How can internal communication help to reinforce motivation? How can it be made effective?
Why should internal communication be taken seriously?
Internal communication refers to all communication actions carried out within an organization, with the aim of transmitting information and values to employees. One of the main objectives of internal communication is to create (and then reinforce) a collective identity, a feeling of belonging to the same group, which allows all the members of a company to work on a joint project. And to reinforce the global motivation of employees, by making the company's culture live on a daily basis.
As such, internal communication is in a way the spokesperson for the company's strategy. It is through this channel that the company's objectives, vision, values, strategic orientations, as well as its results and successes are disseminated.
In this respect, it is important to remember that internal communication is not just about sharing information from the top down (from management to employees). There are in fact two types of internal communication:
- Bottom-up communication, which is a type of communication in which the sharing of information and ideas comes from the employees. In contrast to the traditional approach, it is the employees who drive the communication. It is therefore a more fluid, open system that allows employees to express themselves, share their ideas and participate in the company's strategy. For this system to work, it is necessary to set a framework, which ensures that everyone's opinion is heard and taken into account.
- Top-down communication, which is a type of internal communication in which information is transmitted from management to employees. This is the classic form of internal communication, which is implemented in many organizations through tools such as the intranet, emails, communiqués, etc. Often criticized for its inflexibility, it can be a source of abuse and contribute to demotivating employees.
It is therefore time to emphasize that internal communication is a two-way street: while the primary objective is to enable management to pass on information and ideas, employees must also be able to be heard on how they perceive the company, and what ideas they have. A good internal communication strategy therefore skilfully mixes bottom-up and top-down communication, so that mutual listening can take place.
Today, internal communication has become a key position and a real investment for companies, with dedicated internal communication departments. It must be said that the quality of the transmission of information is at stake, and by the same token, the dissemination of the company's culture and the retention of talent. Internal communication, by improving employee satisfaction, also improves the company's productivity. It is therefore an important issue.
In 2021, a study by the Intranet and Digital Working Observatory on the internal digital transformation of organizations sought to find out why this issue is so crucial. It revealed that digital technology in the enterprise has three main pillars:
- Improved operational efficiency (for 61% of respondents);
- The fluidity of internal communication (for 52% of respondents);
- Business continuity in case of crisis (for 46% of respondents).
The conclusion is clear: for more than half of the respondents, internal communication is one of the major challenges of the digital revolution. This importance has increased since the health crisis and the democratization of remote work.
According to a survey conducted by Steeple, 70% of respondents were satisfied with internal communication within their company during the Covid-19 crisis. But even more of them (83%) consider that internal communication is a project to be prioritized for the post-crisis period. For the majority of employees, internal communication should not be an accessory function of the company, but rather a pivotal role.
Our tips for effective internal communication
1° Identify your targets
This means defining an internal communication strategy. To define the best strategy for your organization's characteristics, it is important to identify the targets you want to address (all employees? some of them?). Once you have identified these targets, you can adapt the types of content and communication channels used: website, intranet, internal newsletter, blog, video, event, etc. Indeed, we do not communicate in the same way depending on the people we are addressing and the level of hierarchy they are at. For example, if you want to transmit information to employees who work in the field and don't use their computer much, you'll have to be more creative to mobilize media that are easy to consult on the go.
2° Create a real internal communication space
This space must be welcoming and easily accessible. It should bring together all the company's information, and allow employees to connect with each other. This can take the form of an internal social network, a Digital Workplace, a news feed, a Teams conversation, etc.
3° Engage in a process that disseminates the company's culture and values
Whatever the channel used, the important thing is to be proactive in order to disseminate not only information, but also the values that the company wishes to convey. For example, if your organization is committed to a particular issue, it is important to communicate on a regular basis in order to create momentum (to announce a fundraising event, for example). Remember: internal communication is an important vector for spreading the corporate culture.
🌱 Learn more about how to create a digital company culture
4° Focus on transparency
This is the mistake not to make: communicating only to announce good news, or to transmit purely factual information.
