Five simple tips for good internal communication


Content is king

Start with a social intranet implementation, then add useful content. If the content is useful - you will automatically improve your internal communication skills; just by facilitating relevant content at the terms of your colleagues. 

Continuously remind everyone that a social intranet is a community effort, so there will always be others out there who can help make the information more clear if needed. The bottom line is to help others solve a problem or better understand an issue. If your information does that, then you've succeeded.

Five simple tips for good internal communication 

  1. Be a role model; Who is a role model? Everyone. It is everyones obligation to maintain the spirit of the social intranet and nurture it. Everyone must remember that the social intranet is owned by the community first and foremost and each and one of us must resist controlling it. Always try to "guide and nurture" instead of "command and control."

  2. Be respectful of your co-workers; Be thoughtful and accurate in your updates, and be respectful of how other people in your organization may be affected. To be clear, you are not being asked to alert your manager of your updates, but from time to time just consider letting them know you have an update that might affect. Whether your manager chooses to occasionally read your updates or not, the courtesy head’s up is always appreciated.

  3. Provide context to your argument; Please be sure to provide enough support in your updates to help others understand your reasoning, be it positive or negative. We appreciate the value of multiple perspectives, so help us to understand yours by providing context to your opinion. Whether you are posting in praise or criticism you are encouraged to develop a thoughtful argument that extends well beyond “(insert) is cool” or “(insert) sucks”.

  4. Think about consequences; The worst thing that can happen is that a co-worker is in a meeting and someone pulls out a print-out and says "They say that this sucks." In general, "### sucks" is not only risky but unsubtle. Saying "System X needs to have an easier learning curve for the first-time user" is fine; saying "System X sucks" is just amateurish. Once again, it's all about judgment: using our social intranet to trash or embarrass the company or your co-workers, is not only dangerous but stupid.

  5. Engage in feedback; Everyone wants to know what you think. If you have an opinion, correction or criticism regarding an update reach out to the author directly. Whether privately or publicly, let the author know your thoughts.

These tips are not rules - just guidelines to help you to improve your internal communication, as an Internal communication professional or a co-worker. What do you do to foster internal communication at your company? We’d love to hear in the comments below. 

Photo credit: Damien du Toit