Technology is revolutionizing workplaces and unifying the business world like never before. Internal communications should be a high priority for companies as it is integral to driving a culture of success and cooperation throughout the organization and producing communications that are authentic, relevant, timely, responsive and entertaining. Unfortunately, this too often gets shoved to the bottom of the priority list while companies chase the latest communications fads.

Internal communication is vital in both top down and bottom up communication. If employees and the front lines can see the company’s vision and how they fit into it, they will feel valued and listened to, while company leaders will be able to receive relevant, real-time feedback from their workforce. Internal communication sets the tone for company culture and helps you retain your top talent.

Gone are the days where mass emails sat unread in cluttered inboxes and printed newsletters just got tossed in the recycle bin. If you are looking to improve internal communications within your company, here are the tools and strategies that internal communications experts are predicting will make leaps and bounds in 2018.

1. Mobile Apps

In the latest report, we are spending 80% of our time using our mobile devices. Smartphone ownership in the United States is at about 77%, increasing to 97% among workforce millennials. Predictions by the CEB Summit convey that more and more companies will adopt and eventually transition completely to using mobile workplace tools that will give employees instant access to company information, workflows, communication channels, and media channels.

Supporting mobile users is a vital part of a successful digital workplace strategy, especially for large, dispersed organizations. The ability to connect at the touch of a button is a game changer for many companies. Mobile online meetings, online video training, and texting or instant messaging at any time of the day are becoming the norm. Many companies are realizing that an intranet-style app where employees can easily log in and find all the information they need is very effective. Certain app functions, such as push notifications, personal profiles, and branding, make the app more user-friendly, reliable and trusted, which will give your employees the best communications experience.

Companies are also adopting a BYO (“bring your own”) mentality to technology as they adapt to the phones and devices their employees already have. This requires the capability of providing for the different networks and systems used by various technologies. This also means that companies may need to set up policies and tracking regarding usage and work out of normal office hours so that employees are not racking up overtime hours while working on their devices from home.

2. Enterprise Social Networks

High levels of workforce engagement lead to rich company culture, a deeper commitment to team success, and a sense of pride in individual work and company visions and goals. Enterprise social networks provide a platform for employees to have real-time conversations throughout the day, give feedback to their managers, and communicate stats, goals, and targets in a timely manner. No more waiting for the end of day meeting or morning huddle to review team or individual performance.

Organizations that are looking to enhance collaboration and internal communications are turning to enterprise social networks to improve their processes. There are many options to choose from, including Facebook’s Workplace platform, Slack, Yammer, Google Chat, or even your internal intranet. (RAGAN)

Many companies use different internal communications systems in different departments, which can be much harder to regulate and streamline. In 2018, transitioning into using only 1-2 of those platforms company-wide will help reduce confusion and gaps in communication.

If you want your employees to remain connected to their colleagues, puta digital workplace platform in place that allows team members to communicate meaningfully. Sharing learnings, successes, and goals in real time will strengthen your internal communications as a whole.

3. Video

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a video worth? We all know how widespread video is—just look at all the videos posted and shared on YouTube and Facebook daily. Video content captures and engages audiences. So why isn’t it as widely used in workplace communications as email? Video can add to the effectiveness and productivity of a company’s internal communications.

Watching a video makes digesting important information faster, more interactive, and much more entertaining. Videos can project more emotion than words on a page, which means your employees will be more invested in following through with goals and contributing to the company’s vision. Companies are using video in various ways, including video conferencing, event live streaming, and training.

Videos are also great for establishing a vision for the company, teaching new strategies, communicating culture, and so much more. Setting up a video strategy to share ideas within a company will enable employees to share, comment, and engage on another level. As more and more companies shift to a digital workplace, and as remote and virtual workplaces grow, the need for face-to-face communication increases. Video can transform how you communicate in your workplace, so get the camera rolling!

4. Universal Management Systems

Management systems help company workflows function seamlessly. Many companies manage and store files across a variety of systems. While they all have useful functions, maintaining a universal system will help the organization flow smoothly. Too many systems can complicate processes and lead to frustration, especially if employees are continuously learning a new system or tool.

There are several enterprise management systems that allow the entire company to communicate using one platform and interface. They allow employees to send documents back and forth with ease, receive company messages, and approve documents, projects, and contracts. Internal communications will see a huge improvement if companies can implement a unified enterprise management system that can adapt to and integrate with various platforms.

In summary, internal communications are vital for a company’s growth, retention, and bottom line. Taking these strategies into consideration will enable companies to communicate more effectively throughout the organization, especially if leadership is involved in implementing these strategies. If your leaders aren’t fully aware of and integrated into communications efforts, the program will putter out. As you plan your communication strategies, ensure that you include key leaders in the discussion and ask for their feedback, opinions, and objectives. Giving them a voice will increase their buy-in and ownership of the implementation of these strategies.