Change management in any business is a difficult challenge.

Change brings uncertainty and doubt that can lead to fear of change. But it also brings new experiences and opportunities for growth which, once the initial shock dissipates, should be seen as a positive experience. 

The journey through a period of change in a business needs to be closely managed. Whether this change is through rapid growth and/or acquisitions during good times or through downsizing and/or redundancies during bad times. Constant, effective internal communication is needed to keep employees informed, engaged and working towards collective goals. 

Your business should be aiming to build an effective internal communication strategy that inspires employees, informs them and increases their sense of commitment.

ITPR provides Strategic Internal Communications support that:

  • Identifies who is responsible for Internal Communications in your organisation.
  • Guides you through how you create a strategic Internal Communications campaign.
  • Supports your ability to deliver an effective Internal Communications campaign.
  • Makes sure you measure the impact of an Internal Communications campaign so that you can prove value.

An ITPR Internal Communications Strategy

Using a proven methodology based on quantitative and qualitative research, we research the employee views of your organisation to understand and identify their pain points and short, medium and long term needs. 

Using this data, we then provide a framework for an Internal Communications campaign that your business can deliver in full; deliver in partnership with ITPR; or outsource entirely to ITPR. 

  • We help organisations to keep their important assets, their employees, engaged in the business.
  • We help organisations to ensure that all employees, from top to bottom, are equipped to adjust to change within the business. 
  • We help managers to understand the needs and concerns of their team, and provide guidance on how best to lead them.
  • We help the senior leadership team to understand and communicate effectively with their employees in a way that resonates with them. 


1. Why you should care

Strategic Internal Communication ensures that organisations are selecting the right method, channel, and timing for the messages they are communicating. If employees are to feel engaged and inspired to give their very best, they have to see that their views are heard and respected.

Download our Internal Communication Audit eBook

2. Know your Audience

In any successful strategic communications plan, you have to invest in getting to know your audience. Whether this is your own desk-based research, external research you manage internally, or outsourcing the entire project - getting to know your audience allows you to tailor your messages accordingly. 

Download our Stakeholder Mapping Tool

3. Review your strategy

You might have an Internal Communications strategy in place already - but do you know if it is good or bad? Reviewing what you’ve got in place already is the perfect way to identify how it can be improved right from the boardroom, through the front line. 

Download our Internal Communications Audit Toolkit


1. What is Internal Communication?

Effective Internal Communication inspires employees to feel valued and connected with their organisation, its mission, vision and values, as well as to their colleagues. 

If delivered effectively, a well constructed Internal Communication strategy can positively impact upon the bottom line. So understanding the difference between what Internal Communication is and what it isn’t, is important.

Internal Communication includes everything that is said and shared inside an organisation, at any time. Bringing together elements of corporate communication, marketing and PR, human resources management and corporate governance (to name but a few). Internal Communication is intertwined within every part of an organisation and must be driven from the very top.

As a management function, Internal Communication is a relatively new discipline and has only been studied at an academic level for the past 30 years. But at its most basic level, it is the collection of all possible interactions and exchange of messages which occurs between an organisation and its employees. These interactions can happen in a multitude of different places and ways, both on and offline and can during or outside of standard operating hours. 

The main goal for effective Internal Communication should be to create a shared understanding between a business and its employees. Employees, at every level, should understand the businesses mission, its vision, the role they play in upholding the business values and how their work contributes to the overall business objectives.

At ITPR, we see Internal Communications as crucial a management function to successful businesses, which gets employees at all levels talking, listening, gets everyone to see the bigger picture and how they fit into it.

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The Ultimate Guide to Internal Communications Audits

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2. Why is Internal Communication important?


Effective Internal Communication is important because, frankly, it impacts upon the bottom line!

It sounds obvious, but organisations - regardless of their size, sector, complexity and locality - need to communicate effectively, efficiently and regularly with their employees, to ensure they’re engaged with what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. 

In reality, however this isn’t always the case and if an organisation fails to do this it will, without exception, be to its detriment. Internal Communication takes careful thought, planning, understanding and execution. It should be a consideration for every strategic action an organisation takes and should have a seat, or at least a voice, in the boardroom.

On the surface, Internal Communication sounds simple. You communicate the right message, at the right time, the right way, so employees know what is expected of them and what is happening within the organisation. 

