Internal communication is all about engaging employees and developing the bond that inspires your team to help you reach your goals. Disengaged employees can prevent this from happening, and that is why we have collected together these examples of good internal communications. We hope they will help you develop your own winning strategy.
Gallup found that 85% of employees are either not engaged or are actively disengaged in the workplace. The company estimates this could cost companies around the world a total of €6.9 trillion.
Much of this disengagement comes as a result of a lack of communication — nearly three quarters of employees feel that they miss out on important company news and updates, and 79% of internal communications teams admit they don’t think employees understand why senior management makes the decisions it does.
Regular lines of communication within an organisation make employees feel like they are an essential part of the company and inspire them to want to succeed for their team.
What is good internal communication?
Good internal communication involves the following factors:
It reaches all employees
With the rise in remote and flexible working, as well as the fact that many companies span multiple countries and timezones, it is important that employees don’t miss out on messaging because of their situation or location.
It is a dialogue
Employees want to feel heard. If your internal comms are just one-way, it does nothing to encourage engagement. You employ staff for their expertise, so make sure you listen to the issues they raise and the solutions they suggest. The right internal communication tools will help you achieve this.
It involves a sharing of knowledge
Nothing can hit staff morale like the feeling that they are being left in the dark. Your internal communications channels are the place to share information and make sure that you leave no room for rumour and gossip.
It celebrates good news
Everyone wants to be recognised for the results of their hard work. This means you should celebrate the positive events that occur in your organisation as well as recognising the teams that go above and beyond the call of duty.
It is simple
Good communication involves condensing the message down so that your audience understands it completely. Too much detail can complicate the communication and confuse matters. Shorter delivery also respects the value of your employees’ time.
Examples of good internal communications
Here are some internal communication examples to inspire your next campaign.
Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca uses webinars to effectively and efficiently communicate with its employees around the world. They use the self-service solution from Company Webcast, upgrading their previous email channel for a more immersive and engaging experience.
The power of video over text for engagement cannot be overestimated. About 90% of the total information transmitted to your brain is visual. In addition, your brain can process visuals 60,000 times faster than it can text.
One of the other benefits of a webinar for a global operation is that employees in other timezones can catch up on the recording on demand when it is convenient for them. This increases the reach of the webinar for a company like AstraZeneca.
Another example of internal communications used by AstraZeneca was the Return to Growth video that brought together mobile phone footage created by employees to highlight the company’s new strategic direction.
The international coffee chain Starbucks uses social media to create a community for its employees, or partners as it refers to them. The firm encourages staff to share stories and pictures to its Twitter and Instagram accounts, helping this disparate group find connections and commonalities despite their only connection being that they work for the same business.
This adds to the sense of belonging for employees and makes them feel more loyal towards the organisation. In turn, such an approach can improve performance and reduce turnover, as staff are happy in their work.
As a fast-growing telecommunications company in which technology is always advancing, Deutsche Telekom needed a way to stay in contact with its 20,000 employees and keep them in the loop.
After a thorough selection process, the company opted for Company Webcast to provide the platform for it to stage up to 100 webcasts, interactive webinars and live streamed internal communications events per year.
The solution also includes peer-to-peer technology which allows for smooth streaming, even when a large proportion of employees are all watching a webinar at the same time. This is crucial to deliver the message to the largest possible audience in the clearest and most effective manner.
Transportation firm Stagecoach created an employee experience app for its 20,000 bus, coach and tram drivers and engineers, as well as its 2,000 office staff. The company uses the application, accessible by both mobile and desktop, to distribute updates as well as for two-way communication with employees and networking between peers. Staff can also find company policies and training resources in the digital workspace.
The app has won awards for its innovation and the engagement that it facilitates. The company reports that 91% of staff are active users and 96% of users still interact with the app four weeks after downloading it.
Health and nutrition company DSM uses webinars to inform its 16,000 employees about the latest business information and to consult them on issues related to the company.
The live and interactive nature of a webinar creates an engaging experience for workers and shows them that the company values their point of view on campaigns and matters of strategy.
Virgin Trains became concerned its comms were rooted in an old fashioned top-down, dictatorial fashion. To ensure healthy two-way interactions, it introduced a system to underpin all internal communications conversations as part of its company culture. They should involve five Super-Skills, which are:
- Voicing – speaking out with courage and conviction
- Decoding – Drawing out what the other person is really saying
- Presence – Maintaining undivided attention
- Flow control – Managing the beginning, middle and end of conversations
- Hyper-awareness – Acute self-awareness of biases, beliefs and emotional triggers
By running each interaction through these filters, Virgin Trains has increased the quality and impact of its internal communications.
As Europe’s biggest brewer and the third largest in the world, Heineken faces a challenge to be able to engage its office-based workforce and remote workers across 192 countries.
Its solution is to use webinars for presentations of the market-editing plans, global forum meetings, Heineken brand global platform communications and global company broadcasts.
The main benefits of this approach include the ability to interact with colleagues across the globe, building relationships with them and reaching the largest number of employees possible at the same time; something impossible to achieve in person.
The company ensures that it includes a Q&A session in each webinar, offering workers the opportunity to provide real-time feedback.
Heineken reports that webinars contribute to the involvement, enthusiasm for campaigns and clarity about strategy and execution. They also reduce the time window that is needed to achieve results and provide one voice and one message.
Coca-Cola runs an employee-made podcast as part of its internal comms efforts. The show, called Total Refresh, sees the hosts Katherine Cherry and Jamal Booker, who work for the company, interview senior leaders about relevant topics.
The company found that the leaders interviewed would be candid and honest about the topics up for discussion in the podcast, showing a more human side of management to employees and making them more relatable.
Dutch national airline KLM has always sought to create a family feeling for its 30,000-strong workforce. Webinars are the solution of choice for the company, allowing for an interactive relationship between the company, its CEO and its staff.
Since introducing webinars, which it streams from its headquarters, the company has found that employees reacted positively to having more access to board members. They also feel they can participate in the running of the organisation more effectively and they have more trust in the CEO of the business.
Tips for better internal communications
Establish an open-door policy
An open-door policy can also refer to virtual doors. If management makes it clear that it values all communication and feedback from employees, your internal communication strategy will be richer for it. You will receive honest, but invaluable feedback, from your workforce that you can use to finetune the way your business operates.
Make your company digital workspace fun to use
If you have a digital workspace to gather all of your important documents, policies and internal chat functions, it doesn’t have to be dull and corporate. As it is not an externally facing facility, you can have a bit of fun with it and make sure it is somewhere that employees enjoy visiting.
We ignore up to 65% of the emails in our inbox, meaning that we need to look for something more engaging for internal communications. When it comes to video, 72% of people say they prefer it as a medium for learning new information. This is why video should be a key element of your internal comms.
Encourage knowledge sharing
Knowledge sharing brings your employees out of their silos and adds to the wider conversation within the organisation that you want to encourage as part of your internal comms.
Encourage your workforce to bring their experiences, issues and solutions to the table and get departments talking between themselves.
How important is internal communication for employee motivation?
Internal communications done well can boost motivation, as it makes employees feel involved in the organisation’s decision making and that their voice is valued. When employees feel that they have a say in the workings of the business then they are more connected to it and motivated to make it a success.
Do you need an internal communication plan?
You should have an internal communication strategy to ensure that you are using the correct channels and disseminating all of the information you need in the most effective manner. Internal communications plans also help you monitor your progress and adjust your approach to make it more effective.
What is the role of leadership in internal communication?
Leaders should engage in your internal communication efforts as their presence represents the importance that the company affords to engaging employees. If leaders do not take part, it can seem pointless for staff to join in because they won’t be heard by the people who can drive change.
These examples of good internal communications show you how organisations are embracing engagement with their employees in order to help them meet their business goals. Using channels that encourage employees to interact and take part is key to effective communication and making them feel part of the company.
Company Webcast’s webinar and webcasting solution allows you to create live events that anyone can attend, whether they are office-based or remote workers. Participants can ask questions, take part in polls and chat with other attendees. Anyone who misses the event can catch up on demand. To find out how you can use Company Webcast’s platform for your internal comms, request a free demo today.
References and further reading