It’s amazing how many companies out there still underestimate or neglect internal communication when this is really an important issue for every business.
The staff members often talk bad about the boss, and the boss always has to solve one problem after another, always saying that his brothers do not understand him.
We all know very clearly that communication is an important tool for businesses to reach and maintain long-term relationships with customers. Internal communication is similar: if internal communication is good, businesses can engage employees in the company effectively. When owning a human resource that is both capable and cohesive, there’s nothing this business can’t do!
What is internal communication?
If a business is said to be a body, then internal communication is like a blood vessel. Internal communications is essentially the business bringing necessary content and messages to employees at the right time, where the main content is the vision, mission, core values; with the goal of shaping, tightening and spreading corporate culture .
With this definition, it can be seen that an essential part of internal communication is the content that businesses share. The internal communication channel is the “touch point” between the business and the staff, and must serve to share information about the corporate culture. This is to clearly define the main purpose of an internal communication channel, instead of trying to confuse it with other activities in the business such as work planning, information exchange, employee management, etc.
The internal communication channel is the “touch point” between the business and the staff, and must serve to share information about the corporate culture.
Common misunderstandings about internal communication
Internal communication is corporate culture
Internal communication and corporate culture are two completely different areas. Corporate culture is the essence, assets, and image of an enterprise. Corporate employees are the individuals who hold and express those things. Internal communication is just the work of bringing corporate culture to employees, helping employees maintain it, not the source of forming corporate culture.
Internal communication and in-house PR are one
In-house PR is simply the PR team of a particular business or business. Just like in-house translation or in-house marketing. In-house PR is mainly used to distinguish the PR team in the enterprise from the private external PR units. And internal communication is part of PR in-house.
Confusion between human resource management and internal communication
Internal communication includes activities such as building a communication strategy in the enterprise to create cohesion between employees, organizing internal events, editing and publishing publications for internal circulation, etc. Human resource management includes recruiting, managing candidate and employee data, organizing and managing training courses, managing stationery, etc.
In general, if human resource management is the activity of recruiting and managing employees for an enterprise, then internal communication will do the job of conveying information and engaging those employees.
Internal communication is nothing but organizing events or entertainment for employees
As explained above, organizing events or concerts is only part of the job. Therefore, don’t make the requirement to know how to sing, host, or dance in an internal communications officer’s job description. Instead, skills like communication or relationship building would be much more relevant.
The role of internal communication
1. Strengthen the organization’s vision, values and culture for employees
Internal communication reinforces the vision, values and culture of the organization to employees, so that employees can continue to convey it internally and externally.
Internal communication closely follows the production and business activities of the enterprise, creating information channels to help employees understand the situation of their units, opening channels for information exchange between subordinates and managers. management set.
2. All information exchanged is transparent, clear and multidimensional
Thanks to being provided with complete and accurate information, each employee will clearly understand their goals, tasks, what they need to do and be more proactive in their own work. In addition, with public, clear and unified information channels within the unit, departments will coordinate more smoothly, reduce work overlap, and reduce internal conflicts.
Through internal communication, information will be spread from top to bottom, from bottom to top and horizontally between departments, contributing to linking departments; promote the development of positive values; reduce the negative, outdated thinking and unclear information.
3. Unity is strength
Internal unity is the core element of collective strength. A strong team is not necessarily all strong people, but it certainly has a strong solidarity. Letting people see the common goal is to show them the link, so that all can benefit and think in common. But the condition to create solidarity is understanding – a task of internal communication.
It can be said that the benefit of internal communication is to create collective strength.
4. Attract talent, retain good people
Good internal communication will make members love the company, they will work more enthusiastically and proactively. Instead of gossiping about the bad reputation, the wise leader is the one who knows how to communicate internally, turning the “family” into PRs, letting them remind about the place they work with a sense of pride. . Therefore, there are high-paying companies where employees still leave the place, although the salary is lower, but giving them a comfortable working spirit, the feeling of being appreciated is no longer a surprise.
Along with internal communication, good internal cultures are built up in the eyes of internal and external people. Of course an ideal working environment will attract people, so another benefit of internal communication is promoting recruitment.
Is internal communication the responsibility of the PR department or the HR department?
Who is the new person who is responsible for internal communications in your business? HR department or PR department ? This is still one of the controversial questions because each department has its own work and peculiarities related to internal communication.
