What is internal communication?
We explain what internal communication is, how it is classified and its objectives. In addition, the tools it uses and external communication.
What is internal communication?
In different areas there is talk of internal communication to refer to the channels and mechanisms of information that exist within a given organization , and whose destination is the same staff working in it, in its various departments or organizational modalities. In that it is distinguished from external communication , which is one that goes from the organization to the external world.
The internal communication of a company or organization establishes informative links of diverse nature between its own parts , either from the management leadership to the workers or vice versa, or between colleagues in the same department.
As the name implies, it occurs within organizations and does not usually come to light , so it is usually guided by internal guidelines of the organization and within a certain prudent margin of confidentiality towards the world outside it.
Types of internal communication
Internal communication is classified according to the place in the hierarchy of the organization that the actors involved have. That is, depending on what levels of the organization communicate with each other. Thus, people usually talk about:
- Descending communication That which comes from the organizational domes, that is, from the high levels of the hierarchy, and is destined to the low levels. In other words, from bosses to subordinates, or from managers to workers . It is usually a type of unidirectional communication that complies with notifying, giving instructions, participating decisions.
- Horizontal communication. It is one that occurs between peers, as among colleagues of the same team, or between coordinations at the same height, or between heads of different departments. There is no hierarchical relationship in it, but it exists between equals, usually to share information, respond to requests, etc.
- Upward Communication Logically, it is the one that goes from the lower levels of the hierarchy to the high levels, that is, as feedback from the subordinates to the directors, managers, bosses, etc. It also serves to give ideas, suggestions, proposals to those who make strategic decisions in the organization, or to make formal requests.
Objectives of internal communication
Internal communication pursues the following objectives:
- Organize and improve the exchange of information between areas. Thus preventing departments or managers from operating as bubbles, isolated from the rest of the organization.
- Promote knowledge of management and workers. Promoting an informed work environment, in which workers know who directs them and how, and management can in turn connect with their team and know who they are and what their strengths, weaknesses and aspirations are.
- Generate a corporate identity. Internal communications should promote the idea of belonging among workers and promote teamwork , to have a warmer and more committed work environment.
- Promote internal participation. Establish spaces for the exchange of ideas, for social contact and for dialogue and debate, to share successes and challenges, to provide important information and to innovate in these fields.
Internal communication tools
There are many possible tools to establish healthy dynamics of internal communication in an organization. Some of them are the following:
- Internal newsletters As newsletters, monthly or weekly reports, where the worker is provided with news of interest, important information and exchange between peers is encouraged.
- Employee Handbook Luck of brochures where the worker is given all the basic information that he could need to communicate with other departments, as well as the necessary one for the corporate identity: the history of the organization, its business organization chart, its mission , vision and values , etc.
- Information boards. They can be developed by department or centralized in a coordination of information, but generally they must be in very visible places or with a lot of traffic, where information of different types can be offered and even call the internal public to participate.
- Circulars Documents of interest that circulate, as the name implies, between departments, workers, etc.
- Intranet Computerized networks to which only members of the organization have access, being able to share files, have videoconferences, send documents, etc.
- Email. An institutional email is a good way to promote membership among the members of the organization and allow a quick exchange of information with minimal expenditure of resources.
External communication is, unlike internal communication, that which occurs between the interior of a particular organization and those foreign agendas with which it is linked, as customers , competitors and suppliers.
It is usually governed by a corporate identity (manifested in aesthetic details such as logos, colors, etc., but also in strategic communicative guidelines) and therefore be much more controlled and regulated . This includes newsletters to the public, advertising , emails, marketing in social networks , etc.