internal communication

There are many names for internal communication: internal corporate communication, internal public relations, internal relations, employee communication, employer communications or internal company communication.

Definition: What is Internal Communication?

There are many names for internal communication: internal corporate communication, internal public relations, internal relations, employee communication, employer communications or internal company communication.

It is subject to the following objectives:

  • Tailored and targeted communication of information to all employees or specific employee groups.
  • Improvement of the cooperation, the exchange of knowledge and the coordination of operational processes through an intensive dialogue culture and knowledge of the company's objectives.
  • Development and maintenance of employee relationships.
  • Strengthening the loyalty of employees who, thanks to internal communication, are always informed about new developments or operational changes.
  • Strengthening idea management: Internal communication is not a one-way street. It allows employees to contribute their ideas and suggestions at any time. This promotes motivation.

Internal Communication: The challenges

In all industries, smooth internal communication processes are of great importance for the success of a company. Seamless internal communication ensures that everyone is integrated, and that important information does not pass them by. 


Special challenges for internal communication


Industries with varying working hours, structures and areas of responsibility present a particular challenge, as is the case in the hotel industry or the healthcare sector. Uniform communication is difficult to guarantee here.

  • The majority of employees are always on the move and do not have a fixed workplace.
  • Employees work in shifts.
  • At no time of the day are all employees on site.

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Internal Communication: The requirements

Companies must find ways and means to share important information quickly, reliably and securely. In order to ensure the highest possible effectiveness, internal communication must meet particularly high requirements here.  

  • Transparency and speed
    Especially in the healthcare sector, real-time exchange via different devices should be guaranteed. Data must be directly available and retrievable on a wide variety of devices that are currently at hand: mobile phone, laptop, tablet. 
  • Clarity
    In diverse work environments, both sender and recipient need a clear and well-structured message history at all times. Otherwise, there is a great risk that important information will be lost or cannot be traced.
  • Location-independent exchange
    Regularly there are messages that have to reach the whole staff. This requires a means of communication with which everyone can be reached reliably. Even the employees who are not on site at the moment. For example, in order to coordinate services at short notice because colleagues are ill. Or to communicate internal company decisions to everyone before the employees hear about them from the press. Or to share changed regulations.
  • Data protection
    Particularly in areas that work with personal data - be it data from patients or hotel guests - this sensitive information must be specially protected. For example, in certain cases only employees who are authorised to view the information may be involved in communication. Anything else violates data protection.

Internal Communication: The reality check

In the absence of a tool that meets all requirements, employees’ resort to alternatives that they know from their everyday lives. Messenger services like WhatsApp or email are high on the popularity ladder.

A study by the German Data Protection Institute (DDI) found that (article in German):

  • 98 percent of clinicians use WhatsApp and Co. on the job to share findings with other physicians. They agree that diagnoses can be made faster and more reliably.

 

98 percent of clinicians use WhatsApp and Co.

 

The possible alternative is communication by e-mail. This is particularly critical in the hotel environment. Show surveys: 

  • Only two thirds of all employees have their own e-mail account. Here the management regularly comes to the point where not all employees can always be provided with the same information from the outset. Instead, information is passed on by superiors, but here the messages are filtered and sometimes incorrectly passed on. 

Internal Communication: Current risks

In industries where employees are scattered and constantly on the move, coordinating and keeping everyone on the same page is an immense challenge. However, employers who allow their employees to find their own ways of communicating with each other internally risk a great deal.

Messenger services - practical, but insecure: 

  • If private mobile phones are used to exchange sensitive data via messengers such as WhatsApp, transmitted photographs of findings, for example, can be automatically stored in the recipient's personal cloud environment.
  • The data may then be accessed by unauthorized third parties from the recipient's private environment. This is a breach of data protection law.
  • Employees do not always check whether an employee who leaves the organization also leaves the existing group chat. This is how shared sensitive data can fall into the wrong hands.
  • Sometimes not all employees are involved in a group chat. This creates a sense of exclusion.
  • Private Messenger services send messages to contacts stored on the phone's hard drive.
  • If the number of an addressee changes, highly sensitive data can be accidentally sent to the wrong recipient if the old number has been reassigned.

E-Mails - only supposedly safer and confusing: 

  • E-mails that are used for internal exchange are only supposedly more secure. They are sent via an internal computer center and in-house devices and therefore cannot mix with private communication.
  • However, it is not uncommon for mails containing internal and partly confidential information to circulate throughout the company.
  • Again, and again, more employees are randomly assigned to "CC". The number of recipients increases with each additional message.
  • Thus, information can make the round that is not intended for all eyes in the circle of recipients.
  • Persons who were supposed to extract important and time-critical information from the original mail may no longer perceive it in the emerging flood of information.
  • This can lead to errors or wrong decisions.

The solution: Internal communication via app

When it comes to internal communication in complex work environments, communication channels beyond freely available messengers or professional e-mail are required. A modern communication app for the professional sector solves all these pain points in internal communication. 

  • Data is securely hosted at a central location.
  • Thus, the app can be installed without hesitation also on the personal mobile phone.
  • All information is transmitted in encrypted form according to globally proven security standards.
  • Transmitted data cannot be downloaded.
  • Data owner is the company that provides the communication platform.

The internal communication via app also fulfils all the requirements that a modern clinic places on successful internal communication. It has the following functions:

  • Newsfeed for a fast communication with all
    In a news feed, as many Facebook users know it, employers can reach all their employees at once, target-group-specific and independent of time and place, also part-time employees and employees working shifts. In addition, a comment function enables bottom-up communication, i.e. from employees to management.

  • Dialogue for direct exchange between two employees
    Relevant topics can be discussed in real time between two employees in a protected private message. This offers the greatest possible flexibility in communication.

  • Chat for the safe exchange in groups
    In secure virtual rooms, several employees or entire teams can chat with each other. The group of participants can be selected from the outset in such a way that, on the one hand, no one is left out and, on the other hand, only employees who are authorized to receive certain data are included. 

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Checklist: 10 tips for internal communication

 Ensure with an employee app that your employees exchange information securely and in a way that is compatible with data protection.

With an intranet app, you can confidently achieve the following ten points:

  1. Functioning internal communication at any time, at any place
  2. No more communication chaos
  3. Secure alternative to WhatsApp and email chats
  4. Share company news in real time with all employees
  5. Secure private dialogue between two employees
  6. Secure private chat between groups
  7. Encrypted data traffic
  8. Data-Ownership
  9. Secure data hosting according to the latest standards
  10. Can be used for all end devices such as desktop, notebook, tablet and mobile phone

read another use case - real-time communication