But in order for Internal Communication to be demonstrably effective, it must ensure that employees are fully-engaged. In order to do this, employees have to see that the organisation values their views and opinions and individual contributions to the overall business objectives. This becomes increasingly important as organisations grow and become more complex, which can happen in many different ways. 

For example, an organisation may expand (either organically or by acquisition) over time, or overnight, it may increase its portfolio with new products and/or services. It may launch new systems, processes, or ways of working, such as agile or hybrid. Internal Communication plays a central role in ensuring employees know what has happened, why it has happened and if anything will change as a result. 

Internal Communication is more than simply shooting a message across the bows of employees by sending a company wide email, pinning a note on a notice board (print or digital), or telling employees what they need to do and expecting them to immediately understand what they are expected to do with the information.

Effective Internal Communication is about relationships, storytelling and motivation.  

The most powerful Internal Communication strategies aim to create shared understanding amongst employees, at all levels, so they feel included and part of the bigger picture. The C-level executives may know what the bigger picture is, but do all employees know?

3. Why should my business do Internal Communication?


When done right, Internal Communication provides clarity and engagement, so that employees know what’s expected of them and why, whilst giving them knowledge and understanding of their role within an organisation, as well as a voice, through clear and user friendly channels. Channels which employees interact and engage with.

Think about it, how do you tell your employees about something important, how do you gain their feedback and what do you do with the feedback to show the business has listened? 

There are many different ways to deliver this method of communication, but do you know what channels work for your business and which ones don't? 

Often thought of as ‘top-down messaging’ or ‘waterfall’ communication, written in ‘corporate speak’ by the senior leadership team for the consumption of employees, which in most cases proves to further alienate employees, Internal Communication is much, much more than this. 

Like all solid communication, Internal Communication is symmetrical i.e. it allows for feedback and debate. It takes thought, care and passion. This way an organisation can hone its messaging to deliver what its employees need and equally as important, want to hear, delivered in ways in which they can easily engage. 

For example, if you have staff who are not that tech-savvy or have little access to devices, then it is pointless pushing out communications to a selectively deaf workforce that simply don’t have the equipment to engage. Internal Communications needs to capture, imagine, inspire and grab the attention of employees, at the right time, via the right channel. It's about promoting two-way communication around what’s happening in an organisation and making it relevant to its employees. 

The delivery methods are, of course, down to each organisation to work out what works and what doesn’t, but the principles are universal. By gathering information from across the organisation, Internal Communication is able to provide employees, at all levels, with a holistic view of the things that matter. The key message here is that Internal Communication gives different employees a voice.

Internal Communication allows for employees to debate, discuss and feedback in a safe environment, which may not be as formal as an appraisal or as part of a quick fire C-suite Q&A. If not managed properly, this can lead to more conversations happening in corridors or on instant messaging apps - further increasing the engagement divide by generating more questions than answers.

Creating a two-way conversation should be at the forefront of an organisation’s mind when creating an Internal Communication strategy. 

4. ITPR Internal Communication support?


Business leaders are looking for new ways to ensure employees spread over multiple locations and working different shift patterns remain informed, engaged, productive and understand the business objectives.

Using a people based approach to research, we help you to identify employee pain and pleasure points and discover what’s causing any discontent, and which elements of the business and culture employees really value. We help you to understand the current situation of your existing internal communication; where any pain points lie; whether employees understand the mission, vision and values of the business; re they aware of the business strategy and are they connected, committed and engaged with the business. Our research will help you establish how employees like to be communicated with and how often - which will feed into your strategic internal communications planning. 

Having identified the situation and what’s needed, we will develop a bespoke internal communications strategy that helps your meet your objectives and business goals. We can then either provide you with support to execute that internal communication strategy, or take total responsibility using the skills and experience we have to ensure crystal clear communication and improve employee engagement. 

Our experts can support you to provide:

  • Management Training
  • Employee Focus Groups
  • Regular Snap Shot employees surveys
  • Define the Mission, Vision and Values of your business
  • A review of an Internal Communications tactics already in action
  • A review of your Internal Communications Strategy
  • Employee award programmes 


Download our research report
An investigation into the state of Internal Communication in UK Medium-Sized Businesses


5. What do we identify as a ‘significant period of change’?

As Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously said “Change is the only constant in life” and this holds true some 2,500+ years later.

