Enterprise: The Guide to
Internal Communication

According to a study conducted by the Observatory of Intranet and Digital Communication, 50% of surveyed employees believe that internal communication holds significant importance. However, only 45% of employees are satisfied with it (Source: OpinionWay). Moreover, for French companies, the loss amounts to €9100 per year per employee due to ineffective internal communication (Survey conducted by Mitel).

It is evident that the three major challenges of internal communication (especially digital communication) are:

  • Improving operational efficiency (mentioned by 61% of respondents)
  • Streamlining internal communication (mentioned by 52% of respondents)
  • Ensuring business continuity in times of crisis (mentioned by 46% of respondents)

Since the COVID crisis and the changes it brought to the world of work (such as the democratization of remote work and the prevalence of hybrid work), internal communication is no longer just an asset for companies—it has become an integral part of their strategy. It is also essential for talent retention.

So, how can one implement an effective internal communication strategy in their company? How can potential obstacles be overcome? What internal communication tools should be used? This guide sheds light on these topics.

Understanding the Foundations of Internal Communication

Definition, Types, and Role of Internal Communication

Internal communication encompasses actions within a company aimed at circulating information among employees, as well as between different departments and colleagues within the same company.

Its proper implementation is crucial for team efficiency and motivation. There are three types of internal communication:

  • Downward communication: initiated by the management for employees, covering topics like company strategy or the organization of specific events.
  • Upward communication: initiated by employees for managers or the management.
  • Transversal communication: horizontal communication between all members of the company, disregarding hierarchical levels.
💡 For further exploration, download our internal communication plan.
Internal communication

A Brief History of Internal Communication

Internal communication first appeared in the late 19th century with the advent of the industrial era. At that time, companies' management needed to transmit orders and information to their employees, leading to the creation of the first internal newspapers around 1890. However, it took about 100 years for internal communication to become a separate function, recognized for its strategic importance.

In the past two decades, internal communication has increasingly drawn inspiration from communication and marketing techniques.

The Impact of Internal Communication on Employee Motivation and Engagement

Internal communication not only provides employees with a better understanding of their company's strategy but also plays a crucial role in enhancing their motivation and sense of belonging. A 2017 Deloitte survey titled "Rewriting the rules for the digital age" showed that 80% of respondents believe that companies must address the need for engagement.

Another study by Deloitte demonstrated a 20% increase in employee satisfaction in companies with an intranet. Additionally, 85% of employees state that they are more motivated when their management regularly communicates internal news and company directions.

Strong internal communication contributes to a robust company culture, significantly improving workplace well-being and reducing turnover rates. The Glassdoor Company Mission & Culture survey in 2019 revealed that 77% of employees in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany consider a company's culture before applying for a job.

Without a strong company culture, various risks arise, including employee disengagement, which can incur significant costs such as absenteeism, turnover, recruitment expenses, and damage to the company's reputation. Conversely, an engaged and satisfied employee contributes to the collective well-being at work.

🚀 For further insights, discover how to create a strong company culture.

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Why is Internal Communication Important?

As seen, internal communication holds great significance and should not be neglected by companies. It serves to:

  • Strengthen employees' sense of belonging by involving them in decision-making and information flows.
  • Inform employees about changes and events within the company.
  • Enhance employee engagement.
  • Improve productivity and talent retention.
  • Improve information transparency, ensuring higher-quality work.
  • Facilitate exchanges and feedback among all members of the company, regardless of their hierarchical position.
  • Ultimately, enhance the company's competitiveness.

Possible Obstacles to Internal Communication

Implementing an effective internal communication strategy is not always easy due to various potential obstacles. Companies need to pay attention to ambiguous elements, including:

  • Outdated strategies (e.g., not incorporating digital tools).
  • Lack of information or overly controlled information flow, which can be counterproductive.
  • Lack of manager involvement.
  • Excessive budget constraints.
  • One-way communication without employee participation.
  • Lack of communication between departments.
  • Conversely, too many internal communication tools that can confuse information flow and disengage employees.

Tips for Successful Internal Communication

Establishing effective internal communication is not overly challenging. It simply requires adopting best practices and tools. Here are some tips:

  • Modernize communication methods, including using appropriate tools like social networks and collaborative platforms. Digital tools should be an integral part of the company's internal communication strategy in 2023.
  • Implement regular evaluations of internal communication tools, using KPIs and surveys among employees. If they are not effective, adjust the strategy accordingly.
  • Engage with a multigenerational workforce. Companies have employees from various generations, each with different communication preferences. Therefore, it's essential to dialogue with everyone to bring ideas together and adopt the best practices.
  • Ensure transparency. Internal communication should be clear, transparent, and precise. Employees should feel fully informed and able to share information if necessary.
  • Address intercultural communication if the company is multicultural to include all employees.
  • Recognize employee successes by highlighting individual actions or team achievements. Recognizing employees' skills contributes to making internal communication more personal and dynamic.
🌟 For further exploration, discover 6 examples of internal communication strategies to implement.
Internal communication : Business guide

Steps to Improve Internal Communication

Follow these steps to enhance and strengthen your company's internal communication:

  • Assess the current communication strategy and adapt it as needed.
  • Identify important goals and indicators to monitor.
  • Establish a clear strategy for each goal.
  • Study and segment the audience.
  • Set the budget.
  • Choose the right tools (see below).
  • Ensure transparency and consistency with the overall company strategy.
For more insights, download our white paper on improving internal communication.

The Best Internal Communication Tools

To implement an effective internal communication strategy, you will need key tools:

  • Collaborative platforms, providing a virtual workspace for all employees and facilitating real-time information flow (e.g., Slack, Teams).
  • Intranet tools, allowing the company to communicate on various subjects (e.g., SharePoint).
  • Chat and video conferencing tools, enabling all employees to connect (including remote workers) and strengthening team cohesion.
  • Corporate social networks (e.g., Viva Engage).
  • Internal newsletters and other written materials.
For further ideas, explore 4 original concepts to boost your internal communication.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Internal Communication

An internal communication strategy needs continuous adjustment, so it's crucial to track various indicators (KPIs) that reflect its effectiveness, including:

  • Engagement rate, indicating the level of user interaction with a publication.
  • Open rate (e.g., for emails or newsletters).
  • Read rate (similar to open rate).
  • Adoption rate of internal communication tools.
  • Traffic and activity on tools and platforms.
  • Direct feedback from employees.

How AI Enhances Internal Communication

The increasing integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into businesses is expected to significantly improve internal communication. AI tools facilitate information flows within organizations by automating repetitive tasks and providing real-time data analysis.

For instance, chatbots can act as virtual assistants, answering employees' questions and facilitating access to internal resources. Other tools, like Microsoft Copilot, provide employees with intelligent real-time assistance, allowing them to refine their work and enhance creativity and productivity.

For management, AI tools can be invaluable by analyzing major communication trends, identifying weaknesses in information flow, and suggesting improvements.

In summary, AI, still in its early stages, is poised to act as a catalyst in the coming years for more effective and entirely personalized internal communication.



Enterprise: The Guide to Internal Communication

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