How HR and Internal Communications can work together

By Katlin Walters
July 12, 2019
5 min read
Blog
Communications

Internal communication is a vital part of the way employees succeed within an organization. In most companies, most internal communications functions fall on the shoulders of the human resources (HR) department. Unfortunately, most people don’t even see this as a problem. The truth is, human resource professionals are responsible for many important jobs, but internal communication isn’t really part of the job description. In this article, we examine HR and Internal Communications roles and each’s benefits for the company and employees.

HR responsibilities

The HR staff has many jobs that relate directly to the employees in a company. They’re responsible for all employee recruitment duties, from crafting job descriptions to handling applications and scheduling interviews. The HR staff also creates and maintains company policies, handles employee benefits and payroll, and takes care of employee concerns. When employees have disputes, HR professionals may be required to mediate a discussion for a peaceful resolution. 

3 reasons why communication responsibilities are falling to HR

Obviously, there’s a lot more to internal communication than the settling of disputes. Internal communication is the sharing of business information between all levels of employees within a company. Staff meetings, emails, memos, and project collaborations are all forms of internal communication. If internal communication isn’t in the HR job description, why are so many companies still depending on them to take care of it? The most common reasons aren’t about resistance to change. They’re basically fueled by unawareness. These are three common reasons companies expect HR to handle the vast responsibilities of internal communication.

  • HR interacts closely with employees. Employees already know to seek help from HR when there’s a problem. This might suggest to some managers that all communication should be taken care of by HR staff. However, this assumption creates barriers between employees and upper management, often creating a trust issue.
  • An internal communications strategy hasn’t been established within the company. Companies that fail to establish a policy for internal communication allow information to be passed organically from one department to another. This can lead to a culture of mistrust and inefficient exchange of information. For example, if management expects HR to share an important announcement, and HR assumed the responsibility belonged to management, employees learn the information too late. When employees gather important information from casual conversations in the breakroom, or worse, the media, they feel they can’t trust the company they work for. 
  • That’s the way it’s always been. Everyone’s heard the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, companies that haven’t experienced the benefits of an improved internal communication strategy don’t realize their system is broken. Employees, HR, and sales may all be suffering the consequences of an outdated system, but there doesn’t appear to be a problem with no comparison.

HR and internal communications: working together

Today’s workforce is changing dramatically. Technology is finally giving workers the chance to embrace flexibility, choices, and better communication. Companies that refuse to keep up with these changes are likely to suffer slow sales, low engagement, and rapid turnover. Some organizations resist these changes assuming fewer work hours and changes to stuffy business traditions couldn’t possibly result in higher income. However, improved communication and company culture lead to employee engagement, increased job satisfaction, and better productivity.   

Hiring the right professional to take care of internal communication would allow HR professionals to concentrate on their intended responsibilities and likely improve your company’s communication practices. An internal communicator (sometimes called an internal communication manager) communicates business information through multiple channels to employees within an organization’s departments. Instead of simply passing along information, an internal communicator works to establish a suitable strategy for internal communication and implements it daily on several platforms to keep employees up-to-date. 

7 reasons to hire an internal communicator

While not technically a member of the HR staff, an internal communicator works closely with HR and management to create an internal communication system that effectively reaches all employees. Clear communication develops better working relationships within a company and improves employee satisfaction. Information is passed more effectively for increased success with project collaboration. As internal communication is aligned throughout an organization, the company mission statement becomes more obvious, helping to attract and engage customers. Here are 7 ways an internal communicator can help your business.

  • Remove distractions from the HR department – The HR department in any organization has many important obligations. As the responsibilities related to internal communications continue to grow, HR professionals have less time to devote to their job’s traditional demands.
  • Improve employee engagement – An internal communicator works to align internal communication, so all departments share the company’s same mission. Through multiple channels like internal email, company intranet, and social media, an internal communicator shares vital company information with employees, helping build trust and enthusiasm for the company mission. 
  • More efficient communication – Without an internal communication strategy, you run the risk of alienating employees through miscommunications in a “grapevine communication system.” Uninformed employees feel neglected and don’t have the ability to trust management decisions.
  • Aligned internal and external communication – An internal communicator drafts communications for aligned messages within an organization and matches these messages to outgoing communication and a more aligned company mission statement.
  • Happier customers – An internal communicator keeps customers up to date on progress and answers questions as they arise.
  • Improved crisis management – An effective communication strategy includes an internal response to crises that affect the company’s reputation.
  • Greater feedback opportunities – As communication strategies are implemented, an internal communicator seeks feedback from employees to improve internal communication and information sharing.

Improved communication is the leading way to transform your company culture and attract and retain employees. An internal communicator can help create an effective communication strategy and implement convenient technology to assist employees in all departments.

Schedule a Free Demo today to learn more about how an internal communicator can help improve the way your employees communicate and provide a transparent communication system to benefit your entire company. Visit our blog for more great tips about improving communication in all types of business.

By Katlin Walters

Katlin is a former IC team member.

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