Why Internal Communication is Important: A Quick Guide

Do you think an organization could work with a lack of internal communication within it? Let’s consider a scenario where a company has poor communication with its employees, their needs, and their opinions, or the leader is unaware of the problem due to a lack of bottom-up communication.

This scenario is quite similar to what happened with the world’s most renowned shoe company Nike a few years ago in 2018. An anonymous renegade survey called out agitation of the female employees voicing out their worries about a male-dominated culture in the workspace that provoked discrimination and harassment in the company which then led to the firing of many departments by the organization. Here one can notice how the ignorance of adequate internal communication by the HR department led to a bad reputation and great financial losses for the company (Full article: “At Nike, Revolt Led by Women Leads to Exodus of Male Executives“). 

One can understand from this case study how poor internal communication can cause reputation downfall for an organization in order to avoid that from happening, one needs to have a thorough knowledge of internal communication.

What is internal communication?

An organization thrives on internal communication, internal communication is a crucial part of the effective functioning of an organization that ensures an association between the management, department, and the employees. It keeps each and everyone in the company well informed. Internal communication in a company includes everything from employees having a friendly informal conversation with each other to the major changes being introduced in the organization. 

What is the purpose of the internal communications department?

As mentioned above the main purpose of internal communication is to keep everyone in the organization well informed, therefore their goal would be to supervise processes that create or publish any inter-organizational content like newsletters, information emails, crisis announcements, etc.

Where does internal communication fit in an organization?

The internal communication department does not exactly come under one particular department as it has various responsibilities. It works with the human resources department to create an all-inclusive work environment for the employees to make them feel like a part through sharing important organizational updates. It further also works with the public relations or the marketing department to stay close to those handling external communication and also get access to their tools and platform. Additionally, In some organizations, it is independent and operates on its own.

Why is internal communication important?

One would wonder why there is so much importance given to internal communication within an organization. Well, there are a lot of reasons behind this as it is known as the bloodline for organizational success. An organization would quickly dwindle without the presence of internal communication within it. So, below are some reasons highlighting the importance of internal communication.

1. Feedback:

With the help of internal communication employees get a clear idea of their duties in the organization, they also get an understanding of how well they are performing their tasks and in what areas they need to improve their performance. It even goes the other way around where the employees give their feedback to the management of the problems they are facing in the workplace and what could be optimized to ensure the smooth operation of the organization.

2. Credible Workspace:

When employees are well informed about all the updates and moves of the organization it leaves no space for any misunderstanding or misinformation, thus creating a rumor-free work environment which in turn increases the credibility of an organization in front of external parties as well. 

3. Elevated Employee Engagement:

Having strong internal communication in the company also is known to increase employee productivity since the employees have a clarified view of their duties as well as their strengths and weaknesses leading to optimum productivity.

Moreover, it also increases employee engagement and employee satisfaction. Since the employees are well informed of what is currently going on in the organization, they will be more involved in generating new ideas to increase the profit or contribute to the success of the organization keeping in mind the current status of the organization.

Adding to this they will be more satisfied with their organization as there are no secrets kept from them; on top of this they are involved during discussion and their ideas are valued. This may make them feel that they have a part in contributing to the well-being of the company, further making them feel equally responsible towards the company.

Eventually, this will result in a decrease in turnover in turn reducing company expenditure on hiring and training new candidates.

4. Creative Insights:

When everyone in the organization meeting is allowed to share their insights and be heard with an open ear by the management to hear, fresh new ideas are brought to the table which could contribute to great new projects and changes in the organization. Simultaneously, this might also help the employees feel that their opinions are mattered.

5. Crisis aversion tool:

Having good and constant internal communication in place beforehand is quite essential because it brings people of the organization together in times of crisis as it establishes a faster response time during emergencies so that people start working together, helping each other immediately and making sure that crisis can be averted as soon as possible.

6. Promotion of Values and Vision:

Sharing the organization’s goals, objectives, and values through internal communication is important in order to keep every working individual in the company in the same boat. It educates every member about the purpose of the company and how it aims to achieve its goals while keeping in mind its values. Moreover, the values help the employees take correct actions on behalf of the company when needed. 

7. Control:

Lastly, internal communication helps the management maintain control over the work of the organization. Due to frequent internal communication in the organization of the administration with their employees, they are very much up to date as to what is going on in the company and hence can be well in control of the workings of various sections in the company resulting in improved managerial efficiency.

What makes good internal communications?

A good internal communication platform does not only need to include serious and work news or informal news. It is necessary for it to be a mix of daily organizational updates, some knowledge, ideas, feedback as well as fun (in terms of activities and games). This will make the conveying of information less boring and attract the employee to read and understand. Subsequently, one needs to make sure that the information is accurate, up to date, and accessible to all the employees with the message in it being simplified, short and consistent.

To learn more about how to avoid ineffective communication and convey your message efficiently you can refer to our article Ineffective Communication Explained: And How To Avoid It.

What happens with a lack of communication strategy?

Lack of communication could lead to a myriad of misunderstandings, problems, and losses in the organization preceding the downfall of the company. Some of the ramifications include:-

  1. Due to a lot of focus on external communication that is how to effectively communicate with or satisfy a client, internal communication is forgotten sometimes which leads employees to not get familiar with company values due to lack of training. It additionally also leads to employee dissatisfaction which in turn is revealed to result in client dissatisfaction and lack of loyalty too as their needs are not met because of the employee’s poor communication skills. 
  2. Having inadequate information can cause the employees not fully understanding their duties or misunderstanding it resulting in lowered productivity levels as they are not able to give more ideas with little information.
  3. Low internal communication also causes misunderstandings and rumors in the workplace as the workforce does not have clarity on the roles assigned to them and the missing information could be filled with employee’s own perceptions causing rumors and misunderstanding between all the working individuals in the company.
  4. Poor morale, that is lack of motivation, underappreciation, and disconnection from work is observed in employees of the organization where internal communication is deficient. This can be seen when the employees are not well informed on the changes in the organization or given any updates causing frustration.
  5. All the inadequate information, misunderstandings, and feeling of not being included in the workspace might instigate employee disengagement owing to a drop in motivation levels.
  6. All of this would eventually result in a  turnover which would not only make the organization lose a valuable employee but also result in the waste of time and resources of the organization to train a new possible candidate.