Change comes in many shapes and forms part of everyday life, both personal and professional,

Organisational change is constant and is impacted by a number of different forces including, but not limited to, customers, internal and external markets, technology and staff. Yet research shows that most change initiatives fail to get their intended outcomes, and may limit an organisation’s potential and its employees. 

The effects of not managing change effectively can be devastating and long lasting, so it’s important that the senior leaders fully understand the issues and equip themselves with techniques and tactics to support change management initiatives, of which Internal Communications has a key role to play.

We define a significant period of change as anything that has the potential to, or indeed does, disrupt normal operations. 

Change could be due to new ways of working being implemented, rapid growth new software systems for employees to use, senior management changes or new products/ services being brought to market. All of these instances require careful communication, planning and engagement.

Keeping the lines of communication open and involving employees in the change process makes it more likely employees will adopt the change in a positive manner. Even if there is a reluctance to change from some employees, provide them the opportunity to share ideas, concerns, comments and suggestions for improvements. 

6. Where should Internal Communication sit within my business?


The simple answer is that this very much depends upon how an organisation views the function and the value placed on it by the C-Level executives.

The more controversial answer is that as Internal Communication is responsible for the creation and delivery of key messages, and campaigns on behalf of the C-Suite, as well facilitating two-way dialogue and developing the communication skills of the employees - so it needs to have a seat, or at least a consistent voice, in the boardroom.

Whichever department, or team houses Internal Communication, there must be a crystal clear understanding of what the organisations defines it as, as well as what it is required to do, what the expectations are and how it is going to be both managed and measured.

7. Who should deliver Internal Communications within my business?


Unlike other forms of corporate communication, Internal Communication will happen, no matter where the central team is based or even if there is a team at all. People will talk to each other, exchange ideas and make assumptions.

The priority should be how to make Internal Communication count and the only effective way to do this is through the creation of an Internal Communication strategy - or at the very least an action plan. Both need to have input and support from the top executives and dedicated resources to deliver and measure the impact.

The challenge is that Internal Communication can sit in several places within an organisation, but here are four common areas where the responsibility usually falls: 

  1. The Corporate Communications team - This team believes that Internal Communication fits perfectly with them and they well make the strongest case as they should be kept informed of all strategic decisions the business takes.

  2. The PR team - This team is a close second to the Corporate Communications team because they can align any internal messages to the external PR campaigns and see it as another channel to share key messages.

  3. The Marketing Team - These teams are obsessed with ensuring that all employees are delivering the right messages when they talk to prospects, customers, partners etc. and often see Internal Communication as an extension of the marketing function.

  4. The HR team - HR teams connect Internal Communication to HR’s function because they are involved in employee management, disputes, advice and engagement. 

Each team can (and do) make compelling claims to the Internal Communication crown, however, in reality, Internal Communication will occur no matter where the responsibility lies. The key is to make sure it is has a strategy, the messaging is clear and consistent across every level and that the goals/objectives are set at the outset so that the impact can be accurately tracked and measured. 

8. What should my Internal Communication strategy include?

It is so important that organisations have an effective and engaging communications strategy, and most do. However, so often they don't have measurement analysis in place that can track progress and impact over time. 

Second to not having measurement processes in place is not having channels that allow employees to provide regular feedback. The common mistake is that there are multiple channels for how the business can communicate to employees, but only a few options that allow employees to communicate with the business, 

Has your business taken into account how employees want to be communicated with, the frequency that they prefer and how they would like to provide feedback on what they receive? Crucially, how is that feedback then acted upon by the business? 

Chances are that an organisation will have some Internal Communications processes in place, but knowing what’s working and what isn’t is the first part of building an effective strategy. An Internal Communication audit is a great way to start this, especially when managing hybrid and remote workforces. 

Creating an Internal Communication strategy and getting it signed off by the Executive team will ensure the business processes are agreed for what needs to be communicated, with whom, when and how. Receiving consistent and accessible information is proven to make employees feel supported and connected with the business, especially when workers are physically distanced from decision-makers. 

