How to develop an effective Internal Communication plan in 5 steps

Internal Communication in an organisation acts like the nervous system in the human body: it transmits crucial information, coordinates activities and ensures that all parts of the organisation work in harmony towards common goals. Without effective Internal Communication, even the most promising companies can face significant difficulties on their way to their goals. Understanding the steps involved in planning this activity not only improves the flow of information between company members, but also strengthens team cohesion and fosters a positive organisational culture.

In an increasingly dynamic and complex business environment, the importance of a well-structured Internal Communication plan should not be underestimated. Employees need to feel informed, valued and aligned with the company’s objectives. In this article you will find a simple step-by-step guide structured around five main stages.

Stage 1: Diagnosis and Analysis

The first step in developing an Internal Communication plan is to carry out an exhaustive diagnosis of the situation. This involves assessing the current state of communication within the company and understanding the needs and expectations of employees.

  • Assessment of current status

Start by assessing the current state of Internal Communication. Are there formal and informal channels of communication? How do staff feel about the information they receive? To find out, use surveys, interviews and focus groups to get a clear picture of the current situation. For example, an anonymous survey may reveal that employees feel that important information is not passed on in a timely manner.

  • Identifying needs and expectations

Identify the needs and expectations of employees with regard to communication. This may include the regularity of updates, the types of information they wish to receive and the priority channels of communication. For example, employees may prefer to receive weekly email updates and participate in monthly meetings to discuss important developments.

Stage 2: Defining Objectives and Strategies

Once the diagnosis has been completed, you should define the Internal Communication objectives and the strategies to achieve them. These objectives must be aligned with the organisation’s vision and mission, as well as respond to the needs identified in the previous step.

  • Setting clear objectives

Define clear and measurable objectives for your Internal Communication plan. They may include improving transparency, increasing employee engagement or fostering a culture of constant feedback. For example, an objective could be to ‘increase the percentage of employees who feel informed about the company’s strategic decisions from 60% to 80% in six months’. In this case, we are setting a KPI and a time period in which it should be reasonable to expect a certain evolution of its evolution towards a measurement target (reaching 80%).

  • Developing communication strategy and tactics

Develop a strategy that will help you to achieve the defined objectives, together with tactical and specific actions that, throughout their implementation, will allow you to get closer to the goals you have set. This should take into account the channels of communication, the frequency of communications, as well as the tone and style of messages. For example, if the goal is to improve transparency, one tactical action could be to implement monthly newsletters through digital channels that include updates on key projects and company news.

Stage 3: Implementing the Plan

This is the stage where the defined tactics are put into practice. This phase requires careful organisation and coordinated execution to ensure that all elements work together effectively.

  • Creating an action plan

Develop a detailed and time-bound action plan indicating when the different initiatives will be activated. This calendar should include dates for meetings, content, reports and any other planned courses of action.

  • Assigning responsibilities

Allocate specific responsibilities to members of the Internal Communication team to ensure that all activities are carried out as planned. Appoint those responsible for drafting content, organising meetings and updating communication channels. In many organisations, it will be the Human Resources department that takes responsibility for employee welfare issues, while the Marketing team can liaise with the other departments to share information and actions on product and service developments.

Step 4: Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation, both quantitative and qualitative, are essential to ensure that the Internal Communication plan is working as intended and to identify areas for improvement.

  • Performance tracking

Continuously monitor the performance of the Internal Communication plan. Use specific, measurable and timely metrics such as email open rates, meeting attendance and employee satisfaction surveys to evaluate the effectiveness of implemented tactics.

  • Assessment and adjustment of the plan

Evaluate the results obtained and adjust the plan as necessary. The feedback you get from employees will be crucial at this stage. Conduct regular surveys to gather their opinions and suggestions.

Stage 5: Fostering Engagement and Corporate Culture

Internal Communication is not only focused on conveying information; it is also a powerful tool for fostering engagement and building a strong corporate culture.

  • Promoting participation

Encourage the active participation of employees in Internal Communication activities. Create spaces where they can share their ideas and opinions, such as online communities.

  • Acknowledging and celebrating achievements

Acknowledge and celebrate employees’ achievements to strengthen their commitment to the company. Use Internal Communication channels to highlight individual as well as global successes. For example, a monthly newsletter could include an ‘Employee Spotlight’ section recognising their most recent successes.

  • Building a feedback culture

Foster a culture of continuous feedback where employees feel comfortable sharing their opinions and receiving constructive feedback. Implement anonymous mechanisms and open sessions for this, seeking discussion on areas for improvement and encouraging best practice.

Developing an effective Internal Communication plan is an ongoing process that requires constant evaluation and adjustments based on employee participation. By following these steps, you can create an environment where information flows efficiently, employees feel valued and engaged, and the corporate culture is strengthened. Not only will this ultimately improve internal morale and employee engagement, but it will also boost the overall success of the organisation.

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