Are you feeling like your internal communications are a bit of a mess? Don't worry – we've got you covered! Our Insider's Guide to Implementing Internal Communications Plans can help you get things back on track.
“Great communicators exemplify the power that building relationships, creating respect & achieving results can have.”
John Stoker, author of Overcoming Fake Talk
We understand how frustrating it can be when employees feel out of the loop and important information isn't being shared properly. But that's all about to change. Our guide will show you how to use internal comms best practices to create a seamless internal comms plan that will have your team in-the-know and on the same page in no time.
So grab a pen and paper (or digital equivalent), sit tight, and get ready for some serious communication transformation!
The Current State of Internal Communication Planning
Did you know that internal communications strategy has changed a lot over time? From memos and newsletters, to today's digital workplace platforms like The Hub, our organizational communications have come a long way. But with so many ways to reach employees now, and with the move to remote or hybrid working, it's crucial we figure out the right strategy for internal comms success—which means understanding your organization's company culture and knowing which tools will help you succeed .
Internal Communication Pitfalls
Communication breakdowns can be a real source of frustration for everyone involved. Employees might not be engaged, messages may be inconsistent across different departments, and information silos can prevent knowledge from being shared. Plus, without good employee feedback mechanisms in place, it's hard to know if your message is even getting through! And don't forget about the dreaded email overload - all too easy to get buried under an avalanche of emails which create noise and make it tough to keep up with what's going on.
It's essential that companies have effective strategies in place to ensure communication flows smoothly and everyone feels like they're part of the team; otherwise, things can quickly spiral out of control!
Strategy vs Plan: Which One Do You Go For?
Having a communication plan in place is backed up by solid statistics. According to Towers Watson, companies with exceptional communication strategies have as much as a 1.7x greater chance of outperforming their competition when it comes to financial results – and that’s really something! It just goes to show how seriously we should take employee communications strategy and why having an effective one can make such a difference for any company's bottom line.
Confused by the difference between a communication strategy and a communication plan?
We get it! A high-level approach, called a communication strategy, outlines how an organization will achieve its goals. A more detailed outline of tactics that make up said strategy is known as a communication plan. They both serve very different functions and are equally important for organizations to have in place for the successful implementation of their goal.
How To Get Started With An Internal Comms Plan
It's no secret that many businesses are falling short when it comes to internal comms. Shockingly, only 13% of employees strongly agree that their leadership is effectively communicating with the rest of their organization . On top of this, an overwhelming 90% of employees believe in the importance and power of a good communication strategy .
Creating an internal communications strategy is a must for any organization. It ensures everyone is on the same page and has all the resources they need to do their job right. A well-crafted plan can really give employee engagement, productivity, and even your company culture a major boost.
It's essential to recognize which communication channels work best for your organization - emailing, team meetings, an internal social network? Huddles or one-on-one check-ins? Once you've got that sorted out, identify all the stakeholders involved in this process - HR personnel, department managers and employees at every level. Make sure they're part of crafting and implementing the plan so everyone feels heard, and everyone's internal comms issues are being addressed. Set clear goals like improving employee engagement or increasing transparency, then develop strategies to reach those targets - i.e. regular announcements about company updates, or 'town hall' forums where employees can voice their ideas and give feedback.
Importance of having a well-defined plan
It's no surprise that many companies are lacking when it comes to their long-term internal communications strategy. Some companies report that only 13% of their employees actually use their intranets daily, and with 74% of employees still feeling like they're missing out on company news, it's clear there is a disconnect between employers and employees, and with a lot of poor internal comms plans in place. Even more concerning is the fact that 93% of comms pros believe creativity should be used in internal comms to drive employee engagement, but only 6% think it's actually being utilized to its fullest potential . It looks like there's still plenty of room for improvement!
Having an intranet doesn't automatically solve your employee communication problems, which is why its imperative you take the time and focus on creating an effective internal communications plan that addresses the needs of your employees, and provides regular, informative, engaging content they actually want to read.
An effective internal comms plan is the difference between success and failure for any business. In fact, Trade Press Services says that 85% of employees are more motivated when their company’s communication runs smoothly. Without a plan in place, your team can feel directionless; but with one, it offers clarity and gives everyone a roadmap to reach anywhere fast! Not only does this reduce confusion - boosting morale and productivity along the way - but it also creates an open culture of transparency that inspires staff.
So if you really want your organization to succeed, then invest in an effective internal comms plan; make sure everyone's working towards one common goal with knowledge of where they're going, take ownership over communication responsibilities – and most importantly – foster an atmosphere of collaboration based on trust!
At The Hub we understand just how important strong communication is – so get in touch today to see our tips on getting yours from great… to amazing.
