The tools of internal communication – how to use them effectively

Published July 6, 2023
header internal communication tools

E-mail, employee app or rather the bulletin board in the office corridor? There are several tools for internal communication. Some are more old-fashioned than others, but they still serve the same purpose: inform employees and thereby bind and motivate them. In this blog article you will find out which tools and instruments are suitable for internal communication and what added value they offer.

Internal communication as a driver for dialogue and interaction

In times of remote work and home office, internal communication plays a particularly crucial role in employee satisfaction in an organisation. The complexity of communication in organisations is increasing, and with it the difficulty of reaching employees in a targeted manner and with the right messages. Providing employees with relevant information at all times not only increases transparency, but also the feeling of cohesion. However, these points represent significant challenges that need to be overcome in order to maintain or even increase employee satisfaction and motivation. The following figure shows what other challenges HR managers have to face.

internal communication tools challenges

How digitisation changes internal communication

What has developed particularly strongly in recent years is digitisation. Internal communication was also massively influenced and is increasingly becoming the central interface for exchange, collaboration and culture in a digital working world. At that time, classic or analog channels were considered “the solution” for internal communication. That looks different today. Due to digitisation, the focus is “digital” and even “mobile first”. This due to the fact that employees with less personal contact and no fixed PC workstation can be addressed, involved and motivated via digital channels.

In the last year or two we have really gone through a very big change (…) and there was a so-called turbo change. In fact, there was actually a transformation from a culture of presence to a culture of flexibility. All organisations and companies were required to be more flexible. And a big keyword in this context is the virtualisation of corporate communication and also internal communication.

Jana Brockhaus
Research assistant
Chair for strategic communication
at the University of Leipzig

Internal communication tools ensure networking

A corporate culture thrives on transparent and cross-departmental communication. This in turn has a positive effect on the sense of togetherness and thus, on the satisfaction of team members. Suitable instruments can support really good internal communication. But what exactly can these tools do? It can be said that it strengthens the motivation of the employees and contributes to loyalty to the company. Strategic topics and change topics are communicated frequently, which contributes to transparency. Internal communication tools therefore inform employees not only about the latest news, but also about general information (keyword: knowledge database or digital knowledge management ).

If information on your own intranet comes directly from top management, this is credible and leads to the entire workforce feeling involved. Of course, cultural processes can also be initiated in an organisation in this way. However, not just managers should communicate regularly and transparently: All employees should heed the sharing of successes, knowledge and insights into their own work, in order to promote exchange without hierarchical restrictions and across departments.

Portfolio: These are possible instruments of internal communication

There is no “one way” to provide employees with information, get feedback or build closeness and trust. Internal communication is multifaceted and should, above all, be geared towards the individual needs and wishes of the employees, as well as being based on the goals of internal communication. You can find out how internal communication can be improved in our guide. But what can instruments for internal communication look like?

Internal communication tools: analogue

  • Bulletin board
  • poster
  • letters
  • employee magazine / employee newspaper
  • floor radio

Internal communication tools: Digital

  • e-mail
  • intranet
  • employee app
  • Corporate Wiki
  • video conferencing

Anyone who communicates regularly internally will quickly recognise that our communication habits have changed permanently with the advent of digital channels such as smartphones and apps. So that everyone is included and certain groups in organisations are not left behind, digital and mobile communication, for example via your own smartphone, makes sense.

Accordingly, tools such as an employee app are helpful for reaching and interacting with employees via mobile devices such as their own smartphone. Such simple tools are essential for modern organisations today to enable direct communication.

The employee app, the internal communication tool with a future

What can the employee app do?

With the help of the d.velop employee app, everyone involved can easily and quickly – regardless of time and place – provide all the desired information on a central platform. The employee app offers all colleagues a positive employee experience, automates processes and makes everyday work easier through an intuitive interface that can be linked to software applications and platforms available in the company. Core processes, such as holiday requests, sick leave or digital payroll accounting, can also be integrated. In addition, a two way communication channel, promotes an open feedback culture for the whole workforce.

Is the whole thing GDPR-compliant and secure on your own smartphone?

The employee app can also be installed on the private smartphones of employees or external users. Data protection is still maintained since the app cannot access private data on the end device. Data protection plays a central role in the communication of personal data. The employee app complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and communication is end-to-end encrypted. In addition, the app does not create any “profiling” of the users, so that personal data such as telephone numbers or contacts are neither collected nor read from the smartphone.

Internal communication tools – that’s what we can expect in the next few years

A company may have different internal target groups, such as non-desk workers who work on a factory floor. On the other hand, employees who work from their home office. This can potentially lead to a kind of split in the company and tensions. This danger of a “two-class society” should be counteracted at an early stage with suitable measures.

In the coming years, HR managers will have to think even more carefully about how to bring employees together and respond to their needs. For example, the human resources and communications departments must work more closely together and use appropriate tools for internal communication, such as an employee app. In the near future, collaboration within organisations will rely even more on digital solutions.

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