The PR department has expertise in communication and knows how to promote the most effective communication. But the human resources department is the place to directly manage all employees, understand the emotions and needs of employees in the business. So who will be responsible for internal communication?
Fortunately, this controversy has an answer. According to the results of a survey of over 1,000 internal and external communication staff published in the human resource management magazine of the business Karian & Box in the UK, 53% of respondents answered that internal communication is always important. part of HR management and HR campaigns.
This is also true, because after all, human resource management is still employee-centered. For those who work in the media, especially those who come from the industry, sometimes it is very strange to the voice of personnel and actions in the organization.
To be able to do a good job of internal communication, no matter which way the business chooses, it should choose an employee who specializes in this field. This employee needs to understand the internal issues within the business itself and must have some influence over other employees, so that they can contribute to the decision-making process of the entire business right from the start. head.
What characteristics does an internal communicator need?
An internal communicator is not a manager’s tool to suppress the mind, make psychological tricks, and seduce employees. They are also not the executive committee of the trade union fighting to protect employees’ rights. They are the mediators to help the parties understand each other, towards a most harmonious choice.
Internal communication activities, after all, still revolve around Tam – Human love. Therefore, there are two most important skills needed in internal communication: Listening skills and “communication mind” skills.
- The skill of listening to people’s wishes to fully understand their wishes, from which they can make a satisfactory arrangement according to the company’s conditions. When people understand each other, trust will appear, then all problems are easily solved.
- The “communication mind” skill of an internal communicator is a skill of sincere communication, mutual respect, heart, responsibility for words, behavior, honesty and transparency.
A guide to building an internal communication strategy
Communication policy (communication policy)
For effective internal communication, businesses need to understand the following policy principles:
- Provide all necessary information to employees about the content, plan, purpose, and communication objectives of their unit.
- Provide important information about the organization’s activities, events, or notable achievements.
- Encourage employees to contribute ideas to build a stronger organization. Encourage and promote their creativity and development.
- Take positive action on controversial, sensitive or negative issues
- Honest, two-way, regular communication between managers and employees.
- The company’s important issues and content must be communicated quickly to all employees, absolutely not letting the information employees receive from other communication channels.
- Building a culture that encourages creative thinking, invention and initiative in the enterprise.
- There should be a timely reward policy from management levels for the progress of employees.
Steps to build a complete strategy
Step 1: Assess the situation
A detailed situation assessment will be the basis for you to develop your next goals and strategies. Even if you don’t have any specific internal communications in place, you need to assess how that’s causing problems in your business.
The following criteria need to be comprehensively reviewed:
- Assess the situation of your business (business situation, personnel, change forecasts, …)
- What internal communication activities has your business been implementing?
- How effective is internal communication in your business right now?
Step 2: Identify the object
Knowing what information businesses need to deliver, to whom, is extremely important. Normally, communication is conducted on a wide spectrum internally, but at some key moments such as the company’s upcoming personnel change, special attention should be paid to those affected by the change. change.
Answer the following questions to identify the right audience for internal communications:
- In your business, who needs to know the information? What do they need to know?
- Who has the closest relationship with employees in the business?
- Is one person enough to bring your entire staff together?
You can subdivide objects according to hierarchy such as C-level, team manager, official staff, probationary staff, etc.
Step 3: Define goals and messages
This is the core of the plan. For goal setting to really work, you need to follow the SMART principle:
S – Specific: Specific goal
M – Measurable: Measurable goal
A – Attainable: The goal is achievable
R – Relevant: Realistic Goals
T – Timebound: A goal with a specific deadline
The key to this step is answering the questions:
- What are your business goals (especially HR goals)?
- To achieve this goal, what do your employees need to understand? What beliefs do employees need? What actions should employees take?
- Message of internal communication = Message that the business wants to convey + Information needs of employees
Step 4: Define your strategy
Strategies are the methods and approaches that you will use to achieve your goals. There will be some people who confuse strategy with action plan, but looking at it from a strategic perspective will limit omissions.
In your internal communications plan, clarify the following elements:
- Forms of employee recognition
- Internal training roadmap for employees
- Career progression for employees
- Transparency of information between the Board of Directors and employees
- Enterprise internal communication network
Step 5: Determine the action plan
If the strategy is the method, the action plan is the specific actions that you will implement to put that method into practice.
- What activities will serve strategy X?
- When will this activity be launched?
- Who will be responsible for implementing this activity?
Only when your plan clearly shows “whose – what – when”, can internal communication be feasible in the business.
