Internal Communications Governance: Implementing an Effective Policy

· Blog

It cannot be emphasized enough: effective internal communication is the backbone of any organization.

It used to be that internal communication within companies mainly consisted of one-way, top to bottom messages. Fortunately, mindsets have evolved, and companies now value exchanges across various levels. Exchange forums and discussions are now the norm!

Since 2020, with the distruption caused by the pandemic and the widespread adoption of work from home, internal communication has faced many challenges.

Given this new reality, do you know if your internal communications are genuinely compelling and your internal culture is sufficiently engaging to keep your team motivated?

Internal protocols are not merely about giving directives to the teams in place. It’s a shared role between managers and staff. Strategies in line with governance must be
developed to establish an effective internal communication policy.

Before implementing governance: Diagnosis

First, streamline your current approach by conducting a communications audit. Evaluate the state of internal communications within your company and identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.

A thinking woman with illustrations of question marks

Define desired objectives, expectations, procedures, and the channels to be used. Adjust your guidelines accordingly.

Establish roles and responsibilities in your workplace. Who is responsible for the conception, writing, approval, dissemination, decision-making, and management of
communication? Who will ensure the quality control of communications produced
by the company? Is it Human Resources, the communications department, or a
single person with a hybrid role?

Keep in mind that the objectives of internal communications strategies are to inform the team, maintain staff motivation ou engagement, build and retain a positive corporate culture, and standardize key messages throughout the company. And remember that any communications plan should be adaptable!

The impacts of remote work

Since the widespread adoption of remote work in 2020, followed by the hybrid mode that ensued, internal communication has become a top priority. Many professional
environments have undergone a redesign of their internal communications

“The pandemic hastransformed how leaders communicate with their employees. Remote work has reinforced the need for clear, transparent, and empathetic communication, accentuating the importance of active listening and flexibility in professional interactions,” says Miriam Lauzon, Senior Vice President and co-general manager of Capital-Image.

Even remotely, communications remain essential: employees must be reachable, work efficiency must be preserved, we must keep them engaged, and we must maintain a
healthy team spirit to ensure no one feels isolated.

A person with their mobile phone in their hand while wroking on their laptop computer showing the multiple channels of communicating with one another.

Technological tools enable the gathering and strengthening of teams despite physical distance. Nowadays, everyone has access to several tools for almost constant exchanges.

With this easy connection, hyperconnectivity has become almost inevitable. That’s why communication overloads may have occurred within companies, highlighting the importance of establishing good practices in internal communication.

If you’re interested in communications in the era of remote work, we invite you to look at our blog on communicating with colleagues in a hybrid work model, which includes valuable advice for achieving effective internal communications.

Collaborative tools

You may have used them before the pandemic. Still, since 2020, collaborative tools have become essential for internal communication. They greatly simplify exchanges.

Video conferences, instant messaging, and collaborative tools (such as Slack, Asana, and Trello) allow for rapid transmission or centralization of information and direct targeting of individuals involved in a project.

Determine how staff members should communicate, on which channels, for what purpose to avoid confusion and information overload. Ensure that the internal communication policy is consistently applied throughout the organization.

Simultaneously, personnel must be equipped, especially if they work from home and cannot access all office equipment. Moreover, not all technological solutions suit your needs or employees.

A person focused on working on their desktop computer

Adjusting to the tools

How can integration into these new ecosystems be facilitated? Organize training sessions, clearly convey information, and produce engaging documentation.

Regardless of the strategies and tools selected, you must anticipate trial periods and

Implement mechanisms to evaluate and adapt the platforms used. Feedback remains essential for understanding what works and what doesn’t.

Define performance indicators i.e. pulse check, participation rates, performance levels, etc.

Illlustration of a happy, a neutral and a sad smiley faces, with the hand of a person selecting the happy one

Don’t hesitate to review your internal governance to adapt it to the reality of the changing market and the needs of your employees.

Communication overload: Beware of excess

But communicating too much is hardly better. Your internal plan should balance sharing relevant information, team autonomy, employee productivity, and the channels used.

With the adoption of collaborative work tools, management and employees have started creating abundant internal content and messages. Communication has become more spontaneous, and sometimes excessive.

Guidelines help target specific audiences, prevent overuse, and better control content.

Preserving authenticity, consistency, and corporate culture

Any communication governance should target practices aimed at maintaining the authenticity of messages while adopting a human approach. These strategies help convey the company’s values in a more personalized manner.

As a driver to engage teams, internal communications goes hand in hand with corporate culture and a strong employer brand. Indeed, employees acts as ambassadors for the firm, both internally and externally.

That is where the potential of storytelling (also known as narrative communication) becomes important. This type of communication connects with audiences by creating an emotional link with the recipient.

It gives meaning to interactions and a voice to staff members. It helps solidify relationships among colleagues, build trust, generate interest, and foster mindset changes and well-being at work. It positively impacts creativity, innovation at work, idea sharing, and achieving common goals, all while contributing to corporate culture and internal message consistency.

And a more cohesive team will be more effective and productive!

All companies can benefit from effective internal communications regardless of size and sector. It’s truly the way forward to optimize your company’s activities.

Are you looking for help redefininginternal communication guidelines and best practices in governance or meeting your communication audit needs? We would be pleased to assist you!