collected and analyzed to measure the campaign’s effectiveness and then shared with managers and executives. The results will provide important information for running future campaigns.

 

8. Rewards and Recognition Communication

The value of this type of internal business communication cannot be stressed enough. Employees who feel their contribution is valued by their employer will continue to put forth their best effort on the job. Recognition for a job well done, either by an individual or an entire team, will end up benefitting the employer, especially if the employees are demonstrating behaviors that are in line with the company’s values.

Employee rewards don’t necessarily have to involve money to be meaningful. Workers also appreciate being given extra time off from work, gift cards to restaurants, tickets to local sporting events, etc.

 

LumApps Intranet Recognition Center

Recognition Center - LumApps Intranet Use Case

Internal Communication Strategy

How to Build a Successful Internal Communication Strategy?

 

9. Social Communication

When the company or its employees share information about social events to the organization, it is an opportunity for workers to have something other than work to discuss. Bonds between individuals and workgroups can be formed by discussing upcoming social events that the company is sponsoring for employees or by holding friendly wagers on sporting events, asking employees to predict the outcome of the Academy Awards, etc.

Team members can also use their personal talents in planning and organizing events that their colleagues will enjoy throughout the year by being part of the company social committee. The company may also decide to raise money for a specific charity each year. The social communication may be used to keep everyone in the company advised about how much has been raised to date.

 

10. Staff Surveys

How can upper management find out how well it is meeting its workers’ needs on the job? The most direct way is to ask them. There are people who go to work every day and keep the proverbial “stiff upper lip” about what happens during the workday. They would never criticize the company, its policies, or managers.

That does not mean that they are completely satisfied with their role and career path. This type of employee could be like the majority of unsatisfied customers who never say anything to the company directly. They simply move on to a competitor. In the case of an employee who leaves, they are taking their knowledge and the benefit of all the training and experience they gained while with your company with them.

Ask your employees to complete anonymous surveys to find out what issues you and your management team need to address. Then do it. A high employee turnover rate is expensive and bad for business.

Read more: 22 Employee Engagement Ideas and Strategies for Companies

 

11. Information Communication

It’s vital that employees have all the information they need to do their work properly. Organizations that “hoard” information and don’t provide it to their workers are only hurting themselves since their employees will only fall behind in areas like product knowledge and customer service.

Team members can become frustrated when they are not given all the tools required to do their work. If a company culture is based on an atmosphere where only a few people are able to access information, what will happen if they are in a meeting, on vacation, or leave the company? Access to required information promptly improves morale and productivity within the company.

 

12. Crisis Communication

Hopefully, you never have to reach out to employees during a crisis. However, it is imperative that you have an internal communications strategy in place in case you are ever faced with an emergency. Can you reach your key people quickly – if you had to – to mitigate losses and keep your staff safe?

The best option for crisis communication is some type of broadcast tool that will allow you to make contact with all team members without delay. You’ll want to share the message by phone, e-mail, and text message, as well as place a banner message on your website. It’s important that you ensure that you include a way that employees can acknowledge receipt of the communication. All of them can be updated as conditions change.

 

Bonus Tip: Use a Company Intranet

If you are looking for an easy and flexible way for your employees to communicate with each other, install a company intranet. This digital tool is an excellent way to promote effective internal communication.

 

LumApps Intranet on all Devices

Discover LumApps

 

You have had the opportunity to read about several types of internal communication channels and how important they are to running a successful business. An intranet can encourage your employees to interact with each other, and increasingly act as a resource center. It can act as a company-wide message board.

Team members can post questions about projects they are working on. Anyone on the team can answer. This is more efficient than waiting for a response to an e-mail or a text to one person. The intranet can also be a place where training documents, draft contracts, and white papers can be stored. Employees can access them as needed.

  1. Keeps employees informed
  2. Allows information to flow efficiently between employees
  3. Helps to build positive morale among staff members
  4. Allows management to address employees’ questions and concerns
  1. Top-down Communication
  2. Employee to Management Communication
  3. Informal Employee Communication
  4. Change Announcements
  5. Onboarding Communication

See all the types

  1. Introduce a new communications platform
  2. Train employees on the platform
  3. Have important conversations face to face
  4. Communicate, but be efficient and thoughtful
  5. Be direct and professional

Discover the 10 ways