Focus on internal communication: secrets of success and proven strategies

Strengthen your company's internal communication. Definitions, success stories and more. Your guide to effective strategies.
Table of contents

Internal communication is the invisible nervous system of a company that ensures that everything runs smoothly. She is the link that ensures that everyone in the team is not only informed, but also committed. From the definition to the meaning to the challenges – we shed light on the facets of internal communication strategies. We look at how digital and analog tools harmonize, how mistakes can be avoided and how success can be measured. With a practical view, enriched by concrete company examples, we offer insights that every company can use to optimize its internal communication.

Definition of internal communication

Internal communication, an essential element of corporate management, refers to the exchange of information and knowledge within an organization. It encompasses communication between management levels and employees as well as between the employees themselves. Their spectrum ranges from formal announcements to informal ‘office grapevine’. This form of communication is designed to convey corporate goals, support operational processes and promote a strong corporate culture. It plays a key role in motivating and retaining employees and forms the basis for transparent and effective collaboration.

This is why internal communication is important for companies

Internal communication is not only a bridge between management and employees, it is also fundamental to the company’s success. It creates a common basis of understanding, ensures unity and promotes an open culture in which ideas and feedback flow. Through effective internal communication, employees become active participants in company events, which leads to greater employee satisfaction and stronger identification with the company. In a world where change is the only thing that matters, it is the vital system that keeps everyone up to date and strengthens cohesion.

Challenges of internal communication

Internal communication is confronted with a variety of challenges. In an increasingly networked and digitalized working world, it is crucial to channel the flood of information in order to avoid overload and disinformation. Different employee information needs and preferences require customized communication strategies, while maintaining engagement and establishing clear communication channels requires constant effort. Last but not least, internal communication must gain and maintain the trust of the workforce, which means that messages must not only be sent, but also received, understood and appreciated.

Internal communication pursues these goals

  • Information distribution

    Ensuring that all employees are informed promptly and reliably about relevant topics.

  • Transparency

    Creating clarity about company processes and decisions in order to promote trust.

  • Employee engagement

    Promoting commitment by involving employees in the communication process.

  • Corporate culture

    Building and maintaining a strong and positive corporate culture.

  • Exchange of knowledge

    Facilitating the exchange of knowledge and experience among employees.

  • Feedback culture

    Establishing a system that enables and values constructive feedback.

  • Crisis communication

    Effective management of internal communication in times of crisis to ensure smooth operations.

  • Change Management

    Supporting change processes in the company through clear communication strategies.

Instruments, tools, channels and formats – what’s the difference?

Instruments, tools and channels in internal communication are three different elements that work together to form an effective communication strategy:

  • Instruments

    include the methods and procedures used for internal communication, such as employee appraisals, newsletters or the intranet.

  • Tools

    are the specific software or hardware solutions that are used to realize the instruments. These include e-mail platforms, chat programs and content management systems.

  • Channels

    refer to the ways in which communication takes place. This can be a physical place, such as a bulletin board, or a digital space, such as a social network or a company app.

  • Formats

    Describe the way in which content is presented, regardless of the channel. This includes text, graphics, videos, interactive elements or live presentations. Formats determine the visual and conceptual preparation of the content.

The difference lies in the scope and functionality: instruments define the “what”, tools the “how” and channels the “where” of internal communication.

Instruments of internal communication

A variety of tools are used in internal communication, which can include both digital and analog formats:

🖥️ Digital Instruments

⚒️ Analog instruments

How can internal communication be improved?

Improving internal communication is an ongoing process that begins with a careful analysis of current communication practices. It is important to evaluate the effectiveness of existing methods and identify areas for improvement. Establish clear objectives to determine the direction and purpose of communication efforts. Choosing the right tools and channels is crucial to ensure that messages reach employees effectively. An open culture that encourages employees to actively participate and provide feedback is also important. Finally, regular review and adjustment of communication strategies is crucial to ensure their ongoing relevance and effectiveness.

Avoidance of errors in internal communication

Effective communication not only promotes understanding and cooperation within the team, but also makes a significant contribution to employee satisfaction and the achievement of corporate goals. To avoid the most common mistakes in internal communication and create an optimal working environment, companies should follow certain basic principles.

  • Clarity and consistency

    Avoid ambiguous or contradictory messages.

  • Appropriate channel selection

    Select the correct channel for the respective message.

  • Feedback options

    Make sure that employees can give feedback and ask questions.

  • Avoid information overload

    Do not overload employees with too much information at once.

  • Relevance

    Make sure that the information is up-to-date and relevant.

  • Involvement of the management

    Management should be actively involved in the communication processes.

  • Target group orientation

    Adapt your communication to the needs of different employee groups.

Define & measure success factors/KPIs

Various key performance indicators (KPIs) can be used to measure the success of internal communication:

  • Employee engagement

    Measurement of employee participation and feedback on internal communication initiatives.

  • Open rates and click rates

    Particularly relevant for digital means of communication such as e-mails or newsletters.

  • Employee satisfaction

    Regular surveys can provide insight into the general mood and satisfaction with internal communication.

  • Achieving specific communication goals

    Check whether certain information has been successfully communicated.

  • Usage rates of communication tools

    Analyze how frequently and effectively different communication tools and platforms are used.

To measure the effectiveness of internal communication, you can use employee surveys, for example, to collect feedback on the quality and effectiveness of communication. Open and click rates of emails, newsletters or internal information pages provide quantitative data on the interest and commitment of employees. In addition, the analysis of usage patterns on internal communication platforms can provide revealing insights into the communication behavior of the workforce. These measurements should be carried out regularly in order to identify trends and adapt communication strategies accordingly.

Digital transformation of internal communication

The digital transformation in internal communication is particularly evident in the development and use of employee apps. These apps bundle various communication tools and channels into a single, easily accessible platform. They make it possible to disseminate news and updates, collect feedback, conduct surveys and even integrate internal social networks.

Employee apps provide a central point of contact for information and resources, promote networking among employees and enable flexible, timely communication, which is essential for modern, dynamic working environments.

Success Stories

We would now like to present two customer use cases for internal communication. In these success stories, employee apps were introduced to improve internal communication. These examples illustrate how such apps not only simplify communication channels, but can also strengthen employee loyalty and commitment in the long term.

Bettenrid München Logo
Customer Use Case

BETTENRID Employee App

Even traditional companies benefit from good employee communication! Learn how Bettenrid uses an employee app from plazz. Learn how Bettenrid uses an employee app from plazz AG.

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Conclusion

Like a well-oiled clockwork, every company needs smooth internal communication in order to function efficiently. This is crucial for ensuring transparency, engaging employees and promoting a positive corporate culture. Digital tools, especially employee apps, have proven to be key components in optimizing this mechanism. The experiences of Volkswagen OTLG and BETTENRID underline how innovations in communication can drive corporate success. Continuous adjustments and evaluations of communication strategies are essential in order to keep pace with constantly changing requirements.

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