Fighting Internal Communications Fatigue in 2021
In 2020, it feels like internal communications passed with flying colours, producing motivation, praise, and connecting employees. Many of our clients implemented changes from the get-go – they put new channels in place, changed the tone of their communications, and opened a dialogue.
As we start this new year, we look around and we see a generalized fatigue. How can internal communications strategically support my organization? Are our tools contributing to employee engagement and retention? This pandemic feels like a communications eclipse, what else can we write about? Many of our clients are asking us to think about these types of questions. They want an external perspective to evaluate the state of their internal communications, where they could improve, and what could work for them.
I’ve drafted these guidelines in the hopes that it can help you assess your environment, elevate your internal communications, and prepare for the year ahead.
1. Assessing your communications tools
Map out your communications environment: what are your current tools? Whether it’s emails and newsletters, intranet or private channels, does your environment allow some flexibility, engagement, and feedback? If not, would it be a good time to introduce a new channel that responds to the missing functionality (i.e. pulse surveys, more social platforms, video Q&A with the executives)? Allow yourself to think outside the box, while keeping in mind that an overabundance of communication channels can lead to frustration.
Seize the opportunity to introduce tools that are less formal or that don’t require spending more time in front of our computers (yes, please!), like a podcast series to showcase employee stories and successes, for instance.
2. Data driven internal communications
The popularity of communications tools’ will not only vary from one business to another, but from one employee group to another. Some employees don’t have a company phone, others can no longer consult intranet from the common room computer or hallways information boards.
Turn back to the data to find out what works. What content or forms of communication are most read, watched or commented on? For instance, what’s the open rate on your emails, what links are the most popular in your intranet, do your employees engage more with video or text, are they interested in CSR or employee stories? Don’t hesitate to make slight changes and to test out new tactics to see what works best.
3. What do your employees want?
It seems simple, but have you asked your employees what information and content they enjoy most?
If you’re looking for more one-on-one feedback, put an advisory committee in place with positive, well-connected leaders from various departments. Task them to ask open questions within their teams about the current tools and organize a workshop to test ideas with them.
If you prefer a broader approach, set up frequent pulse surveys aimed specifically at internal communications. You can poll all employees on what they appreciate the most, and find out what they would like to see more of. Once you adapt your communications, get their feedback on the delivery.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and gather feedback. This way you’ll ensure your communications are always on point and hitting the mark with your internal audiences.
A 2019 study, drawing from over 11 million survey comments, listed lack of communication as one of the three main reasons why employees might seek employment elsewhere. With our workplace changing drastically, organizations need to increase engagement and reduce turnover now more than ever.
If you’d like to hear more on this topic, join us for our upcoming CASACADEMY on Internal Communications on Thursday, March 18th.
In the meantime, if you want to brainstorm with us, drop us a line. We’d be happy to do so!