The overarching goal of an Internal Communication strategy is to ensure that every employee, regardless of their position, has a clear view of the organisation's mission, vision, values and strategic objectives.

This allows employees to understand their role in achieving the strategic objectives; align themselves with the core values; deliver the mission and support the business to realise its vision. 

Here are seven themes that your Internal Communication strategy should address: 

  1. Inclusivity - Effective Internal Communication means you must interact with and gain feedback from everyone, at every level, in every role, regardless whether they are office based, hybrid workers, remote workers or part time. 
  2. Consistency - Ensuring the content created is done so in line with brand guidelines, but importantly, is authentic to the person(s) delivering it and addresses the employees’ needs.
  3. Relationships - Internal Communication should create and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with key stakeholders from across the business.
  4. Advisory - The Internal Communication strategy should offer ways to collect hard evidence to provide to the C-suite and Senior Team, to eliminate any guess work. When it comes to delivering a robust Internal Communication program of work, like with the majority of business functions, nothing is more valuable than providing reliable data as a base for decision making.
  5. Change - Internal Communication plays a crucial role in communicating change, split into four key ways
    • Preparing the organisation for the change to come.
    • Managing the change and associated engagement.
    • Working to engage with employees before, during and after a change.
    • Lessons learned and finding ways to improve for the next time.
  6. Measurement - Providing clear parameters of success i.e. realistic, appropriate KPIs to measure the impact of every single tactic employed, which ensures you are able to understand what works and what doesn’t. 
  7. Share success - Don’t forget to consider how the success of the Internal Communications strategy will be communicated both to the Executive team, but also throughout the entire organisation. 

Through the creation of a robust Internal Communication strategy, you can ensure that your employees stay engaged and connected, as well as loyal and productive, no matter where they work from.

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Internal Communications Market Research Report

Download the report in full and find out:

  • How your business stacks up against the rest.
  • How Internal Communications can quickly become confused
  • The importance of employee feedback 
  • The challenges that limit investment into an Internal Communication strategy

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9. How do I manage Internal Communication for a hybrid and/ or remote workforce?

The accelerated move to a hybrid and remote working has strapped a rocket on to the importance of Internal Communication as it shot up the Corporate agenda of priorities. Internal Communications has historically struggled to convince the C-Level executives that its role is as crucial to commercial success as any other business function.

When a workforce is scattered across multiple locations or organisational levels, communication is a vital tool in preventing misunderstandings and keeping everyone up to speed with what’s going on.

Of course, hybrid and remote working can mean different things to different people. At ITPR, we define a ‘hybrid’ workforce as a traditionally office-based workforce, who have either transitioned to a combination of a dedicated office/ place of work and/ or alternative location(s). Additionally if they are field-based and have regular interaction with an office / place of work, such as a sales team. 

Hybrid workers have access to a full suite of digital tools and will switch between on-site and remote work, on different days of the week. 

This is different to a remote workforce, which we define as a workforce which has access to a full suite of digital tools, but are not required to be physically present in offices. Instead they can choose to work from home, co-working spaces, or any place of their choice. 

Just as there are various adaptations of hybrid and remote working, the Internal Communication needs vary from organisation to organisation - however there are some common themes that can be applied across the board.

For example, having employees spread across various locations, who may not have regular contact with colleagues or who need extra encouragement and support to engage with Internal Communication activity puts increasing pressure on C-Level executives and the management team to ensure they are providing satisfactory and productive work experience for their employees.

To foster improved Internal Communication within remote employees, organisations can begin by having a planned 'check-in' engagement plan whether that is digital or physical.

There is also digital communication tools that engage the entire workforce with a corporate message such as virtually-led briefings, updates, engagement sessions and other such events. These will help increase camaraderie as well as generating inclusivity amongst teams, making the location of work much less significant and the message much more powerful. 

Investing in collaboration tools is another option to engage with employees that are either used to being in an office setting and interacting with their co-workers throughout the day, or who have very little physical interaction with their colleagues, who may be spread across different parts of a country or indeed the world. 


10. What are the Internal Communication challenges with a hybrid and remote workforce?


If you’re at home, in a café, a hired work space, or anywhere else that's not an office - there is simply not the physical interaction of pre-pandemic times. This can lead to technology-overload, with emails and instant messages flying around the company, which may result in the important messages simply not being received. 