Deciding which communications channels work best for you
Different companies have different cultures and communication styles, so it's important to find what works for you and your team. This could mean testing out different methods and giving employees the chance to suggest their own preferences.
The 7 most common workplace communication channels are :
instant messaging platforms,
phone calls and
Now, these 7 comms channels are great, but there's 7 of them! If you employees are all communicating across multiple or differing channels, it can cause greater confusion. One of the best approaches is to try and consolidate as many of your comms channels into a single source of truth. An internal comms solution, like Hub, allows you to combine documents, emails, instant messaging, social media and more into one digital workplace, making it easier for employees to find the information they need (thus reducing questions), while also providing an interactive, collaborative space which promotes two-way communication.
Strategies for Internal communications
Creating a culture of trust, transparency, and collaboration within your organization starts with an internal communications strategy. Department spaces, group forums, employee success stories and intranet messaging, are all great ways to keep employees informed and engaged. It's like building a bridge between departments - the department pages and news stories provide the building blocks of information, while group forums, feedback forms and other intranet messaging act as the mortar that keeps your team together.
But when it comes to gathering company-wide feedback in a 'town hall meeting', how do you digitise this? Well, one way is to utilize comms tools like polls, surveys, recognition and feedback forms to gather employee opinions and suggestions. Platforms like Hub offer these features as standard, and give you a way to reach a wide audience quickly, promote two-way communications, creating a stronger connection between staff, their colleagues and management.
Have you tried out any of these top-notch internal comms strategies?
Employee engagement surveys: Regular surveys can help gauge employee satisfaction and identify areas of improvement in internal communications.
Company-wide town hall meetings: Hosting regular town hall meetings can provide a platform for senior leaders to share updates, answer questions, and engage with employees in real time.
Employee recognition and rewards program: A recognition program can help foster a positive company culture and encourage employees to communicate effectively with one another.
Intranet or internal communications platform: An intranet or internal comms platform like The Hub can provide a centralized location for employees to access company news, updates, and resources.
Cross-functional team building activities: Encouraging employees to work together on projects or attend team-building activities can help foster stronger relationships and improve communication across departments.
Internal Communication Decoded: Plan vs Strategy
An internal communication plan and strategy are two essential pieces of the puzzle when it comes to your organization's communication efforts. The plan is like a roadmap, detailing how the information will be shared within the company, who'll be responsible for communicating, and what goals need to be achieved. On the other hand, the strategy provides a higher-level approach that outlines overall objectives and how they fit into the mission and vision of the organization. It also sets out which channels should be used, tactics employed, and metrics for measuring success. While one is tactical in nature (the plan), the other is strategic (the strategy). Both are necessary for internal communications.
Developing an Internal Communications Strategy
Creating an internal communications strategy requires careful thought and consideration of your organization's needs and objectives. Here are the essential steps for crafting a successful strategy:
Assess current channels: Take stock of the communication methods currently being used in your company, such as emails, team meetings, internal social networks, etc. Figure out which ones work best and which need to be improved.
Identify stakeholders: Identify who the key players are in your internal communications plan - HR personnel, managers, employees at all levels - and involve them in the planning process so everyone's views are taken into account.
Set clear goals: Establish specific goals for your internal communication strategy like boosting employee engagement or promoting a positive corporate culture; this will help ensure that it is aligned with the organization's mission and vision.
Develop strategies: Based on these objectives come up with tactics to achieve them; this could include using a weekly newsletter to share news updates or hosting regular town hall meetings to encourage collaboration between staff members.
Choose channels: Select communication channels based on what you've assessed about existing ones plus what works best for stakeholders' needs; consider each channel's strengths/weaknesses and how they'll help you reach your goals.
Assign roles: Decide who will be responsible for communicating information and executing the tactics outlined in your plan; this could include HR, managers or a dedicated internal communications team.
Measure/evaluate: Establish metrics to measure the success of your internal communication strategy and review progress regularly; this will help you identify areas that need improvement so that it remains effective over time.
By following these steps, you can create an internal communication strategy that will improve communication within the organization, increase employee engagement and drive success.
Tips for a successful internal comms strategy:
Spread the word: Make sure everyone knows what their role is in the plan by communicating it clearly and effectively.
Provide support: Give employees access to resources and training so they can use different channels properly.
Encourage engagement: Get people involved by giving them chances to give feedback or share ideas.
Keep an eye on progress: Monitor how things are going regularly and make any necessary changes - like adjusting frequency, channels or content.
Celebrate wins: Show appreciation for those who have helped make your internal comms successful by celebrating successes and recognizing individual contributions.