Transparency is about communicating everything that is going on in the company, whether it is positive or negative. For employees, not knowing what's going on is worse than being regularly updated on Challenges. Whether it's a change in management, a reorganization, or the implementation of new processes, all information is good to share. The result: greater employee confidence.
5° Use Teams to its full potential
Teams is an excellent collaboration tool, which also allows to communicate efficiently internally and to strengthen the links between employees: exchanges by chat or video conference, task planning, creation of work teams, etc. But Microsoft goes even further: thanks to Viva Connections, employees can access the intranet directly from their Teams application. This makes it even easier for them to access information and reduces the number of barriers they face when sharing their opinions. The platform centralizes all internal communications, transforming it into a communication and productivity hub.
Teams is also particularly suited to employees who work remotely as it is accessible via a mobile application.
🎁 To go further, discover 5 Teams use cases you absolutely must know.
6° Set goals for yourself
In order to know if the internal communication strategy you are implementing is adapted, it is important to define a precise action plan, to set objectives and to follow the associated KPIs (performance indicators). If you notice that an objective has not been reached, this allows you to readjust your strategy... and to progress.
🚀 You want to track your KPIs but you don't know where to start, find out how Define and track the KPIs of your Digital Workplace.
7° Involve your employees
Don't just focus on top-down communication: your employees also have things to say, and their opinion could be valuable! Hence the importance of involving them in your internal communication strategy, whether by using Employee Advocacy or by implementing expression tools such as the suggestion box, surveys or collective Brainstorming sessions.
It's all about creating a work environment that fosters trust and well-being among teams, giving them the keys to express themselves freely. The result: a stronger sense of belonging and a form of loyalty to the employer. On the other hand, if your corporate culture is based on a strict hierarchy and the retention of information, it will be difficult to communicate effectively. As a result, your employees will be less involved.
Our articles to go further on the subject:
- Internal communication: 11 essential tools
- How to target your internal communication?
- 7 tips for boosting internal communication
How Microsoft and Mozzaik365 address the challenges of internal communication
Microsoft 365 and Mozzaik365 are two essential tools that companies can use in their internal communication strategy.
Microsoft 365 offers many tools to facilitate collaborative work and better communicate internally: Yammer, Teams, SharePoint, Viva Connections...
💡 To learn more, feel free to check out the following articles:
- Microsoft Viva, the employeeexperience platform
- What you need to know about corporate social networks (more about Yammer)
Mozzaik365 proposes to create an engaging Digital Workplace, integrated with Microsoft 365, to connect teams and make them collaborate in a fluid and efficient way. To do this, Mozzaik365 breaks the functional and graphical boundaries of SharePoint. Check out our blog posts to learn more about using Mozzaik365 for internal communication.
Both solutions also offer an extremely high level of security. Indeed, Microsofts' standards meet a very high level of expectation from users. Mozzaik365 is an extension that does not host any client data, thus guaranteeing the integrity of Microsoft services.
In this regard, the security of your data must remain a priority when using internal communication solutions.
New practices that do not compromise workplace safety
Implementing an internal communication strategy requires the use of new tools and digital solutions. This raises legitimate security issues. Nevertheless, there is no such thing as a fatality. Yes, it is possible to use a wide range of internal communication tools without jeopardizing the security of the company.
This requires not only choosing secure solutions, but also supporting the change and training employees in good cyber security practices. Employees should not be left to fend for themselves with their new tools: not only is it important to train them in their use, but it is also essential to explain to them how these tools help to share and transmit information.
Internal communication has a dual role: it serves to transmit messages, values and key information to employees, and also to strengthen team cohesion and the feeling of belonging to a group. In other words, today's organizations would find it hard to do without it.
For effective internal communication, it is important to use the right tools such as Teams, and to diversify its practices: for example, mixing upward communication with downward communication. All the while establishing a defined framework and ensuring a healthy transparency, a guarantee of trust and team motivation.
A balance that every organization must find.