Agile working has been the new normal since the pandemic. While many enjoy the benefits of not being permanently tied to their desks, this change in working routine has highlighted the paramount need to leverage technology to communicate effectively. If internal communication is used as an enabler of your company’s strategy, culture, and priorities, it is important to consider how the right technology use can help your message get seen and actioned.
To help ensure you are on the right track, here are three considerations to think about when using technology to support your internal communication.
1. Using technology tactics to enhance your message
Always try to align your internal communications with your business objectives, values and purpose. Effective communication makes your cultural foundation stronger and will help you achieve your strategic goals.
Here are some technology tools you can easily use to drive greater engagement:
Use hyperlinks – You can connect your employees to additional content in one click. When you add a hyperlink or button to a “call to action” message, the chances of people doing what you ask improves because you’ve made it easy for them.
Use QR codes – A QR code is a scannable image that is instantly read using a smartphone camera. With 81% of the world’s population owning a smartphone (opens a new window), QR codes provide employees with easy access to digital content (e.g. websites, videos, PDFs or contact details). Internal communication teams will instantly see the analytics and data on user behaviour, meaning adjustments can be made accordingly.
Accessibility – Think about how technology can make your message more accessible. For example, can your workforce access your content on mobile phones or tablets, or do they have to be on your company’s network? Make content easily accessible and always check that any hyperlinks or QR codes work before distributing.
2. The benefits of internal communication platforms
Otherwise called an enterprise social network (ESN), having a dedicated communications platform for internal use is a great way to digitally communicate with your employees. They can engage and interact with your content in their own time, but you can also actively push important or time dependent messages. Common platforms include Facebook’s Workplace, Microsoft’s Yammer and Salesforce’s Chatter – to name a few. They all have similar features familiar with social media, and with 4.48 billion people currently using social media worldwide (opens a new window), most of your workforce will have previous exposure to these features meaning user adoption will be easier.
Benefits of ESN’s:
Relevance – Make use of groups. If not everyone needs to hear about the new finance system, only post to the group that the update is relevant to, ensuring your message reaches the right people.
Interactivity and empowerment – Your employees can engage with your business’ content and share updates in real time, giving everyone a voice and not just your senior team. There are also useful engagement features on these platforms, including videos, polls, commenting and instant chat.
Flexibility – Most internal communications platforms have an accompanying app. This allows your workforce to access work-related content on-demand on their handheld devices. Furthermore, these platforms can integrate with other communication and collaboration tools like Slack or Teams, streamlining your communications strategy.
Notifications – This is a great tool for critical or time-dependant messages. Furthermore, most ESN’s utilise email integration, offering your employees the additional choice to receive notifications from particular groups on the ESN or via email.
Analytics and tracking – Most platforms allow you to track and measure employee engagement in real time. This enables you to improve your message engagement, support your company’s culture and work on your business drivers.
3. What technology communication channels to use
Your employees need to know how information is shared, what technology to use, and when. Otherwise, this can cause confusion, leading to a lack of buy-in or action to your message or, worse, reduce morale.
Each channel will reach your employees in different ways and achieve slightly different engagement levels. Therefore, carefully consider what internal communication channels help you reach your people and how technology can support your information-sharing efforts. For example, broadcast your town hall meetings on your ESN because it is easily accessible and allows interactive (Q&As) or use your Slack or Teams groups for team communication, project collaboration or anecdotal feedback.
For more information, please contact:
Lauren Hoare, Global Technology Manager for People Solutions
T: +44 (0) 20 7933 2843
Katherine Gunningham, Client Communications Manager for People Solutions
T: +44 (0) 20 7933 2709