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The difference between HR communication and internal communication

By Marketing and PR Manager, Emily Brewer

“It’s ok, our internal communication department deals with it” – a line I’ve heard all too often. Undoubtedly, there are departments that deal with HR communication to a certain degree but the grey area starts when it comes to the ‘nuts and bolts’ of HR subject matter. If you’re confused with the difference between HR communication and internal communication (IC) here are a few key points for consideration:

HR communication isn’t corporate affairs

The role of HR communication is purely centred on what a business needs to achieve and why an employee would be motivated to achieve it. This could be applied through a variety of employee programmes like Reward, benefits, compensation and so on.

HR communication is exclusively focused on employees

That’s not to say internal comms isn’t (far from it). But where IC considers customer satisfaction, as well as employee engagement, HR comms experts exclusively target employees. It’s fundamentally the bedrock of HR’s business.

HR communication is responsible for the alignment between communications and organisational change

It’s up to the ‘people department’ to bring in-line the company’s vision and organisational alignment. How that’s created, managed and optimised is a complex process that demands a unique set of skills. Subject-matter may also be deemed sensitive so not necessarily suitable for IC involvement.

HR communication is supported by HR terminology and HRIS

More often than not, IC professionals have a strong PR and communications background – and the world of HR terminology will be a less familiar beast to many. HR subject-matter can be extremely complex, wrapped in policy and difficult to communicate – let alone inspire a workforce.

But an HR comms expert will know their LTIPs from JSOPs, DBs to DCs; and communicate complex subjects in a way employees understand and appreciate. Furthermore, HR comms professionals will also know how to extract data from HRIS platforms, such as Workday and SuccessFactors, to inform contextual employee communication journeys and have the expertise to adopt and embed complex habit-changing systems for employees companywide.

If you want to learn about how HR communication can generate wholehearted participation with your employee programmes and HRIS platform, please click here.

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