7 Hallmarks of Great Internal Communication

internal communication employees

Great internal communication is about:

  1. Communication (without an “s”) where the emphasis is on an ongoing strategic process, not about communications where the focus is on individual tactics.
  2. Influencing, including and listening to achieve employee engagement, not commanding and controlling to obtain task compliance.
  3. Communicating the “what” and the “why” like a business partner, not just the “what.”
  4. Speaking to hearts and heads to encourage action, not just speaking to heads to inform.
  5. Integrating and coordinating messaging with feedback built into the process, not one-off and fragmented communications.
  6. Having established “rules and tools” that serve as a foundation for flawless communication, not undocumented processes and off-the-cuff rules.
  7. Getting through to internal audiences to achieve meaningful outcomes, not just focusing on measurable outputs.

What other characteristics do you think belong on this list of hallmarks of great internal communication?


Ric Neeley

about 8 years ago

Paul, I agree with all of your hallmarks. With employee disengagement levels hovering around 70% in the US, internal communications should be core engagement strategy. But I see few organizations making internal communications a key strategy. I sense it has to do with quantifiable outcomes. Do you have some examples of companies doing an excellent job on your hallmark 7?

Ric Neeley

about 8 years ago

Reblogged this on Engaging B2B Content and commented: Creating an effective B2B story is more than just targeting customers and segments. It means developing a story to engage your employees. After all, they are the front line with your customers. Paul Barton, an internal communication expert who has worked with companies like Hawaiian Airlines, Pet Smart and America West share (7) hallmarks for creating an effective internal communication strategy.

rob drasin

about 8 years ago

Internal communications has changed. Why? Because employees are consumers first and there has been a major transition from unilateral communications to multi-modal, interactive communications. Most companies have not identified this shift and continue to use strategies and tactics that don't resonate with today's workforce. That's why 50% of all internal communications aren't read. Pardon the self-promotion here but as an internal communications agency tasked with providing effective internal communications, we've identified a new approach called ShortBurst that is more effective in reaching employees because it mirrors their media consumption habits. http://bit.ly/1lv9I9O


about 8 years ago

These hallmarks are very important because the organization sees the employee as humans with dynamics not as a robot that's fixed and unchangeable.

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