To say that that workplace communication is constantly changing would be an understatement. With more companies adapting telecommuting and the use of mobile devices like smartphone and tablets, internal communications today is different from what it used to be 10 years ago.
In fact, many studies have shown that email which was the undisputed communication tool in the workplace in the late 90s up to the late 2000s, has been on the decline as far as usage is concerned. This is partly due to the entry of millennials in the workforce, who like to interact more on social networks, instant messaging, and even text messaging.
Internal communications will continue to evolve this year, influenced mainly by the following trends:
Videos aren’t exactly new in the internal communications field, but more and more internal communicators will use it to reach out to the rest of the organization because it is easier to deploy these days.
UK-based Melcrum reports that in a recent survey, internal communicators admitted using video to support their internal communication campaigns. This can be attributed to various factors like the availability of mobile devices where these videos could be played and viewed by employees.
With video internal communications, messages are easily absorbed by the employees. Video, too, is more effective as a communication tool because a message can be communicated in seconds unlike in an article or memo that takes multiple paragraphs to do so.
Video is also very powerful as it eliminates the need for emails, documents, handouts, and even personal meetings. In terms of referencing, video is easy to refer back to unlike email which is often deleted.
Bring your own device (BYOD) is a trend that is slowly being a norm in most companies. BYOD simply means allowing employees to bring their own devices to use in the office, from cellphones to laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
BYOD has its inherent advantages. One is that it can help improve employee engagement and make them more productive because they are using a device that they are familiar and comfortable to use. Moreover, it can lower technology and training costs that would benefit the company because they no longer have to invest in equipment for their employees.
However it also has its challenges such as the risks of losing important data and files.
3. Going on social media
Ten years ago, it was a no-no for employees to use social media. While many firms are still strict about employee social media usage these days, there are also a good number of firms that have realized the gains that they can get from having their workers spread exciting company news on Facebook or Twitter.
Look for employee social advocacy programs to take off in 2016. These programs encourage employees to share information about their companies on their own social media accounts. It’s a clever and practical way for firms to promote their brand on social media, without spending too much on it.
4. Measuring impact
What makes internal communications efforts today exciting is that everything can be measured. From the number of views that an internal communications video gets to the number of employees taking part in employee engagement polls, internal communicators now have numerous ways to determine which of their campaigns are working and which need to be modified.
Indeed, internal communications today has become so dynamic that internal communication experts have lots of ways to reach out their core audience. The challenge right now is to find the right communication tool that can inform and inspire the rest of the workforce.