Avoiding the Blues: Steer Clear of These Common Pitfalls in Internal Communication Planning
When it comes to internal communication planning, there are a few common mistakes that can really put a damper on your success. For starters, make sure you're not making the conversation one-sided; give employees the chance to provide feedback and get involved in the dialogue. Additionally, don't shy away from hard conversations with staff – addressing sensitive topics is an important part of effective communication. It's also essential to take into account different employee contexts when developing your plan – everyone has their own needs and perspectives! And finally, be sure to roll out your plan properly, so as not to cause confusion or misunderstandings. Avoid these pitfalls and you'll be well on your way towards successful internal communication.
Best Practices for Internal Communication
It's essential to make sure your communications are successful, so keep messages short and sweet - no one wants their time wasted! To build morale and foster a positive work environment, and recognize successes with rewards. When it comes to praise, get creative: create an employee focus story on your intranet, or promote peer recognition and share the 'shout outs' so everyone knows what a great job people are doing.
Be sure everything is consistent; use visuals and storytelling; limit channels so everyone can focus on what's important. And make sure managers have resources, like communications training, internal communication plan template, and guidance. Strong organizational leadership is all about equipping your leaders with the tools and resources they need to be successful.
As Eleanor Roosevelt once said:
“Good leaders inspire people to have confidence in their leader. Great leaders inspire people to have confidence in themselves.”
Want to take your internal comms plan up a notch?
You might be able to find some help from the following suggestions:
Instead of relying on emails, why not try real-time intranet messaging or chat apps for real-time comms? It'll reduce email overload and make things more collaborative.
Infographics and videos can be great visual aids that bring your information to life and make it stick in employees' minds.
Digital signage on your intranet homepage is an awesome tool for keeping everyone informed with the latest news – so keep posting stories!
Using instant news alerts, like those on Hub, ensure all your staff receive regular updates on company happenings – something worth considering for sure!
Knowledge management areas and group forums provide a central spot where people can find resources and collaborate easily – definitely look into developing one if you haven't already done so!
Internal surveys and polls are key when it comes to gauging employee satisfaction levels and spotting areas needing improvement – run them regularly!
HR has a major role in internal comms. Understanding the 'human' side of HR can help boost engagement and communication. Set metrics to measure success, then evaluate your progress.
Creating an effective internal communication plan is essential for any business.
Studies show that companies with strong communications retain employees 4.5 times more than those with poor communication [LinkedIn].
To make sure your plan runs like clockwork, here are some key steps to consider:
Create a Communication Calendar – it'll help you stay on track and ensure nothing gets missed or overlaps. Plus, it's great for staying organized and consistent. For example, you could create a monthly calendar that includes the dates of all upcoming company updates, employee-focus stories, events, and other internal communications.
It's important to assign roles & responsibilities too – everyone involved in the plan should know what they need to do; from HR to department managers to CEOs. Make sure each person understands their part in the plan and assign clear, specific roles and responsibilities.
Budgeting is also key – for a long-lasting internal comms plan, you'll need the right technology to enable you to deliver it effectively. Getting budget approval is essential, and its worthwhile doing some research on solution prices prior to getting a budget approved. This ensures your budget restrictions are realistic and comparative to the cost of solutions on the market - plus always ensure you're getting the most bang for your buck on features!
Finally, remember to evaluate & adjust regularly – this way you can make sure your plan is still working as it should be even when things change within the organization. It’s like they say “measure twice cut once” – by evaluating regularly you can ensure success and avoid costly mistakes down the line.
The Importance of Employee Engagement in Internal Communications Success
Employee engagement is essential for you achieving a successful internal communications strategy.
By understanding what drives and encourages them, managers can craft a workplace culture that promotes positive engagement. Despite this knowledge, only one-third of leaders make it part of their priorities, while 86% of employees and executives say ineffective collaboration and communication are to blame for work issues.
To increase employee engagement levels, businesses should invest in professional development opportunities, transparent communication methods, and feedback systems that allow employees to be heard. Doing so can benefit the company with improved morale, productivity rates, and a better company culture overall.
Measuring the success of these initiatives is just as crucial as implementing them; tracking surveys on employee satisfaction or participation in internal communicative efforts to gauge how effective they are. Not doing so could put your organization at risk of lacking progress in engaging its workers – something no business wants!
Examples of internal comms solutions
Not to toot our horn, but Hub's intranet is regularly recognised as a leading 'High Performer' internal communications platform by peer-review tech site G2, as well as a 'Best Intranet Software' by SelectSoftware Reviews, among other accolades by leading tech vendors of employee comms solutions.
Our platform combines great communications tools like:
Social features including Likes and Comments,
Must Read Alerts,
Personalised Email Alerts,
Moreover, it also acts as a knowledge management system, allowing you to create an infinite hierarchy of department pages and subfolders information. This enables you to build a digital workplace with all the resources an employee needs to do their job effectively, including: