While many companies tend to focus on their external communication, internal communication amongst staff and between different departments is just as important, if not more so. How your company runs internally ultimately determines how good of a service you provide to your clients and customers, which in turn impacts the success of your overall business.
And when it comes to boosting internal communications, the right tools are key. If your company is still relying on outdated methods of communication, you may find yourself falling behind. But by adopting new technologies, you can improve internal operations and the growth and success of your company.
What is Internal Communication?
Before jumping into the benefits of internal communication and why it’s important, it’s helpful to understand what internal communication is and how it works.
As the name suggests, internal communication is essentially the sharing of information between internal staff, teams, and departments. And the purpose of internal communication is to ensure there is an effective and efficient flow of information between everyone that needs to be in the know so everyone stays informed and there is no miscommunication.
This can include communication of various types, such as:
● Management: Communication between managers, supervisors, team leads, and executives to discuss strategies, high-priority information, and other general communications
● Team: Communications between colleagues that are on the same team and working on the same project. Or communications between different teams that are working together to get something done
● Face-to-face: Communication between individuals, such as briefing someone on a task or project
● Peer: Informal communications between colleagues
● Digital: Communications over the internet, email, messaging, video and telephone calls, and even social media
Overall, the communication types above can occur verbally in person, using paper, or electronically. And as most things are going digital today, the best way to improve these communications and optimize your operations is to use internal communication technologies.
The Importance of Internal Communication Tech
Without an effective internal communication strategy that makes use of the latest tools and technologies, your company may fail to keep up with the demands of today’s fast-paced, digital world. Customers and clients have higher expectations today, as do employees. So to meet those demands, you have to optimize your internal operations to ensure everything is running as efficiently as possible.
There are numerous benefits to implementing the latest tech and improving internal communications, including:
- Boosting employee engagement and the overall employee experience
- Increasing productivity
- Optimizing workflows
- Creating more information and data transparency
- Improving trust between colleagues, managers, and teams
- Mitigating risks
- Avoiding conflicts and misunderstandings
- Improving the sharing of goals, tasks, and objectives
- Helping with the implementation of new policies
- Improving insight
- Promoting collaboration
- Improving reliability
Additionally, improving your internal communications using tech can also help your company avoid serious legal issues. When communication is lacking, there are a number of things that can go wrong. But the worst is when poor communication leads to a critical error that creates a legal problem, such as accidentally sharing sensitive information with the wrong person.
With internal communication tech, however, there is more security, and you can more easily track who is communicating and what information they are sharing. For example, if you are discussing sensitive client data, there are certain communications tools that you can use to protect that information to make sure it doesn’t get leaked or shared with the wrong person.
Best Practices For Updating Your Internal Communication Strategy
Before you start rolling out a new internal communication strategy and investing in new technologies, it’s important to have a plan and make some preparations to ensure your new strategy sticks and will be a success.
This should include:
● Analyzing your current situation to identify what is working and what needs improving
● Defining and setting realistic goals, objectives, and timelines
● Identifying the specific communication needs of teams and departments
● Researching the various tools available to decide which ones will work best for your needs
With any new digital transformation or adoption of new technologies, is also incredibly important to get your employees on board. As your staff will be the ones using these tools and technologies the most, it’s crucial to prepare them for the changes that are being made and ensure they are comfortable with using the new tech.
The best way to get your employees on board and ensure a successful transition is to meet with them to discuss the vision and your plan, demonstrate strong leadership to guide them through, and offer training and give them time to become acquainted with the new tools and how to use them.
The Latest Tech and Tools That Can Boost Your Company’s Internal Communications
With the latest advancements in technology, there are numerous tools and applications available to companies that can be used to improve internal communications. Artificial intelligence (AI), for example, is making business technologies overall much smarter and more efficient. And so many tools and applications today use some level of AI or machine learning to allow businesses to run as optimally as possible, including communications tools.
Below are some of the best and latest internal communication tools available:
An intranet is an internal communicator’s best friend. It is a centralized channel or software that is specifically designed for internal communications where employees can easily and safely share and access information.
Company-wide newsletters sent out on a regular basis are an excellent way to keep everyone in the know and up-to-date on the latest happenings, such as projects, policies, changes, updates, and any other important information. You can even make specialized newsletters just for certain teams or departments. And with so many tools available, there are numerous ways to share this information, such as using mobile apps, intranet boards, and emails.
Collaboration Tools and Plugins
Communication isn’t just about passing things down from upper management, but it’s also about allowing for better lateral communication between employees for a wide variety of reasons. Messaging apps like Slack, for example, allow employees and colleagues to easily and quickly communicate with one, which is incredibly helpful for bonding and collaboration.
Video Conferencing Tools
With flexible, remote, and hybrid work schedules becoming increasingly popular, it’s essential for employees to have a way to communicate more efficiently and have meetings without everyone needing to be in the same place at the same time. And video conferencing and video chat software make this possible.
Messaging and collaboration tools don’t always cut it because you still need to be able to look at someone to read their body language and facial expressions to communicate more clearly and effectively. But if everyone isn’t in the same location, communicating face-to-face becomes a challenge, but one that is easily remedied with video tools and software.
These are just a few of the wide variety of tools and technologies that are available today to help with internal communications. The list could go on and on.
This is why it’s important to do some research to determine your company’s specific goals and identify your areas of need. A freight company, for example, might not need the same kinds of internal communication tools as a finance company.
It’s all about creating the right strategy and implementing the right tools that work for your individual company and your teams to help you grow and achieve success.