Let's start with four essential goals or needs of effective internal communication:
1) Good communication in the workplace is essential for the success of any business.
2) Information needs to be shared between team members easily and efficiently.
3) Team members need to share knowledge and expertise in a way that invites people to collaborate but doesn’t interrupt workflow.
4) Communication and collaboration need to be fast and user-friendly to ensure efficiency.
If we agree that these are the most important needs for effective internal communication then an internal company blog is the perfect digital communication tool that allows an entire work team and different departments to engage in discussion and exchange ideas and knowledge in an orderly manner.
It can also be used as an information bank and a kind of company Wikipedia.
Direct Benefits of the Internal Blog
Email is limited as a communication tool and outdated for many uses. It’s great for external communication and one-on-one interaction but is limited when it comes to collaboration and internal communication.
Inboxes can become very cluttered, and it can be hard to find the relevant information. An internal blog can function as a virtual bulletin board and be a better method of tracking projects than using email.
An internal blog provides an organized system to store all of your company’s internal content. It can become an archive that is easily searchable and available to team members at all times.
Everything that is shared will remain there permanently - so even if an experienced worker leaves the company, their knowledge and expertise can still be accessed.
Keeping all team members up to date on projects can be a difficult task. It’s not possible to call a staff meeting every time you need to share information.
An internal blog is an obvious and easy place to share minor updates. All the information about a particular topic can be kept in one place.
An internal blog can also serve as a community-building channel. Any valuable insights posted to the blog can move around your company quickly. Analysis and wisdom can gain wide attention, and each blog post can turn into a larger discussion.
Sharing information can be a great way to learn, and sharing written content can help to improve your knowledge. Increasing communication channels allows everyone to cover more ground faster. It will help to create a well-oiled machine, with all of the parts moving together.
Technology has changed the face of work culture. Many companies employ more people with the help of technology. Large companies such as IBM and Microsoft have both introduced internal blogging to aid workplace communication.
You may think it doesn’t sound very different from using email or Slack. However, the openness of a blog and the fact that employees can share anything can hugely impact work culture. It can bring colleagues closer together and encourage people to be open and authentic.
Internal blogging gives employees the perfect platform for sharing their expertise. This results in people sharing knowledge that they otherwise would have kept to themselves. This, in turn, results in a work culture of collaboration and sharing.
When internal blogging becomes an integral part of your company, knowledge sharing isn’t something you even have to think about. It simply becomes a part of your everyday work experience.
Centralizing the knowledge of your company and employees in a blog can save people a great deal of time. A report by the McKinsey Global Institute found that internal blogging can reduce the number of time employees spend looking for information by up to 35%. This is because blogs “turn messages into content”. Considering the average worker spends 1.8 hours a day searching for information, this could add up to a considerable increase in worker productivity.
A study by researchers from New York University’s Stern School of Business and Carnegie Mellon showed that the key to a successful internal blog is allowing employees to post work-related topics and more personal information. When the company they studied limited people to only posting work-related topics, posting to the blog decreased by 90%, and reading decreased by half.
This can be attributed to a “spillover effect”. People may be drawn in by goofy pictures and memes but will be drawn to the work-related posts once they engage with the blog.
When people read personal blog posts from their co-workers, this can help to form bonds and build relationships. Often at work, we may only socialize with the people from our own department. Internal blogging opens up the social environment within the company so that everyone can get to know each other.
You may find people from other departments who share your seemingly unique love of pottery, Greek literature, or juggling. An internal blog also allows people to support each other through their struggles.
People have the opportunity to open up and be vulnerable. Open discussions can be had on mental health, which helps foster a culture of mutual support.
The sense of connection that can be encouraged by an internal blog can also make team members more likely to speak their minds at work. Work hierarchies can lead to some voices dominating, while other people never contribute.
Without much knowledge of the company or much authority, new employees may be especially afraid to speak up.
An internal blog sends a clear message to all employees that your company wants to hear from its workers. When people start actively blogging, work culture can develop where everybody feels comfortable sharing their perspective.
More personal blogging makes people aware that they can be authentic and bring their passions and interests to their place of work.
A study published by the American Psychological Association found that when people felt more comfortable being their authentic selves at work, they were less likely to experience burnout.
Internal blogging can have many benefits, and it makes internal communication fast and easy while also serving as a useful store of knowledge. Perhaps most importantly, it can radically change work culture, fostering more openness and authenticity, bringing colleagues together, and increasing worker motivation.