For many companies, internal communication is an afterthought. Research shows 85% of employees are unengaged. And yet, internal comms is rarely front of mind. Why? Because it can seem the resources necessary to improve them aren’t there. But that’s never the case.
In fact, implementing the most effective internal communications best practices doesn’t have to cost money – or time. When you invest in an internal communications app, you empower your teams. To communicate better, to collaborate quicker, and to boost engagement.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of companies with excellent internal communications. We hope these inspire you when creating your own internal comms strategy. Before we dive into that list of internal communications examples, let’s examine why some businesses are investing so heavily in comms…
It’s a fact: organizational communication matters
Launching a new organizational communication initiative can be overwhelming. But you can’t ignore the ROI of enhancing internal comms. The Holmes Report found companies with strong strategies gave shareholders 47% higher returns. Plus, research from Smarp found highly engaged companies engagement are 22% more profitable. One study found that productivity rose by 25% when employees used online tools to collaborate.
The impact of employee engagement may be tough to measure, but the real financial toll of churn isn’t. Recruiting, hiring, and training one new employee can cost as much or even more than paying an existing employee’s salary for a year.
On top of that, you may need to pay your other employees overtime to pick up the slack during the transition, and productivity can slow dramatically. In a nutshell: taking organizational communication seriously makes economic sense.
Now that you know why comms is worth investing in, let’s take a look at 11 examples of companies with excellent internal communications. Then, all you need to do is create a strategy of your own.
Stagecoach knows that employee engagement and good internal communication go hand-in-hand. That’s why they implemented an employee app to reach their biggest asset: their customer-facing workforce. To contact their 30,000 employees (including 21,000 bus drivers), they adopted a mobile employee app: Blink. It received phenomenal feedback team-wide. Not only did over 84% use the app within week 1, but Stagecoach saw a 32% increase in employee satisfaction too.
The takeaway: Look for internal communication solutions that reach employees where they are. A mobile employee app like Blink empowers all your employees to stay connected and engaged. This is especially relevant in healthcare or transportation, where critical schedules, timetables, and critical documents should be accessible from anywhere.
TED is famous for its signature talks. But when it comes to internal communications, they are much less verbose. Research shows the average person can pay attention to a speaker for 10 to 18 minutes. So, at TED, all meetings take 18 minutes – or less. Having shorter (or fewer) meetings gives employees more time to focus on the tasks they’re paid to tackle.
The takeaway: Long meetings are counterproductive. So, consider setting a hard time limit for most meetings at your company. And before you schedule your next meeting, think about whether booking a conference room is necessary.
Amazon employees dole out internal communication in targetted, snack-sized bites. No memos or long-winded email chains here! That’s because the comms team knows most people will stop reading any message after over 100 words. The end result? Employees get the information they need and no more. This means they’re more likely to read, understand, and reply to the information that comes their way.
The takeaway: Digital communication happens in real-time. So, it doesn’t have to be as wordy as old-school memos. Make your internal comms more like social media making information snackable. Kick it up a notch and use modern intranet features like the Blink Feed.
Innovation can only happen when employees have some breathing room. That’s why 3M instituted a policy allowing workers to spend 15% of their day pursuing fresh ideas in collaboration with colleagues. Internal comms play a massive role in the policy. Why? Because wasted time means less collaboration. And effective communication is one of the keys of idea generation.
The takeaway: When people efficiently, they have more time to innovate. Make sure that your employees aren’t facing any roadblocks when it comes to comms.
Virgin Trains wanted to improve communication between leaders and employees. So, they implemented a connected, trackable platform that everyone could access from anywhere. On their personal phone, employees had access to several different apps filled with curated content. This made it easier for their entire workforce to connect, regardless of age or position.
The takeaway: You don’t have to stop using the applications and programs you love. Blink integrates with the platforms you’re familiar with, so deskless employees can enjoy a delightful communications experience no matter what.
And if you’re not satisfied with the software you’re currently using? Blink lets users build their own micro apps. These little systems do pretty much anything you want them to. Improve payment card systems, streamline project reporting, automate timesheet management, report unplanned absences, or update a product database.
“Employees are the true ambassadors of our brand, the real merchants of romance and theatre, and as such the primary catalysts for delighting customers.”Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz
Over and over again, Starbucks has invested in the idea of employees as brand ambassadors. The company’s internal communication tools ensure everyone’s on the same page about the brand’s key offerings and core values.
The takeaway: Supporting workers at all levels pays off. Employees who understand what’s expected of them deliver more value, every time.
At large companies, organizational communication can become bloated and impossible to manage. At Netflix, internal communications best practices are all about keeping comms simple. When it comes to communication between board members and management, most discussions happen in brief online memos. That means quick-fire questions can be asked, answered, and stored for later.
The takeaway: Do whatever you can to make organizational communication easier. It’s the little changes that can make all the difference.
Royal London was looking for a better way to get and then act on feedback from customers, employees, and managers. They completely updated the way they solicited feedback via surveys and in the process, gave every individual associated with the business a voice. Engagement increased across teams, and the company reaped the rewards.
The Takeaway: Giving your workforce a voice can pay off big time. The problem with most workplace surveys is that they aren’t anonymous. Employees who feel disengaged may not express that for fear of being seen as less productive or disloyal. With Blink, however, you can easily create anonymous polls and surveys that make finding and then creating solutions to employee pain points easier.
One of Zappos’ published core values is “Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication”. It sounds simple enough, but Zappos has actually taken the notion of openness and honesty to the next level in its organizational communication. At the company, communication is a two-way street and transparency is a big part of what makes internal (and external) comms at Zappos so effective.
The takeaway: Reveal more than you conceal and make yourself available.
USAA made the strategic decision to update its organizational communication when it became clear that most of the company’s 30,000 employees only had eight minutes a day or less to consume important company updates and news. They redesigned their internal comms platform and updated its content development processes, which lead to an increase in engagement with key content.
The Takeaway: Use an intranet that lets you reach employees without wasting their time. A mobile employee app like Blink puts important information front and center and empowers workers to consume that info without interrupting workflows.
The Hershey company had staff working all around the globe and wanted a way to make employees everywhere feel more connected. They decided the best way to make collaboration between teams in different countries easier and more efficient was to have all workers use a single intranet hub.
The takeaway: When you take steps to help employees work together, whether in-office or in the field, they’ll be more likely to come up with innovative ideas and to accomplish more together. With an employee app, employees can create personalized feeds that empower collaboration—both within teams, but also across departments.
What companies with great internal communications have in common
All of the internal communications examples above have one thing in common, which is that the companies identified a specific organizational comms challenge and looked for a tool or a strategy to solve it. The first step in overhauling your internal comms should always be to analyze what is working at your company and what isn’t. You can spend top dollar building a custom branded intranet, but if it’s not meeting your company’s unique needs, it’s not going to boost your bottom line.
It’s only when you know what comms issues are getting in the way of effective collaboration and stalling productivity that you can identify the tools and strategies that will ultimately become the backbone of a stronger, more effective internal communications plan.