It is said that the only thing that is constant in life is change, and the world is changing faster than ever before. Multiple megatrends are fueling this incredible era of transformation, including urbanization and digitization. Although it may seem unrelated, internal communication is a dynamic field that is directly affected by these changes. How will these developments affect workplace communications? Which innovations will deliver true value? And what tactics should companies consider when developing their internal communication strategies? Below is a summary of what’s coming your way:
1. Think Globally, Act Locally
The phrase “think globally, act locally” was originally used to encourage environmental change, but it can be applied to a variety of fields. Effective internal communication is necessary to connect workers in different locations as leading companies are globalizing. The insights of a local plant manager might be useful, relevant, and engaging to the rest of the organization, but it can be hard to get feedback from everyone on a dispersed team. You can help your local leaders share their ideas and experiences with the whole company by preparing a playbook for local communications.
2. Use Internal Influencers to Share Your Message
The most effective messages have the power of legitimacy. Try to find the most knowledgeable, relevant, or experienced person to deliver important information. For example, a crucial safety announcement could be delivered by a worker who was affected by an incident. Encourage your employees to share their stories and use those stories to dispatch your culture and key values. Create a network of internal influencers from across your organization and offer your employees forums for feedback.
3. Make Your Internal Communication Measurable
Communicators create, write, and speak for a living, but numbers do the talking for an organization’s leaders. You can prove the value of your internal communication strategy with measurable data. The collection of data is easier than ever before in 2018. You can now gather and display data for multiple channels on a single dashboard with the use of built-in analytics tools. This can be done in addition to basic measurements for interactions such as likes, shares, and comments.
4. Fail Better
Though the prospect of failure can seem daunting, especially in a large organization, the reality is that the world’s best companies are learning and improving faster because they know how to fail better. Treat every new strategy like an experiment by defining a clear hypothesis and preparing backup plans. Even a failed project can give you valuable organizational insight.
5. Create a Digital Workplace Strategy for All Employees
Many companies have created a mobile channel for employee communication that fits into the organization’s intranet and digital workplace strategy. To make this available for all employees—including factory workers, drivers, and frontline staff—certain features must be available for mobile devices as well as desktop devices. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy is a great way to get employees involved in workplace communication and increase the speed of technology adaptation in your organization. Company leaders can begin to implement a digital workplace strategy by determining the type of content and services that will be available on personal mobile devices.
6. Cultivate Your IC Channels
Many employees have limited or no access to their company’s intranet or corporate email, which makes getting relevant information out to all workers an ongoing internal communication struggle. Access to content is not the only barrier—most workers have little time for information collection, let alone effectively communicating it to colleagues. By cultivating channels that can be accessed by all employees, you can develop a more communicative culture.
7. Understand the Use of Chatbots
Chatbots are now standard features in many internal communication platforms. They allow you to customize the communication experience for specific audiences and targets. Platforms such as Slack already provide chatbot collaboration and integration tools. Staffbase, another employee communication app, allows organizations to use a chatbot to send automated messages to their employees on work anniversaries or birthdays. Chatbots help employees and employers connect easily by keeping communications unified and integrated.
8. Get the Most from Your Aging Workforce
Older workers—those approaching or past the traditional retirement age of 65—are the fastest-growing segment of the workforce. The Society for Human Resource Management found that many employers think the loss of older employees will be a problem over the coming decade. This is because older workers have a wealth of knowledge that is vital to an organization’s daily operations. Many companies are encouraging these older workers to transfer their knowledge to younger ones. Since companies could lose a high percentage of their aging employees any day due to retirement, companies are using mentoring programs in which older employees partner with younger employees to pass on their knowledge and experience and foster greater productivity. Mentoring programs are an effective way to share information and get the most out of your aging workforce.
In conclusion, although the field of internal communications is changing as rapidly as the world of work, there are many strategies to keep your employees connected. Keep these tips in mind, and your employees will have an effective and communicative 2018.