Are you keeping up with this year’s internal communications trends? It’s become quite clear that a solid internal communications plan plays a crucial part in the health of a company – quite literally, as illustrated by our collective experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic!
In fact, we’ll go so far as to say the pandemic has changed many things about how organizations communicate internally, and those organizations that did not emphasize internal communications prior to the pandemic are certainly doing so now. We’ve learned that there needs to be a new awareness on how we tell our employees what’s going on, and even more important than that, who’s telling our employees what’s going on. You may have noticed this with your own organization, as you conveyed vitally important information to your staff over the past eighteen months.
We think it’s safe to say that this emphasis on internal communications isn’t going away any time soon. So, as we approach the halfway point of 2021, we wanted to highlight four of the top internal communications trends for 2021, and help you understand what you need to know.
Internal Communications Trend #1: Focus on Employees and Improve Employee Experience
There is a lot of emphasis on keeping your employees informed, especially after living through all that we have over the past 18 months. Opening internal communications channels and providing your employees with updates on how your company’s doing, what new health & safety measures are in place, things they should be aware of as it pertains to return to office, etc. has been a key part of keeping organizations running during the pandemic.
This focus on employees plays into the importance of improving employee experience. During the pandemic, how have employees who are no longer physically in the office still connected to the organization’s overall corporate culture, and more specifically, still connected to their colleagues?
One of the trends that we’ll see continue well after 2021 is around creating a focus on employees and their experiences. An internal communications platform, like Workplace by Facebook (Workplace), can help open the lines of communication within your organization and provide two-way, open communications, with a focus on employee experiences.
Workplace propels your organization into the modern era – it allows you to focus on real-time, instant communication. With Workplace, you can create posts, polls, and live videos in minutes, allowing you to post important company updates, health & safety measures, employee communications, and more that your employees can access no matter where they are or what device they’re using.
Internal Communications Trend #2: Turn Your Leaders into More Efficient Communicators
When something impactful happens in an organization, people don’t want to hear from others in the same boat… they want the truth to come right from the top. To use an analogy, it’s not up to the Apprentice Deck Officer to let the passengers of a cruise ship know that something significant has happened – passengers demand to hear it directly from the Captain.
The same goes for your organization. When something happens – and one could argue that this goes for both good and bad events – people don’t want to hear about it from their colleagues. They want to speak to someone who has the authority to “give it to them straight”, reassure them if it’s possible, answer their questions, and help them to see what this event might do to/for them, or to/for the company.
Leaders, therefore, are finding themselves more and more in the “hot seat”, so to speak, when it comes to internal communications. CEOs, Presidents, Executive Directors, and others in leadership roles are having to add strategic communicators to their repertoire.
This trend isn’t going away any time soon, so it’s important to choose the right internal communications platform, like Workplace, that can help turn your leaders into more efficient communicators. Ready to learn how to connect with your employees on a whole new level and improve your communications skills? Check out this blog where we share some knowledge around leading with transparency and authenticity.
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Internal Communications Trend #3: Create Valuable Content for Your Employees
Another trend that we’re seeing, which goes along with the first two trends, is the shift to creating more internal content – providing your employees with relevant and effective monthly, quarterly, bi-annual, or annual business communications so that they can stay up to date on what’s happening, any new services or products that you’ll be offering, return to office plans and policies, and more.
By regularly providing interesting and valuable content to your employees, you make them feel more valued, and thus, they’re more likely to be engaged with what’s going on at work – which, in turn, leads to greater productivity. Keep in mind that organizations with effective business communications are consistently more productive, more profitable, and have higher employee retention. But, despite 70% using plans to support specific internal communications campaigns and initiatives, only 33% of them have a documented internal communications strategy!
Workplace’s easy-to-use platform is perfect for engaging your employees and can give you a place to get that content you’re creating into your employees’ hands – no matter what device they’re using (and this last point is especially important for frontline employees and deskless workers!). With Workplace acting as your distribution system, you can keep your employees updated on staff changes, new policies or procedures, important messages from your executive team, new product or service specifications, or whatever internal content you’re creating.
Don’t have something like this in place yet? It’s not too late to make content creation a priority! Why not try creating a quarterly newsletter to start and roll it out for your employees?
Internal Communications Trend #4: Effectively Tracking & Measuring the Impact of Your Internal Communications
This last trend we want to discuss ties into the other three – tracking and measuring the impact your internal communications are having in your organization. It’s one thing to put emphasis on employee communications, empowering leadership to communicate better, and creating content for your employees, but if you aren’t measuring and tracking the impact of your internal communications, how do you know if what you’re doing is working?
Consider the following questions:
- How do you measure engagement, reach, and interaction?
- How do you track things like employee retention, adherence to policies, or how effective your training regimen is?
- How can you ensure that your employees are satisfied with their jobs?
If you can’t answer them, it’s time to look into measuring the impact of your internal communications.
An internal communications platform, like Workplace, should be able to make this an easier task for you. With Workplace specifically, the platform provides Workplace Insights, which lets you track and measure Workplace usage for things like employee sentiments, trends within groups, post-level activity, and much more. With this information, you can increase the effectiveness of internal communications in multiple ways:
- Communications Professionals: Use employee sentiments to improve your messaging and understand how people are reacting to company-wide or group communications.
- HR Teams: Visualize engagement metrics over time to grow and develop your company’s corporate culture.
- IT Leadership: Use analytics to track how active your population is on Workplace and create strategies to improve adoption to increase ROI.
Of course, once you have these insights, you can then use some of Workplace's integrations with data & analytics tools to create engaging, real-time reports that help you to visualize your people analytics in new and exciting ways. One such tool that can do all this is Power BI. Check out Workplace & Power BI's Better Together story here!
Spruce Up Those Internal Communications with Workplace from Facebook!
So, how’d you do? Are you on track with the internal communication trends that we’ve outlined in this blog? If you think you might need a little work, not to worry! You still have six months before the end of the calendar year – plenty of time to improve your internal communications and get yourself set up for a stellar 2022!
Ready to see how Workplace can take your internal communications trends to the next level? Book a call with us to try the free interactive Workplace demo, where you can discover how to connect everyone in your company with familiar tools like Groups, Rooms, Chat, News Feed, and Knowledge Library. Our team of experts have the know-how to build you an innovative and collaborative Workplace from Facebook platform that will set you up for internal communications success. Try out the interactive demo and see how Workplace can enhance your business – today!