CPA Growth Trends

Beginner’s Guide: Internal Communication Platforms and Best Practices

Beginner’s Guide: Internal Communication Platforms and Best Practices
Taylor Bartosiewicz, Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants

The diversity of today’s workplaces means that people of all backgrounds, upbringings and ages are collaborating. It also means that workplaces have a myriad of communication styles and preferences. With so many internal communication tools available and audiences to consider, it can be difficult to determine not only which platform to use but what to communicate on it. Below is a breakdown of a few common internal communication mediums and some best practices to consider when creating your internal communication strategy.

Newsletters are typically the main component of an internal communication strategy. They often come as emails, sent to all employees or specific groups, containing a balance of critical news and items of interest, such as employee spotlights and fun photos. Newsletters can be traditional PDFs hosted on a company intranet or digital pieces sent through platforms like Constant Contact.

Instant Messaging
Instant messaging tools like Teams and Slack have become increasingly popular since the pandemic. They allow you to send text messages, photos, videos, weblinks, and more with a few simple clicks. They can also be set up for group discussions. For example, you may have one ‘room’ dedicated to Marketing and another for Sales. The biggest benefit? Instant messaging allows everyone to share relevant information without clogging up inboxes with emails.

An intranet is a private network that’s connected via the web. It’s designed as a centralized place for employees to share documents and stay connected with what’s happening in the company. The “homepage” section of an intranet can help increase the visibility of company-wide information and important notices. Microsoft SharePoint is one of the most popular platforms, but other options include Workplace and Igloo.

Digital Signage
Digital signage involves placing screens in strategic positions and is one of the few passive forms of internal communication. If you feel that employees are not absorbing company information, then digital screens could help. Implementing a passive method of sharing information increases the flow of company updates without adding another channel the employee has to check actively.

What to consider when choosing a platform
An effective internal communication strategy encourages meaningful collaboration, empowers productivity, and creates a more connected company culture. When considering which mix of platforms to use, ask:

  • Does what you’re sending add value for the recipient, the organization, or ideally, both? If not, then why are you sending it?
  • Is the information more relevant to a targeted subset of employees? If so, only send it to those people.
  • Is there a better way to make the information available to those who want it without adding to inbox clutter for those who don’t?

Engagement is about being timely, targeted and relevant, which means sending the right information to the right employee at the right time. Here are some best practices to consider:

  • Create segmented groups to ensure the appropriate audiences receive internal messages.
  • Allow employees to consume your information in a way that suits them. This might mean you post the same message on Teams and the television in the breakroom. By offering employees a choice, you empower them. It shows you respect their time and preferences.
  • Add social elements like comments, reaction buttons, or polls. By giving employees a voice, you can boost buy-in and garner valuable feedback along the way.

Dealing with information overload is the biggest internal communications challenge. When developing your internal communications strategy, choosing the right platforms, audiences and content is key to boosting engagement. Check out our Seasoned Marketer for more tips.