Another danger of hybrid and remote working is that employees can start to feel isolated from the organisation, disconnected and not part of the culture, which becomes an issue with delivering the Internal Communications strategy as employees will not have a clear view of what role they play in helping to achieve the strategic objectives, to deliver the mission of the business and work towards helping it realise the vision. 

Here are some key Internal Communication challenges for a hybrid and remote workforce:

  • Technology - Having access to appropriate technology is essential and as part of the Internal Communications audit any strengths or weaknesses can be identified. If the technology isn’t fit for purpose this can make it harder to communicate with employees, putting pressure on IT teams and ultimately leaving an individual employee feeling isolated and disconnected from the organisation, its leadership and its mission, vision and values.
  • Communicating and supporting policies and procedures - What is appropriate for each business will depend on their specific context, however having the correct policy and procedures to ensure a smooth employee experience is essential. As the need for hybrid and remote working was driven by the pandemic, some organisations have tweaked existing policies and procedures, some may have created new ones. HR also has a central role in supporting employee wellbeing and workforce deployment. 
  • Keeping staff engaged and motivated - Not having regular contact with employees can make it harder to resolve any issues than if there was fact to face contact. This is where having the right technologies in place, with the right training and support is an essential part of the Internal Communication strategy. 

Listening to employees and gaining their feedback plays a key role in how organisations can ensure engagement and keep their employees motivated - whether this is digital staff events, digital-buddy programmes and instant feedback opportunities. If organisations listen to their employees’ voice and take relevant action and integrate their feedback into decisions, then this will increased motivation and retain employees over longer periods of time. 

  • Ensuring staff are happy - This is something organisations should get a handle on immediately and finding a measurement tool/ technique that suits their business operations. There are many ways of measuring employees satisfaction which should feature as part of Internal Communications key performance indicators, such as annual staff surveys or ‘pulse’ surveys to quickly capture employee mood. 

Other metrics to measure employee happiness include attendance, sickness and absence rates, how many complaints made by customers, communication slows or stops or becomes abrupt, and there may be a lack of engagement in company various initiatives.

  • Micromanagement by overcommunication - If managers are not confident and sure of the channels of communication, then there is the potential to constantly 'check in' with their employees, asking for updates, sharing information that may interrupt the employee’s work flow. This is where a strong Internal Communication strategy can help by setting guidance on which channels are best for which type of communication.
  • Ensuring brand consistency - Not everyone will be well versed in the company’s branding and brand voice, and without easy access to someone they can ask, or with compatibility issues regarding company apps, they may send messages that don’t fit the brand. Internal Communication can support, by working with marketing teams in delivering brand tool kits, as well as creating innovative ways to engage employees with the brand.

11. How to measure Internal Communication

The starting point for creating measurement is to align all Internal Communication activity to how it helps to deliver the organisation’s strategic objectives and how it helps to achieve its mission and realise its vision. Any strategy must be anchored to this. 

Effective Internal Communication can help everyone at all levels connect in perhaps new and more engaging ways than before, but it also can be an effective tool for upholding and advancing company culture, as well as being a key enabler for employee collaboration and engagement. 

Internal Communication is about engaging, informing, and inspiring. However, when the strategy is being created, campaigns designed and tactics chosen - how do you prove what the work will achieve? 

In order to determine your return of investment (ROI), you need to be able to agree on what you’re measuring and how you measure it at the outset, and how you plan to present progress to the powers that be. Without that data, Internal Communication will face an almost impossible uphill battle to gain respect and traction, or even sign off.

Outcomes like trust, employee satisfaction and happiness might be difficult to measure, but these themes manifest themselves in things such as engagement, participation in activity, retention, recruitment, sickness and absence, as well as understanding the businesses’ mission, vision and values. 

When measuring Internal Communication activity, there are five key questions to ask yourself:

  1. How many employees are you reaching?
  2. How are employees engaging with the content?
  3. What are employees doing differently?
  4. What is the impact on organisational performance, in terms of productivity, retention, sickness and absences
  5. What can be done differently? 

The value and impact of effective Internal Communication cannot be underestimated and its measurement, in the form of meaningful data, is crucial – it is the language that the C-Suite leaders understand and respond to.