COMPANIES WITH EFFECTIVE INTERNAL COMMUNICATION TOOLS HAVE DISTINCT COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES OVER THOSE THAT DO NOT.
- Feel connected to the organisation
- Believe in the company’s brand promise
- Believe in what the brand is trying to achieve
- Self-define less as workers and more as shared contributors who are creating current and future value in the world.
By implementing effective internal communication tools, you show and prove to your employees that they are valued. Valued employees work harder and are more productive and innovative. No wonder these kinds of companies perform better than their counterparts who do not apply the same principles for effective internal communication
By paying attention to internal communication trends and applying the correct tools foryou’re your organisation, you can start to realise the full potential of your company’s performance.
Let’s look at some of the most effective internal communication tools you should be using. This list is not exhaustive, but it does discuss where internal communication trends are moving.
EFFECTIVE INTERNAL COMMUNICATION TOOLS YOU SHOULD BE USING
Conduct an audit: Do you have effective internal communication tools?
An internal communication audit with leadership on how they perceive the impact and effectiveness of communication within your organisation can offer you valuable insights on how to improve.
From there, consider a company-wide internal communication audit, where you measure communication effectiveness, impact and preference.
Once you’ve conducted this research, the next step is to reassess your channel mix and build in metrics that provide you with ongoing valuable data.
Develop a digital playbook for your employees
Corporate narratives are your foundation for content, but you need a way to cascade communications down to specific roles and locations.
Playbooks empower managers and leaders because they are an on-hand reference to help communicate complex information. Playbooks also ensure communication consistency. We know that internal communication is about keeping your employees up to speed and invested in the organisation. An employee needs to understand how their role impacts the larger business. Playbooks help you achieve this.
Video content is one of the most effective internal communication tools. Especially if your remote workforce is growing, which, globally, is the direction companies are taking. Video will be your go to tool to reach and engage your employees. Consider livestreaming your internal events for your remote workers.
You should also consider up-levelling your internal communication strategy using explainer videos. For any internal campaigns, roadshows, events and engagement programmes, video should form part of your communication activities – it’s quick to digest can be entertaining and after all, we all know a picture is worth a thousand words.
Podcasts are on trend
In this age of self-learning, where we have countless sets of tools at our disposable to self-educate and grow our professional skills, podcasts are a valuable internal tool. Consider condensing your strategy presentations into podcasts, which employees can listen to any time that suits them – even in the car on the way to work. You could also frame narratives around the direction of your company as dialogues between an interviewer and senior management. Podcasts are not only effective, they’re also quick and easy to produce. To really amp up your internal messaging, what about a streaming employee radio show?
Develop an employee app
Effective internal communication tools are all about better engagement with employees for better performance. You may be thinking, “Not ANOTHER channel” when you already have tools like Yammer, SharePoint and Teams, but a good employee app can integrate all your communication activities into a single portal and still integrate into your existing platforms and channels. Think of an employee app as a personalised mobile and desktop doorway to all your company platforms; similar to an employee intranet but more connected, integrated, mobile and engaging. Many companies globally have seen the value in incorporating a branded employee app into their communication mix, especially as a way to communicate with remote workers.
Use GIFs to popularise your message delivery
Your employees are sharing GIFs on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Telegram, WhatsApp, and Skype anyway. Why not use GIFs to your advantage and use them to share internal messages too? GIFs are mobile friendly, work across platforms, are cost effective, and from a strategic perspective can simplify complex ideas. Bring your numbers to life and empower your employees to share information. Don’t forget to use humour where appropriate.
Upskill with a centre of excellence
Conferences for employees, although beneficial, can be costly. An alternative is to set up a series of events for your communicators and marketers and invite experts to share their knowledge with you. Record the sessions and share them via webinars, blogs and podcasts. Then, take it further with a centre of excellence dedicated to exploring and delivering best practice internal communication across your organisation.
Publish an eZine
An eZine is like a digital magazine for internal circulation. eZines are effective because they offer easy to digest, shareable snippets of communication that create talking points within your organisation. The advantage of eZines is that content can be more than a one-dimensional article. When developed correctly, eZines can be embedded with all the active internal communication tools we have discussed so far: videos, podcasts, webinars and gifs. From a content development perspective, eZines can be used to profile employees, make announcements, issue guidance from senior management, and publish opinion pieces. An eZine also works best as a place for user-generated content, which is an effective way to get employees involved in the production process. Because eZines are digitally developed, content can be updated easily as required.
A WORD OF CAUTION:
A word of caution: your employees are much less likely to read a hastily designed eZine produced on a shoestring budget. Take the process seriously, with content-rich articles that are engaging and useful, and you will reap enormous value from them.
Effective internal communication tools start and end with your employees. By giving them messages that are useful and empowering through channels that are relevant and accessible, you create an environment for new levels of performance.
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