While the message that’s being disseminated within a company will always be most important, internal communication is not strictly about the message itself. Internal communication serves to connect employees at all levels of a company. Internal communication works not only to pass messages along, but also to build a company culture where all employees feel they are tuned in with their co-workers, managers and company leaders. A company with vital internal communication is one where there is trust, understanding and knowledge, regardless of who is doing the talking and who is doing the listening.
In the past, internal communication focused on senior leaders giving employees information; it was a one-way street where information was top down, and it wasn’t a conversation. It became clear, however, that the employees on the front lines have important, customer-facing information of their own to share with leaders. Internal communication evolved into a two-way dialog, providing a forum for employees to bring a perspective and knowledge that senior leaders could not access directly.
In the 21st century, internal communication is no longer simply a conversation. In modern companies, internal communication is a robust, digitally enabled system for information and best practices exchange among all employees, across all levels and business units where everyone feels empowered to share knowledge, suggestions and ideas in an environment that is conducive to growth and common values. It is the willingness to listen to all employees, regardless of position, that builds trust among all company constituents.