June 10, 2015
Posted by: Mitch Ballard
If we expect our team members to effectively communicate with a client, our community and prospects, then our organization has to lead by example. We have all the tools necessary to communicate better than ever before, but do we understand the value and the meaning of communications? Think about it.
Internal Communications (IC) radically improves, controls and measures the way we communicate with employees and stakeholders, helping to drive positive employee behavior and increase engagement with influencers.
A snapshot of the IC industry highlights that the average ratio of internal communicators to employees within an organization, is 1 per 500 to 1000. 3 in every 4 internal communicators say their IC strategy is aligned with their business strategy. A quarter of all IC departments said that they would increase their budgets in 2014, with the biggest issue being leadership communications. IC professionals also believe that smarter employee engagement leads to stronger business results.
Intranet — Interestingly, the intranet is the most used channel in IC, but email is actually the most effective. The future of IC channels places the focus firmly on internal social networking tools and an intranet with 1 in 2 companies planning to invest in both of these equally. Not surprisingly, print newsletters are dying out—they have become most unused tool with more than 50% of companies opting not using them anymore.
Digital — Many companies have employees who are not able to be “connected” during their work day hours either because of site / location restrictions or because they have employees who work in the field. In other situations, employees may be connected, such as call center employees, but they are not able to check digital channels without being disconnected them from their call queue. More than 4 in 5 companies have not found a way to implement a technology solution to digitally communicate with their offline employees.
The landscape of IC is continuously evolving and the trends towards ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) has risen out of a need for companies to be accessible at all times with the use of mobile applications and devices. Where once the ‘Out of Office’ email meant an employee was not contactable, now smartphones and tablets allow a constant flow of communication. Indeed, half of employers are predicted to require their employees to supply their own device for work purposes by 2017 according to the Gartner Bring Your Own Device: The Facts and the Future report. The biggest challenges in IC are acknowledged as the volume of communications, gaining employee buy-in and general employee engagement respectively.
Technology is only a tool to communicate. Your culture carries the message beyond the words internally and externally. Before you spend money building technology that communicates think about what influences the communications. Make sense?