Our Principles

People drive the success of organisations, so it is vital to communicate with them effectively.

We are the Institute of Internal Communication.

We believe people deserve to feel they matter at work.  Feeling valued, engaged and informed directly contributes to higher business performance.

We call upon organisations, their leaders, the Government, and communication practitioners to champion great internal communication. Recognising the value effective communication brings and the impact it has on both organisations and working lives. 

How we communicate at work matters. #WeMatterAtWork

Our Purpose

Formed in 1949, we’re the only professional membership body solely dedicated to the promotion of internal communication to the highest standards.

We exist to help our members do their best work. This means leveraging communication to help colleagues feel informed, connected, engaged and purposeful so that they enhance organisational performance.

Who We Represent

We directly represent more than 2,600 members: communications professionals who shape and influence workplaces for the better.

We call upon organisations, their leaders, government, and all others involved in shaping and delivering good work to make sure people are placed at the heart of business, so that they feel informed, connected, and purposeful – that they matter at work.  

Our Mission

We promote and advocate for the impact effective internal communication has on organisational performance and working lives.

Organisations that communicate effectively with internal stakeholders are more productive, sustainable and successful.

Effective communication improves team cohesion, collaboration, engagement, productivity, innovation, reputation, talent attraction and retention, and leads to more satisfied and fulfilled employees.

Internal communication is a critical building block of deeper and longer lasting connections between people and the organisations they work with.

We achieve this by:
  • Delivering insight and knowledge that shapes workplaces for the better. We teach and promote high standards of effective internal communication to benefit business and the wider economy, communities, families and society.
  • Establishing and upholding professional standards for internal communication professionals and all those responsible for shaping and delivering workplace communication.
  • Influencing workplace policy and the wider business community.
  • Advocating on the impact of effective internal communication which is key to shaping successful organisations and improving working lives.

Our Principles

The workplace and the way we work are undergoing the most profound transformation in more than a century.

We believe that upholding core principles achieves world-class internal communication, helping people at work to feel more informed, engaged, productive, connected and purposeful. 

We follow these nine principles:

1. Purpose at work

Modern workplaces are fast paced, distributed and increasingly uncertain. To achieve any goal, people need to know what they’re working towards - and why. Our IC Index research indicates that just 45% of UK workers are clear on their organisation’s strategy and believe it’s the right one. When organisational purpose is defined, shared and clearly understood, colleagues engage more fully in a collective mission.

We believe when an organisation’s mission, vision and purpose are well articulated, employees engage more fully in a collective mission. This contributes to improved discretionary effort and is a big driver in whether people recommend their employers to others as a great place to work.

2. Transparency

The world of work is changing faster than the most far-sighted futurists had anticipated. This makes clear, honest, transparent and consistent communication even more essential for human and organisational resilience and success.

We believe honest and transparent internal communication is key to building trust at work. Clear and authentic communication underpins trust, belonging and connection, regardless of external challenges, risks and constraints.

3. Transformation effectiveness

Global hyper-connectivity places the demand on organisations to continuously evolve. In rapidly evolving industries, communication has a direct bearing on people’s ability to understand and adapt to new operating norms.

We believe business transformation success relies on effective internal communication. People better embrace change when they understand the requirement for it. When internal stakeholders feel invested in transformation, through clarity of messaging and context, they own the changes they create.

4. Empathic, human communication

Human and empathic communication is even more critical within organisations today. As the way we work evolves, human-centred communication underpins workforce wellbeing, connection and engagement.

We believe modern, data-driven workplaces MUST be complemented by human-centric narratives and stories to provide purpose, context, inspiration and motivation for all stakeholders.

5. Shared understanding and clarity

The human need for clarity and coherent communication to create meaning and make sense of things is paramount. Employee engagement is higher when communication is clear.

We believe the art and skill of internal communication is to effectively deliver information, knowledge and insights that build shared understanding. By aligning people with collective goals, internal communication underpins longer-term organisational sustainability.

6. Connection and collaboration

Feeling connected at work is pivotal to inclusion, collaboration, and organisational performance. Social connection facilitates knowledge-exchange, peer learning and improves wellbeing.

We believe communication is at the heart of human relationships and work community. Multi-directional communication is key to individual and organisational long-term health.

7. Listening and acting on feedback

Our IC Index shows around half of the UK workforce does not feel listened to. Progressive organisations facilitate the flow of open and honest conversation. They prioritise continuous listening and acting on feedback received.

We believe when employees feel seen and heard, they experience a stronger sense of belonging, and are empowered to make better decisions that improve the organisation. Effective internal communication enables the flow of open and honest feedback, to ensure progressive action is being taken.

8. Inclusion and belonging

Forward-thinking employers nurture inclusive and accessible working environments. Work cultures that value diversity of thought naturally foster a stronger sense of belonging and innovation.

We believe diversity at work sparks a wider range of perspectives to inform critical thinking, innovation and complex problem-solving. Social belonging is a fundamental human need, and inviting people to be themselves at work contributes to higher organisational performance.

9. Recognition and empowerment

When employees and co-workers feel valued and recognised for their contribution, they are empowered to work towards improved organisational outcomes.

We believe communication is key to recognising individuals and teams, in turn contributing to higher self-esteem in work. When teams feel their work matters, they are become inspired to give their best and continuously improve their skills and capabilities.

See our latest Thought Leadership and Research reports

Our thought leadership reports and insights take an in-depth look at the challenges and trends facing the internal communication profession.

Find out more