Finding the Right Communication Channels for 13 Internal Communication Needs

Many organisations struggle to reach and engage their entire workforce. Some non-desk (frontline) workers are hard to reach, often without access to a corporate device. There are also more hybrid and remote workers in recent years, which makes it challenging for internal communications teams to maintain regular and consistent communication for their entire workforce.

Read on to find out what the ideal communication channels are for each type of internal communication messaging, and how they complement each other.

Choosing the most appropriate channel for your message will determine your success

11 types of internal communication

Here’s a list of all the different kinds of internal communication businesses use. No two businesses are the same – you may not need to communicate all these types of internal communication messages in your organisation.

These messages all have different objectives and the secret to getting these messages to resonate with your workforce is to use the ideal communication channel for your messaging. Let’s look at which channels suit each type of internal communication.

Leader-to-employee communications

Also known as top-down communication, management to employee communication is one of the most important types of internal communication. It’s a hierarchical method of sharing information and instructions inside a company. Leadership messages include All Hands or Town hall announcements, strategic goals, progress updates,  motivational/morale-boosting messages.

Effective leadership communication means strategically planning and delivering messages that inspire, guide, and engage employees. As remote and hybrid work become normalised, strong leadership communication will help align and unite the entire workforce.

Messages from the leadership team should stay on the forefront of everyone’s mind – especially frontline workers. Communication channels such as emails and collaboration tools, like Teams, Slack and Workplace are great for pushing out a mass message once, but these channels struggle to keep important messages front of mind – messages get lost in the communication clutter and are quickly forgotten. Here are some better alternatives:

Employee-to-leader communications

Also known as bottom-up communication, employee to leader communication is as significant as top-down communication. This type of communication allows employees to pass feedback to senior management.

Employee-to-leader messages include employee surveys, discussion forums, polls, and focus groups. Internal communicators should give employees access to the necessary tools and create opportunities to give feedback. The ideal communication channel to use for bottom-up communication include:

Employee-to-employee communications

Encouraging collaboration and connecting employees boosts innovation and creativity, and breaks down information silos. Also known as lateral communication, examples of employee-to-employee communication include social media posts, employee recognition, team events (virtual or in person).

If your goal is to engage employees in conversations that grow the company culture, improve problem-solving, generate new ideas and strengthen team bonds, then you need to choose the right communication channels. Workplace communication apps like Teams, Slack or Workplace from Meta are great for sharing informal workplace knowledge but should be carefully monitored.

Information delivery

Not the most glamourous of the types of internal communication, but information delivery is essential for an organisation’s success because it equips staff with everything they need to know to do their jobs. Examples of information delivery include legal policies, brand positioning guidelines, onboarding process and key personnel, HR policies and documents.

For desk-bound workers

Sending these messages on emails and collaboration tools can make internal communication teams feel limited with how frequently and how much important company information they send out; they don’t want to overwhelm or clutter the communication channel.

As an employee using these channels, you tend to dread receiving yet another email or Teams chat, because it disrupts your focus from the work you need to be doing, and it’s yet another task you need to action.

The best combination of channels to share essential information are intranet site and workplace digital signage. The employee intranet is a great way to keep all the must-know information in one secure place, but it can be difficult or confusing for employees to navigate to. That’s where a digital channels such as screensavers, home page takeovers and digital signage screens come into play. Amplify intranet traffic by sharing teaser information of company news, events, HR policies, legal processes, or any crucial information you need to convey. 

This is more effective for message retention in the long term because it reinforces key messages over time. And you’ll break barriers and connect with every employee. Make good use of the corporate screensavers and home page takeovers to make sure your remote and hybrid workers don’t miss the message.

Make the most of idle screens with corporate screensavers

For non-desk workers

Non-desk workers, like those in distribution centers, warehouses, or out on the manufacturing floor, may not have access to the same communication channels that corporate or desk-bound workers do. They often aren't on their mobile devices or don't have access to a corporate device. 

Gone are the days of printed notices on a cork board. The ideal way to engage with these non-desk workers would be to use digital signage screens around the worksite and common areas such as lunchrooms. This shares crucial, up-to-date information in a way that doesn't distract staff from their task.  

Digital signage screens are the ideal channel for non-desk workers

Culture communications

Cultivating a corporate culture ranks high for many internal communications teams. A company culture has a wide-reaching influence over recruitment and retention, employee engagement, brand positioning and even financial performance. Some examples of culture communications include:

As one of the top drivers for an organisation, culture communications deserve your full attention. The ideal communication channel to use for culture communications include:

Culture communications suit a range of communication channels, even corporate browser home pages!

Change management

When your company is undergoing a major transformation, such as moving to a new software provider or getting acquired, effective change management communications keep staff informed in a timely manner and addresses their concerns and feedback.

Some examples of change management communications include:

Effectively communicating changes in the workplace and helping employees navigate through uncertainty is critical to success – as seen by events such as the pandemic and lockdowns. Include these channels in your internal communications plan:

Crisis management

When disruption and unanticipated challenges happen, good crisis management communication will ensure that your workforce is well prepared. Internal communications teams need to communicate pre-crisis protocols, key staff members, and news broadcast and more. As part of a comprehensive crisis communication plan, you should already have pre-drafted templates for quick message dispatch. You also need to know which channels work best for crisis management messages:

Together, these channels work together to share information in real-time and are accessible by the entire workforce.

New hire communications

The onboarding process can make a lasting impression on new employees and set the tone for their time in your organisation. Some examples of new hire communications include employee surveys, onboarding schedule, social events calendars, leadership team introductions etc.

Focus on these channels to optimally deliver your onboarding or new hire communications:

Use digital signage to keep key information front of mind for new employees

Employee recognition communications

Recognising employees for their efforts will significantly boost employee engagement. Employee recognition communications can come from managers or teammates. Focus on these channels to effectively deliver praise and reinforce great behaviours:

Health and safety communications

Health and safety communications, such as fire evacuation plans, lockdown processes, and first aid personnel, need to stay front of mind and this information needs to be readily accessible by all employees. For that reason, we recommend sharing full health and safety policy documents on the intranet and sharing a bite-sized version of on digital signage screens around the workplace and on screensavers.

A snackable summary of health and safety information is easier to digest

Diversity and inclusion communications

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) communications is essential for fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. Effective communication can help promote understanding, awareness, and engagement among employees. Most importantly, they need to be ongoing and engaging. Here are some communication channels that allow for frequent and lively messaging:

 

Diversity and Inclusion messages need to be shown with frequent repetition to remain in the long-term memory

Improve your workplace communications with Vibe

Digital signage is a highly effective communication channel for internal communications. It brings corporate culture to life, boosts employee engagement and ensures key messages stay front of mind. This makes it an invaluable channel for delivering engaging messages to the entire workforce.

Vibe is a unique digital signage solution that empowers communication teams to get dynamic, visual messaging and content in front of the entire workforce, wherever they are. Reach all of your people, whether they’re at home, at their desks, on the road or the factory floor via digital signage screens, screensavers, web browser and mobile.

To transform your internal communications, contact our Vibe team or start a free trial.

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