What is an Internal Communications Plan?

The modern workplace is evolving. Many employees are no longer confined to a single office or even physical spaces controlled by the business. This has significantly complicated internal communications, and companies that do not have a formal internal communication plan make it harder for the employees to do their jobs.

Fortunately there are tools to help decentralized team members stay in communication with one another. Whether it’s through SharePoint, Yammer, Microsoft Teams or other platforms, today’s employees are just a few clicks and keyboard strokes away from interacting with people across their organization.

That said, an internal communications plan organizes the ways in which employees interact with one another and helps leadership improve efficiencies. For instance, HR personnel may use internal email to communicate training sessions after finding this channel is the most effective for this particular type of message.

Large international companies typically have an entire staff dedicated to internal communications, while smaller businesses may only have one person focused on this particular function. Regardless of the size of a company, an internal communications plan supports the effective use of resources and can result in all kinds of business benefits.

What are the parts of an internal communications plan?

The cornerstone of any internal communications plan is a set of objectives that the plan is meant to accomplish. Typically, internal communications should make sure that all employees are on the same page. They should also support productivity, minimize employee turnover through engagement, increase job satisfaction and help to build a company culture. In order to be useful, these goals should be specific, measurable and achievable.

An internal communications plan also lays out the various communications tools and platforms that will be used. Traditional communications tools include memos, signage, team meetings and one-on-one meetings. Modern communications tools include platforms like Microsoft Teams in SharePoint. There are countless tools to choose from and those who develop the plan need to select the best tool for the best type of message.

An internal communications plan should also take into account the different types of audiences within a company. For example, managers should be considered a different audience than frontline employees.

Often, the type of audience will dictate the best channel to be used. For instance, general announcements could be posted to the company’s intranet, while news about changes to employee-specific benefits could be sent to employees’ individual email accounts.

Audiences can usually be defined based on their department or function. An internal communications plan doesn’t need to lay out a process for each audience. Sending out communications to specific audiences can easily be done using targeting functions in email platforms and other business communications tools. These targeting functions ensure employees and managers only get the most relevant information.

The final part of an internal communications plan involved measuring their results. The plan should outline key performance indicators. Metrics could include very specific measurements, such as the number of internal emails opened or views on a particular intranet page. Metrics could also be more general and include factors like employee retention and results of job satisfaction surveys.

An analysis of these metrics can reveal if the right employees are getting the right messages and how they are reacting to them. For example, the company might find that its Baby Boomer employees are not accessing the company intranet as much as its Millennials. Over time, an ongoing analysis can reveal emerging trends within the workforce.

When a company tracks the performance indicators of its internal communications efforts, it can refine and improve its methods.

What are the benefits of an internal communications plan?

An effective internal communications plan establishes a strong foundation for communication, collaboration, organizational flexibility and a robust company culture.

When people inside of an organization have access to accurate and timely information, it helps them to work together, overcome challenges and address growing problems before they get out of control. As we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic, strong internal communications are particularly valuable during a crisis.

In addition, people who feel informed and connected to one another are more likely to be engaged in their job and satisfied. A good internal communications plan facilitates two-way communication, and makes employees feel like their voices are being heard. This not only leads to more creative solutions via employee input, but it also makes employees less likely to look elsewhere for a better job situation. For an employer, this translates into lower turnover-related costs.

How can Tryane help?

Tryane’s analytics solutions can allow your company to track the effectiveness of its internal communications. We can help your company analyze the data it collects from its various communications platforms to gain valuable insights and employee engagement. We can help your company extract more value out of the tools it uses by optimizing your efforts and promoting employee engagement with these platforms.

If you would like to learn more about how Tryane can optimize your internal communications, please contact us today.

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