John F. Kennedy said it best, “Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” JFK hit the nail on the head, because we see that the rules of technology and communication are rapidly changing—innovation is a constant that internal communication managers cannot ignore.
So what are we going on about here? There are new internal communication trends on the rise that we must prepare for otherwise we’ll be left in the dust.
But, what is employee communication? According to Chron, “Communication is often defined as the sharing of information, feelings and ideas.” And in the workplace, nothing is more important to your company’s success than employee communication. Why is communication so important? Workplace communication is crucial to your company’s ability to work productively and operate smoothly. On top of it all, good communication leads to fewer rumors, less turnover, higher engagement, increase in customer satisfaction, and so much more.
If that’s not enough of an explanation, think about it like this: you have an amazing product you are going to roll out in six months. But your employees have no idea what the new product will do, how it’ll help the bottom line and most aren’t even aware that a new product is about to be released—when that happens, your employees cannot adapt to the change. They cannot deliver or drive results. However, when you share information, you have everyone aligned with the company’s vision and goals and once that happens, it becomes much easier for employees to deliver success in the way that you imagined.
Now, we hinted on this briefly but there are certain internal communication trends that you must prepare for if you have any shot of achieving the success tied to good communication.
1. Mobile-first employee communication
Currently, the workforce is made up of 50% of millennials and by 2025, that number will reach 75%. And if there’s one thing we know about millennials, it’s that virtually every single one is tech-savvy and mobile-oriented. Therefore, if you want the younger generation to engage with the message you share, you have to adapt your internal communication to their smartphone habits. That means you must have a mobile employee communications app.
Through a mobile app, you can send the latest company updates and announcements. Plus, you can boost employee engagement by providing a platform for employees to be heard and to create comradery among staff. Communicating and engaging with all employees is done easily and quickly with a mobile app.
Most apps allow you to track who viewed and your message so that you can be sure everyone is aligned across the board—for anyone who didn’t, you can send a push notification as a reminder. By adapting your communication methods to suit your employees, you are working smarter and are setting yourself, your company and your employees up for success.
2. Positive employee experience is a must
You can’t successfully run a company if you don’t have a foundation for building successful employees. Employee experience is in the center of this mindset and many managers are beginning to develop their company and workers in parallel.
What is employee experience? In short, it’s a collection of everything an employee experiences at the company, from recruitment to on-boarding and every day until they leave the company. It’s all about treating your employees with the same zest as your customers. Therefore, we know that in 2020, it is crucial that a core focus of your internal communication plan is to build a positive employee experience.
However, don’t fall into the trap of just believing that employee experience is important, like almost 80% of most executives do, because only 22% actually believe their company is delivering on successfully creating employee experience. Don’t fall flat in your attempts because of complex situations like remote employees, technology, deskless staff who are dispersed, and multi-generations and cultures.
You must acknowledge all complexities and include them in your employee experience plan if you’re to succeed. Consider non-traditional work environments, skill development, more collaboration and improving manager-employee communication.
3. Social brand ambassadors
A Nielsen study found that people put a lot more trust in individuals they know and reputable content. This does refer to external marketing but is also relevant for internal communications. How? Employees will listen to their coworkers and will even use those options in arguments or to interpret what managers have to say.
Marketing Insider Group recommend that, “Employees can and should play an increasing role in [the] effort to build their company’s brand. The creativity, teamwork, and innovation that stem from what’s involved with building a brand are both transformative for the business and its people and affects the company’s culture in an inexorably positive manner.”
Therefore, establishing employee advocates is key in 2020 so that you can deliver actual value to your audience.
These three internal communication trends for 2020 are something you can begin working on right now. There is no reason why you should play catch up when you have a running start. Implement these communication changes and your company will be well on its way to continued success.