Hieroglyphics Internal comms strategy

Is your internal comms strategy getting old?

The principle of internal comms is and will always be the same – to communicate a message to your workforce. However, the way that these messages are communicated and digested by people is continuously changing. Technologies are rapidly evolving along with how your employees are working. This means your internal comms strategy could be out of date.

Companies are starting to realise that the communication methods that worked for them before just aren’t cutting the mustard anymore. They are investing time and money into internal comms resources, but the messages just aren’t engaging their workforce. This leads to a fragmented, disengaged and inefficient team of employees. Email, intranets, and posters are some of the most outdated methods out there.

So how do you know if your internal comms strategy is old and inefficient? Find out below.

Your comms only accommodate to a fraction of your team

You write articles and news posts which aren’t easily accessed by everyone in your workforce. Perhaps you write long articles which your time-poor employees find it hard to take time out to read in work hours. Or maybe you have a lot of workers who drive so they can’t read your comms.  Maybe you post your comms on an intranet which can only be accessed when there is internet. Your factory workers don’t have internet where they work making it difficult for them to stay up to date. The list goes on. These days your strategy needs to encompass everyone in your business because communications are the backbone of your company. When you leave people out of the loop it affects your efficiency and alignment. Below are a few solutions to some of the problems mentioned above:

  • Use an internal comms solution that works offline.
  • Break your articles down into chunks and send in phases (if they have to be long, ideally they should only be half a page).
  • Break your comms into chunks for microlearning or gamification. Employees will quickly be able to retain the information that you want them to know.
  • Use an internal comms solution that lets you create and play podcasts so that drivers can listen to your comms.

Your employees receive nothing back for staying up to date with your comms

Everyday we are bombarded with information. Our inboxes are spammed, our social feeds are continuously updated, adverts fly at us from all angles. Your internal comms strategy should take these factors into account. You can’t just expect your employees to stay up to date with what you have to say because they care. Because the sad reality is that not all employees are that engaged. You have to give them something back. Rewards and recognition are a great way to guide your employees and keep them motivated to keep coming back for more information. They can work very simply yet effectively. For example recognise your employees when they read every news post week on week. Our app lets you send a sticker with a message such as “Star reader, well done on reading all comms week on week it hasn’t gone unnoticed.”

You don’t involve all departments in your internal comms strategy

More and more companies are recognising the importance of internal comms to stay ahead of the competition. It shouldn’t be siloed in one department, the best internal comms strategies make sure its included in all departments. This way, you can really ingrane your comms into your culture. Your internal comms department should sit with your marketing department because you should be using the same skills that you use to engage your customers with your employees.

The comms department should also work closely with your learning department so that you can turn any piece of important news into a learning module.  This will help employees retain the information better. Comms should also work closely with your c-suite executives because it needs to be closely aligned with the businesses key goals and objectives. All in all, internal comms should be the backbone of your business.

Your comms are all ‘top-down’

No one likes being in a one way conversation and this is the same for your comms. You shouldn’t just continuously be churning out news and articles with no way of getting feedback. Feedback is essential so that you can shape your comms accordingly. It also makes your employees feel more engaged as they feel like they are actually being listened to. You should think about an internal comms platform that lets your readers leave reactions and comments. Reactions such as ‘like’ ‘dislike’ ‘love’ and ‘hate’ are great for those employees who don’t like voicing their opinion and are more shy than others. Comments are great for those who do like to let their opinions be heard. Letting your workforce feed back and discuss news is a good way for you to be more in touch with their thoughts and opinions.

You don’t get managers to reiterate your comms

You need to have an internal comms strategy that encompasses managers. Managers should reiterate important news and updates when they speak to employees. They are your best champions as they work closely with your workforce everyday. You’ll be amazed at how much better employees are at remembering information when it is spoken to them in person as well as read online. By getting managers to participate in your comms it also makes it easy for employees to express their feedback this works well to turn your comms into a two-way conversation.

You think analytics and insights are just for marketing, learning and operations

Analytics and insights are essential for internal comms. You should always be looking at how well your posts are performing. What their engagement and reach is, which posts don’t get read, plus how many reactions and comments they receive. Like any communications job you can then start tailoring your content to ensure its the most engaging and fitting for your audience. If you don’t have post analytics then it’s time you got some because you can’t perfect your comms strategy if you don’t know what’s holding you back.

You use email to communicate your comms

Emails are a big no no for internal comms for a number of reasons. Non-desk workers get left out as they don’t always have access to emails. You can’t easily target your messages, you either have to add email addresses manually or send the email to everyone. You can’t see the engagement of your messages. Emails are incredibly overcrowded, if you don’t keep on top of them they can become a sea of information (useful or not) that you only fish through when you need something. This means that as soon as a message enters someone’s inbox it loses urgency and impact immediately. Emails are always put on hold, people get into the habit of opening the message and then putting it aside to read at a later date. With our acknowledgment feature you can see who has read what and prompt them to read or re-read in order to make sure that everyone is well-informed.

Your internal comms are paper based

We’re hoping that no one actually still makes this mistake but just encase. Don’t use paper for your internal comms. Employees can lose the paper then the message is never to be seen again. people can then say that they never actually received the message when they did. You can’t track the performance of your message. It’s costly and bad for the environment to keep printing hundreds or thousands of sheets of paper for your internal comms. Once employees do get rid of the paper after reading the message they can’t revisit it which means they are incredibly likely to forget what you’ve said. All-in-all paper is ineffective, costly and inefficient.

 

If you need help transforming your internal comms let us help you. See our internal comms solutions here. Or if you need consulting or a tailor made solution for your business we can help with that too. Call us on 01273 778289, say hello at hi@oplift.io or fill in our contact form and we’ll get back to you right away.

Written by Hayley Lloyd

Published 9th September 2019