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7 Internal Communications Best Practices

Internal communication is a crucial part of success in any modern business model. Whether you want to unify your workforce around a shared goal, reiterate your company's mission and values, or relate other important information company-wide, when and how you communicate with employees matters. But rapid-fire emails are no longer enough to accomplish these goals. Instead, you need to have a sophisticated internal communications strategy, the right tools, and the following best practices system in place and to employ the following internal communications best practices to set your business up for success.

Written by

Henrik Jesman Sunde

June 14, 2022

Why is Internal Communication Important?

Of course, every organization aims to hire talented individuals that provide value independently through their area of expertise. However, without centralized internal communication, even the best employees are limited in what they can achieve. So, why is internal communication important?

By disseminating important company information through the ranks, you keep everyone up to date so they can do their jobs effectively and efficiently. And passing the mic off to employees themselves has benefits, too. When internal communication flows both ways, employees feel heard and valued—increasing their morale and engagement with your company. Workers who can contribute ideas freely are more likely to become excited about a shared company goal, and the quality and productivity of their work will skyrocket.

Internal communication doesn't have to be all work and no play. It serves as a vehicle to improve the employee experience by recognizing the achievements and hard work of talented individuals. It can support team-building activities and strengthen employee relationships in a social capacity.

But with remote work more prevalent than ever and a host of communication tools to choose from, how do you make sure your internal communication is thoughtful and engaging?

7 Internal Communications Best Practices

Connecting your team through engaging content is more involved than ever. With many messaging tools available and fractured workforces with different needs or levels of access to company messaging tools, it can be hard to burst through the clutter and make an impact. Here are seven best practices for internal communication you can use to level up your workplace today.

1. Start with a Strategy

When it comes to internal cases, you should start with a thoughtful and cohesive strategy based on what you want to get out of your efforts. To get started, think carefully about your answers to questions, such as:

  • How satisfied are your employees with the current state of your internal communications?
  • What areas could use improvement?
  • What is the goal or value of your content?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Are they active on the platforms you're using?
  • Are they overwhelmed by the rate of messaging?
  • How often will messages go out?

The above is a good starting point and should get the creative juices flowing regarding what you want out of your communications strategy. Formulate a plan including the channels you want to use, frequency of publication, content format, and more.

2. Use the Right Internal Communications Tools

With a plan in place, you'll need to figure out how to share the right information with the right people at the right time. This can be trickier than it sounds since not every employee needs to know the same things, is active on the same channels, or lives in the same time zone as their colleagues. And then there are classic pitfalls like having your messages get lost in inbox clutter or not opened due to message fatigue.

You could try to encourage participation on your company intranet or bring everyone together on the same messaging app. But that, too, is harder than it sounds—often requiring additional training or crumbling under the pushback of unwilling employees.

Or, you could turn to customized employee communication software like Zelo to connect your employees in a seamless, engaging way., With Zelo, every recipient can choose their preferred channel and time to receive messages. Start with our easy drag-and-drop email composer to create, send, and track company updates across email, SMS, Teams, and Slack in minutes.

3. Be Transparent with Employees

Transparency is essential to fostering a workplace where everyone feels included and accountable, and your internal communication is no different. The fibers of your company culture depend on how you communicate with your workforce. Honest, open lines of communication will result in trust, confidence, and a sense of community. Conversely, keeping vital information behind closed doors can cause indifference or worse.

You won't be able to share everything with everyone, understandably, but you don't have to. Small gestures can go a long way. One way to achieve transparency through communication is to include metrics in your newsletter—no, not those newsletter metrics. Be upfront with your employees about how the company is doing. Share quarterly reports, client acquisitions over the last year, and anything relevant to your business' success.

4. Make Channels for Employee Feedback

While the main goal of internal communication is generally to inform employees about goings-on within your company, you don't want to shout at them through a megaphone. It is equally important to ensure that recipients have clear channels to offer feedback, suggestions, and ideas. This gives employees the chance to be heard and feel valued, and more often than not, they'll provide constructive feedback to improve processes, stay on top of the team- or company-wide goals, revamp strategies, and more. It's a win-win.

5. Keep It Consistent

When determining the frequency, tone, and subject matter of your communications, keep consistency in mind. The best strategies are reliable and allow recipients to know what to expect and when. This can be especially helpful for companies that employ non-desk or remote workers when in-person communication is infrequent or spotty. Timely, frequent communication that stays on-brand and on-message can help keep readers engaged and form habits around consuming your content.

6. Use Your Voice to Celebrate Wins

In addition to company news and happenings, internal communication is a great way to put employees in the spotlight for achievements and accomplishments. Did the marketing team smash their sales goal? Did a warehouse employee develop a clever way to shave seconds off their picking and packing time? Celebrate them in front of the whole company with your eternal communication efforts.

While people-focused communication is excellent for making employees feel like they're making a difference, it can also help shape your culture. Celebrate personal moments like an employee becoming a parent or welcome new hires in a bombastic way.

7. Find out which types of content work best for you

Don't be afraid to venture beyond simple prose and try out varied content types. Images and videos can be easier to comprehend at a glance for recipients who may not have much time to take out of their busy days. With the right internal communications tools, you can crop, rotate, resize, and add filters and effects to images for the most appealing presentation, leading to increased participation from visual learners.

Or, try interacting directly with your audience by sending out quizzes, polls, and requests for feedback. Not only will you gain insight into the culture, likes, and dislikes of your employees, but you'll also make them feel heard and valued for their opinions and ideas.

Finally, use robust metrics to glean which content formats are most engaging for your specific audience.

Using Internal Communication Tools like Zelo

Today, mastering internal communications takes more effort and thoughtfulness than spamming the entire organization with emails that may or may not be relevant to each individual on your list. But it doesn't have to be as tricky as it sounds. With the internal communications best practices listed above and software like Zelo, you'll be well on your way to communicating the right content to the right people at the right time.

Zelo allows you to send interactive newsletters, updates, benefits messages, quizzes and much more using each recipient's preferred channel and window for activity—whether your workforce is globally disparate or shoulder-to-shoulder. Book a demo today or learn more by checking out our in-depth resources.

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