Step 6: Measure performance
Measurement is the only way for you to know if you are reaching your goals and make reasonable adjustments. You can use the following criteria as a basis for evaluating internal communication effectiveness:
- Employee engagement with information?
- Change in employee’s thinking/behavior after the information?
- Indicators of employee retention rate, turnover rate, employee satisfaction at work, etc.
Some practical form of internal communication
- Message boards, Standee : Often effective when trying to communicate events. Just print the poster and stick it on the bulletin board, almost every employee will see it.
- Email newsletter: This form is often used when you want to announce new events, news or policies of the business.
- Radio: Every week, you can organize a radio program for other employees. Content can be employee confessions, information updates from superiors, or songs on demand.
- Internal magazines : When email was not yet popular, internal magazines were one of the most used methods of internal communication. The content of the magazine is usually an article sharing about the outstanding issue of the month, an interview with an employee in the business, a summary of events, jokes, short stories, etc.
- Weekly Summary Program: As the name suggests, this program will summarize activities, events, news, and honor outstanding individuals and departments during the week. Every week, there will be an MC from different departments, wearing the same uniform to take a group photo,…
- Word of mouth : If you know how to take advantage, word of mouth will be an extremely effective channel. You can notify the department head, team leader and they will communicate to the staff in the room and in the group.
- Competitions, internal games: Create your own contests that many employees in the business can participate in such as internal rubiks, poker, etc. You can bring some hot gameshows right now. Now into an internal gameshow like The Voice, Vietnam’s Got Talent, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Ring the Golden Bell, etc. Modern equipment for FIFA or League of Legends is also among the top things that male employees like. prefer.
- Join community events: Businesses can completely register for community events such as Earth Hour, Uprace, etc. and then call on employees to participate. This not only helps to improve the image of the business in the eyes of candidates, but also is a great opportunity for colleagues to cooperate and get close to each other.
Suggest some ways to improve internal communication activities
1. Build a smartphone-friendly communication channel
Internal communication today cannot be without smartphones. With the habit of using phones more and more often, employees will definitely want to access the business portal through smartphones. Even in the case that you can build an internal website with very dedicated and regularly updated articles, but if it does not support on smartphones, it will not work. Many businesses have been ignoring this simple but very necessary issue.
So, make sure that the internal communication channel you provide to other employees is accessible by phone. From there, information can reach them wherever they are. This will also help you interact with employees who rarely sit in one place to work.
Take advantage of the video
Observing daily life, you can also see how much attraction and interaction can be created by videos. And when it comes to the means used to convey messages effectively, there is hardly a better medium than video at the moment. So, in addition to textual information, add video information or use video as a communication channel for your business.
It could be a video of an employee’s day at work, or an interview with the CEO of your business about the vision for the future. Uploading or storing videos with today’s technology is extremely easy. Make the most of video anytime, anywhere.
2. Use online communication tools
Employees don’t always have to travel for business and attend meetings to stay up to date. Online meetings and conferences are the tools you need to exploit to save on communication costs, while ensuring the correct message is delivered.
Video calling via Skype and video chat applications are great ways to communicate across long distances.
3. Internal social network
It may sound like a no-brainer to create a social network in the workplace, but social networks like Facebook Workplace, Slack or Zalo will allow employees in the business to communicate with each other more quickly, instead of Sitting around waiting for an email.
Internal social networks can also help employees schedule and remember events, as well as monitor communication channels in the workplace. This method is also very effective when you have employees working in different branches and locations. It will make it easier for you to connect people and provide more favorable opportunities for collaboration and collaboration.
4. Organize internal events
In addition to traditional communication methods, word of mouth is also a way to announce news. But corporate employees who don’t even know each other have no chance to communicate like that.
Therefore, if your business has many departments, an internal event will be a good opportunity for employees to interact with each other. Organize a party, a trip, or simply invite everyone to eat after work. Such activities give employees something to look forward to, supporting stronger interaction and communication within the business.
Conclusion: Internal communication is the soul of the business
Communication is perhaps the most powerful action we take every day: at work and in our daily lives. As internal communicators, it can feel overwhelming considering how many different forms it can take.
If an organization/business is like a body, human resources are the physical and elite, while internal communication plays the role of the soul.
It’s time for the cold-hearted to change their thinking, catch up with the trend, and pay more attention to the long-term benefits that internal communication brings, so that they can develop and compete in the new environment. school as it is today.