5 Tips for Developing Effective Internal Communication Guidelines

As many business leaders have realized, effective internal communication is key to company success. Why? Research has proven that it plays a big part in building a strong culture, boosts employee morale and ultimately improves work efficiency. The Connected culture report found that 71% of surveyed employees said they were more productive due to feeling well-connected to their colleagues. Similarly, a McKinsey report revealed that collaborative teams see a productivity increase of 20–25%.

But how do you ensure that internal comms are effectively managed in your business? The best way to do this is through an effective communications strategy, which forms the benchmark for clear and concise information sharing. An ideal way of disseminating it is via a series of guidelines, which can be hosted on your company intranet. Here’s what these guidelines should include:  

  1. Guidance on language and tone

When setting guidelines around the language and tone of internal comms, it’s important to consider the three key ingredients - audience, purpose, and context. 

Audience: What are the demographics, roles, and levels of seniority of the employees who will be receiving your comms? Make sure that the language and tone is appropriate for them.

Purpose: Think about what the main goal of the communications is and how you want the audience to react or respond. This will help you determine the appropriate tone to use.

Context: Consider the context in which the communications will be delivered, including any recent events or changes that may affect the tone.

Once you’ve taken the above into account, you can create a style guide that outlines the preferred language, tone, and formatting for internal communications. This guide can be used as a reference for all internal communications and help ensure consistency in messaging.

Note that your intranet is the core platform used by most of your employees, and it's where you should ‘practice what you preach’ – i.e. showcase how you would use language and tone effectively.

Guidance on communication channels

With the vast range of digital tools available to modern businesses, it’s easy for communication chaos to ensue - and for important messages to be lost in an inbox flooded with emails. That’s why it’s important to establish which channels should be used for which type of messaging - and to clearly outline this in your internal communications guidelines. 

For example, you might decide that email will only be used for external communication, and that all internal comms will be conducted via instant messenger. You might also include a schedule for company updates or Town Halls which will be conducted via video conferencing. 

On your company intranet, you might choose to have dedicated pages for your different communication channels, with an explanation of when they should be used, along with guidance on appropriate language and tone. 

  1. Openness and honesty

There are several ways to encourage open and honest communication through internal communications guidelines. One of these is to create a safe space for employees to share their thoughts and ideas by fostering a culture of trust and respect. This might for example be an anonymous survey tool that is featured on your intranet. Make it clear that all ideas and opinions will be considered, and that there will be no negative consequences for sharing them.

Tying in with point 1, it’s important to use language that is inclusive, non-judgmental and that promotes transparency - and to lead by example, with the management team being transparent in their own communication. 

  1. Regular check-ins and meetings

Regular check-ins and meetings should be included in internal communications guidelines. These should both be company-wide – to communicate strategic decisions and general business updates, and one-on-one between managers and employees. The former are important in ensuring that everyone in the company feels well informed and has a space in which to ask questions about business matters. The latter enables employees to address their personal challenges, talk openly about development opportunities and share ideas about specific projects.

By including regular check-ins and meetings in internal communications guidelines, organizations can improve transparency, encourage open communication, enhance alignment, address problems early and improve productivity.

In order to commit to effective check-ins, it's worth having an open company-wide and team-wide calendar on your intranet, so that employees are clear on when they have dedicated time for updates, and one to one sessions. 

  1. Timely reviews

It's important to regularly review your internal communications guidelines to ensure that they continue to meet your business needs, which are likely to evolve over time. Changes in the external environment such as market conditions, technological advancements or government regulations may affect how you choose to communicate internally.

Changes may also come about from employee feedback. Once you’ve implemented an open feedback process on your company intranet, you’ll hopefully have lots of ideas from across the business on how to improve different functions in the company, including internal communications. Be sure to take these into account!

Ready to try an intranet that will revolutionize the way you communicate? 

Engagy enables you to manage your company content with ease, to trial different formats, and to analyze staff engagement levels. It also allows you to create tailored pages for each team with a distinct interface, which have a highly positive impact on culture. 

Take a look today, and start transforming the way you communicate!