Internal communications is rapidly changing to cope with workplace trends such as the rise of remote teams, the availability of new corporate communication tools, and a younger generation of workers, among others. Thus it would be wise for any corporate communications boss to revisit his company’s internal communication system and perhaps institute changes to keep up with the times.
The following are some recent trends in the field of internal communications that underline the need for a communications group to improve on its internal communication system:
Communication gets social
We’re seeing more and more companies embrace the idea that social media isn’t disruptive in the workplace. When used properly, social media can boost internal communication, increase levels of employee engagement, and creation of brand advocates.
Nokia was among the first companies to recognize the need to integrate social media in their internal communications. In 2008, its social media communications team was established to encourage the use of social media internally. It was also directed to take the lead in social media interaction externally on behalf of the company, and contribute to product and service announcements through increased online engagement.
The same team was behind Nokia’s BlogHub, an internal communication system that lets Nokia employees create their own community through posts.
Another giant firm, Ford, tapped social media sometime in 2008 to provide their employees with a new way to connect with each other. It was a daring move back then as many of Ford employees were used to traditional internal communication system channels such as email and corporate newsletter.
But it has bore fruits for the company. Ford’s social media agents are now very visible online, attending to customer queries, comments, or concerns on forums, message boards, and car enthusiast websites. They also use a customized search engine tool to be able to reach out to customer comments on social media.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
In the decades past, bring your own device to the workplace would elicit frowns from supervisors. But these days, bring your own device (BYOD) has become a standard workplace practice of sorts as many companies have accepted the fact that employees would want to use their own smartphones and tablets for business-related purposes.
BYOD is a trend that’s growing due to its positive effects on employee productivity. According to a study conducted by Cisco International Business Solutions Group, BYOD employees stand to get a global average of 37 minutes of productive time every week. It can also translate to time savings as employees are more familiar with their own gadgets compared to company-issued computers. The same survey projects BYOD devices to grow by 405 million this year.
Video and podcasts to grow
Video and podcasts in corporate communications were virtually unheard of five years ago, but more and more companies are now producing short, bite-sized video snippets for the busy worker. Podcasts, too, are being produced to reach out to employees who are not desk-bound.
The days of talking head, interview-style videos featuring a resource person like the company president or HR boss could soon end with shorter video snippets becoming more popular. After all, the busy office worker is unlikely to spend even five minutes listening to what the company boss has to say to a topic that is uninteresting to him. But with bite-sized video snippets that can readily be shared on social media, the busy office worker will be able to digest information faster.
Podcasts, too, are now being distributed internally. Podcasts are ideal for employees who are always on the go, as they can listen to it while on the train or while waiting for a client.
With these trends now adapted in many offices worldwide, perhaps it is time to revisit your firm’s internal communication system and determine whether it is possible to adapt any of these trends.