Types of internal communication and its Examples 

Internal communication is not the same for everyone in the organization. A process is involved when conveying a message from one individual to another. It also depends on the position of the individual in the company hierarchy. Some of these include:-

Top-down communication

First is top-down communication, when the message is conveyed from a higher level of organizational hierarchy to the lower level of organization. It is used to assign tasks or roles, give project instructions, offer feedback, explain company policies, or convey important information. The message is often passed through a moderator (manager in most cases) in between. An example of top-down communication could be the manager assigning and explaining to new employees their roles in the organization. 

Bottom-up communication

Next is bottom-up communication, here the message is conveyed from individuals lower in the hierarchy level to those who are higher. Even here the message many times can be passed through a moderator. For instance, if the employees want to give an update on the current project or talk about an issue or give feedback, they can through this mode, and where it generally goes through their manager first and then to the employer (this can pose a problem sometimes which will be discussed further in the article). 

lateral communication

Thirdly when communication happens between the members of the same hierarchical level or same group it is known as lateral communication. Lateral communication is less time-consuming and more accurate as there is no moderator in between. Despite the absence of a moderator, lateral communication does occur with the knowledge of the management, because if the decisions are taken without knowledge of authority, dysfunction in the organization could ensue. For example, any changes to be made in a project could be discussed between two colleagues of the same group but with the knowledge of the manager that the change is being made.

The last that will be talked about here is peer communication. This includes formal or informal conversations between two peers in an organization that doesn’t need the supervision of a senior authority. It could be about personal life, informal outings, or work-life-related ranting to each other about the stresses of their work. An example could be an employee calling another employee for a coffee break and discussing their hobbies.

Disadvantages of internal communication 

There is a flip side to every coin and therefore the practice of internal communication has its disadvantages too. The following list contains a few of them:

Conflicts at workplace are bound to happen with difference of opinions
  1. Conflicts –  too many voices can give rise to too many opinions and ideas. In this case, not everyone will agree with others’ plans causing differences of opinion or conflict between them. However, this conflict is healthy and okay as long as it is a functional conflict, that is it supports the group goals and causes performance improvement, the minute it turns into a dysfunctional conflict or one that hinders group performance it needs to be addressed immediately. 
  2. Excess talking– Encouraging internal communication between peers or coworkers can seem like a waste of time sometimes owing to excessively talking or sharing of ideas (or gossiping) leading to less work being done.
  3. Information overload – Receiving too much information on a daily basis is also not good as it distracts the employee from focusing on their assignment and becomes a source of declining productivity by hiding important messages. 
  4. Moderator meddling – During upward communication (sometimes downward too) the accuracy of the message of the employee being conveyed to a higher authority is not assured when a moderator is added in between. Many times the moderators modify the message the way they think it seems or want it to seem presentable to the higher authority. This may result in a change of tone or even the meaning of the message.

Building an effective communication strategy

Having an effective communication strategy is a necessity for an organization; however, it cannot be built in a day. One needs to keep a lot of things in mind about their organization in order to make an efficient communication strategy. The organization’s current situation, advantages of internal communication for the company, the target audience, etc., are some points to consider. One can even overcome many disadvantages of internal communication by creating an efficient communication strategy.

Starting with overcoming the problem of information overload. For this, the organization can have the employees install a working app that gives them access to only important corporate messages and workplace tools and tune out all the other irrelevant clutter. 

Next, a comprehensive communication strategy should always include a two-way strategy where the employees are not only given information, updates, and feedback but the employee concerns are also actively heard and worked upon. This technique encourages open conversation throughout the organization. To effectively listen to the employees and articulate your disagreements to them, making them feel heard you watch the video below that helps one learn the art of active listening.

Consequently, before making effective internal communication strategies one also needs to know their target audience and form strategies accordingly based on their understanding level, their values, experiences, etc. 

Lastly, what do you aim to achieve through creating this communication strategy? How well do you want to keep the members of this strategy informed? To figure this out you just need to ask three things to yourself: what do people need to know, believe and do? This will efficiently help you achieve your aim. 

Four Pillars of Effective Communication

  • Credibility
  • Reliability
  • Connections
  • Clarity

Ultimately, to quickly check if you have a good internal communication strategy you need to look for these four pillars of effective communication which are credibility, reliability, connection, and clarity. The credibility of a message to be conveyed should be double-checked in order to ensure that all of the working staff get the correct information. Reliability is also an important aspect which states that the source providing the data should be reliable and provide unmodified accurate information on time. The organization further needs to create good Connections with their workforce in order to gain their trust and offer similar strong connections even in times of crisis. The last one is Clarity, which means the message that is to be conveyed should be clear enough to be understood by each and every one of the working individuals.


To conclude, Internal communication is one of the many lifelines of a thriving organization connecting its individuals to each other. By considering all of the pointers above regarding internal communication, one might assure the seamless functioning of an organization moving towards the path of success.


Now you know, the importance of having internal communication in an organization and how to strategically create a communication plan. Furthermore, to have perfectly effective communication skills, you can explore and enroll in our frantically speaking coaching by clicking here.

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