Preferred modes of internal communication

Many surveys conducted into employees' preferred mode of internal communication suggest that the all time favourite remains face to face. Why? On that the surveys are less clear so here are some of my thoughts. Please add you own too.

  1. People want accurate and trustworthy information. In face to face, especially one to one, forms of internal communication they trust their own instincts with non-verbal communication to suss out the truth. This maybe why some leaders are reluctant to use face to face particularly if they are unsure of the facts or not fully committed to the message they have to give.
  2. People also want to be able to give feedback and be listened too; after all we are all members of the AAA; No not roadside assistance...Attention, Acceptance and Approval. Being listened to gives us a major injection of all three in one hit. 
  3. In face to face communication, as apposed to written text, or PowerPoint presentations, the tendency is to use narrative or story telling to get our points across. Story telling has been central to communication throughout history. Stories or narratives are not fables or fairy tales they are the "case studies" of the conversation that enable the listener to experience and therefore understand. The exchange and calibration of meaning is essential with internal communication and employee engagement.

Story telling happens over the phone, at the coffee machine and in corridors as well as in organised "town hall" meetings. It is stories that get passed through the unofficial grapevine, with stories changing as they go, so it is important to feedback the grapevine with accurate and trustworthy information and that is unlikely to happen purely through the use of an internal news letter.

If internal communication and employee engagement are important to your organisation encourage your leaders to get out and have genuine conversations with people; including listening...

Why do you think the face to face aspects of internal communication remain so important?



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