In past years, firms have mainly focused on external communication to promote their image, achieve goals and create value. Today, however, we are witnessing a growing popularity for an organisational strategy that focuses on internal communication, recognising the benefits of enhancing the value of the organisation’s internal stakeholders. But where does this counter-current trend come from, and why is it so relevant to address in modern times?
In order to understand its meaning, we can rely on the definition of Kalla (2005), who defines internal communication as any form of communication, whether formal or informal, that spreads to all levels of the organisation.
A fundamental distinction to be kept in mind is that between formal and informal communication. Often, there is a tendency to consider internal communication processes as merely the transmission of information between team members, taking a superficial view of a much more complex and strategy. According to Kalla’s (2005) definition, internal communication processes also include informal communication, which embraces organisational socialisation processes. This goes beyond the traditional corporate approach, centred on a vertical hierarchy, to embrace the participation of each member and their role within the organisational dynamics, recognising their intrinsic importance.
Recognising the value of the organisation’s internal resources and fostering communication between internal customers at all levels, as indicated in Manuti & De Palma’s (2018) article, opens the way to a winning synergy. This synergy translates into a collaborative and participative climate within the company, in which openness and appreciation of each individual’s contribution give rise to a social context that emphasises the potential and creativity of internal actors to generate value.
In this context, it becomes evident how strong internal communication, in combination with people-based human resources management, promotes a holistic organisational strategy, focused on the contribution of each individual involved. This approach nurtures an environment in which employees identify with a corporate culture that they themselves co-create through their own contributions and ideas. This generates a context in which internal stakeholders and the company work in synergy towards a shared future, contributing together to its definition.
Internal communication today is implemented by technological developments, in fact supported by online platforms is a key element in modern business management. This approach exploits digital technologies and social platforms to facilitate the dissemination of information, collaboration between team members and the sharing of resources within the organisation.
In short, internal communication systems have outgrown their former role as simple channels for the transmission of information between employees or between managers and staff. Today, they have become real organisational strategies, supported by modern social networking systems – intranets within organisations.
It is crucial, however, to consider that the functionality and benefits of internal communication are closely linked to its proper implementation within organisations. Inappropriate use of these tools could not only undermine the intended benefits, but even produce undesirable results.
Consequently, it is of utmost importance to adapt the approach to internal communication according to the particular circumstances and requirements of each organisation.
In conclusion, internal communication plays a crucial role for organisations that aspire to maximise their value through a comprehensive integration of the human resources at their disposal. Its benefits are numerous and deserve to be fully explored. However, it is essential to bear in mind that training and customisation of tools are essential steps to maximise results.
-Kalla, H. K. (2005). Integrated internal communications: a multidisciplinary perspective. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 10(4), 302-314.
-Manuti, A., & De Palma, P. D. (2018). Digital HR. London: Palgrave Macmillan, doi, 10, 978-3.
*This article is an original work of Rocco Giuliano