Newsletters, staff newspapers and intranets are among the established tools for internal communication. But they have deficits that limit the effectiveness of communication. These include long lead times, the limited reach or the lack of opportunity for feedback. New tools for digital communication can provide a remedy: Employee apps, social intranet or wikis offer opportunities.
But this does not completely replace the previous communication tools. Those who want to use the maximum potential of internal communication should use new and existing instruments in such a way that the individual strengths are brought to bear.
Criteria for the use of communication tools
Internal communication is based on 4 pillars: Information, knowledge transfer, dialogue and motivation. A communication strategy based on these pillars addresses the people in the organisation on several levels. Objectively, it provides employees with the information they need to do their jobs as well as possible. At the same time, the exchange of information has an impact on employees' attitudes: More interaction leads to increased identification with the employer. If employees have the appropriate tools, this also influences their behaviour. They get involved and, for example, set up communities on their own responsibility that promote the transfer of knowledge.
Not every communication channel is equally suitable for every application. The tools differ in reach, response times and multimedia suitability. These guiding questions will help you choose the appropriate communication tool for your message:
- Is the instrument suitable to convey the message in an understandable way?
- Can the target group of the message be reached via the channel?
- Does the means of communication offer the opportunity for feedback and discussion?
- Are the urgency and timeliness of the message compatible with the speed of the channel?
The most important instruments for employee communication
Based on the questions, we have prepared an overview of the core tools for modern internal communication. In addition, we also give examples of how to use them for communication within the company:
- Social intranet: Current texts enriched with photos, videos or surveys can be found on the intranet. Modern solutions emulate private social networks with like and comment functions. The biggest disadvantage: the desktop-based intranet excludes non-desk employees.
- Employee app: The employee app brings the social intranet to the private smartphone. This improves accessibility for all internal target groups. In addition to news channels, an instant messenger can also be integrated. The possibility of integrating app-based pulse surveys into live events is also particularly attractive.
- Internal newsletter: With medium topicality unlimited reach, newsletters are mainly suitable for addressing limited target groups. Nevertheless, it can be useful to set up an internal newsletter. News from a specific area or news from a project can be distributed to a defined group of addressees, enriched with graphics. The low cost of producing a newsletter speaks in favour of this.
- Staff newspaper: It is suitable for detailed reports and less urgent news. This is what you should consider when choosing topics for the staff newspaper. The great strength of a printed newspaper is its high-quality appearance and good accessibility for the entire staff. Computer access, e-mail address or passwords are not an issue here.
The following also applies to internal communication: consistency between the communication tools should be ensured. There are many examples of this in internal communication: For example, a newsletter article can refer interested parties to an internal online community on the topic. The development of an internal newsletter or the detailed treatment of interesting topics in the staff newspaper therefore remain important components in the communication mix. Are you looking for more ideas for digital communication in your company? Under use cases you can learn more about the possibilities of the MEXS communication platform.