Employee communication is an essential part of business and the HR function. Effective internal communication is important for developing trust within an organisation and is shown to have significant impact on employee engagement, organisational culture and, ultimately, productivity. Yet CIPD research suggests that many employees feel they receive limited or very little information. To be successful, communication needs management support, a clear strategy and evaluation.

This factsheet explores the role internal communication plays in developing engaged employees, achieving organisational objectives and supporting business strategy and change. It examines the components of an effective communication strategy, including the role of line managers, social media and two-way or multi-directional dialogue. Finally, it takes a closer look at planning and tailoring communications as well as roles and responsibilities in an effective communications strategy.

CIPD viewpoint

What is employee communication?

This factsheet looks at internal rather than external communication - it may be helpful to read it in conjunction with our factsheet on employee voice which covers the history of employee involvement, the mechanisms of two-way communications, and its potential benefits. Our factsheets on employee engagement and employer brand are also relevant.

Effective internal communications is at the heart of achieving business outcomes and it’s something the whole organisation is responsible for. It supports the organisation’s smooth running, successful change programmes and good leadership on vision, strategy and values.

Despite the need for communication to be high up the agenda in all organisations, our Employee Outlook surveys have shown that just over half of employees feel fully or fairly well informed about what’s happening in their organisation, with the remainder saying they receive limited or very little information.

Why does communication with employees matter?

Principles of an effective employee communications strategy

Communications planning

Roles and responsibilities in communication

Useful contacts and further reading

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Employee voice

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