The modern workplace is centered around a constant flow of information. Whether it’s announcing company news, sharing work, or brainstorming with coworkers, effective internal communication is essential. However, with disparate offices around the globe working in different time zones and remote workers becoming more popular, it’s getting harder to maintain a personal touch when it comes to effective internal communications.
Effective internal communications tools
Intranets and digital workplaces act as central hubs for communication, making them the most effective tools for internal communication. There are many benefits of digital communication in the workplace, and that starts with the improved employee experience and internal comms. They not only allow for easy communication and collaboration across your workforce, but they enable remote teams and are fairly easy to adopt.
Digital workplaces and internal communication tools are only as powerful as their users, so it’s important to implement your digital workplace efficiently and effectively.
5 rules for effective internal communications
At Beezy, we understand just how valuable human connection is when it comes to the workplace. Here are our top 5 rules for engaging and effective internal communications with a digital workplace.
1. Encourage cross-department engagement with a corporate newsfeed
Company intranets have come a long way since they were first introduced. Initially used as a dump for business information, they’ve gradually evolved into the business equivalent of a social media platform. Combining document management, self-service tools, and interdepartmental communication, they’re now the digital hub for all your internal communications.
Your intranet should be able to connect intelligently to your collaboration platform or document management system to share essential business news companywide. Functions like commenting, liking and sharing create a much more engaging environment where workers can interact with one another.
One of the largest impediments to global teams is language barriers – it’s essential to ensure that your global corporate newsfeed is presented in an employee’s local language. With the ability to start discussions regardless of language, workers can communicate and collaborate much more effectively.
2. Take a balanced approach to content structure
It’s difficult for people to communicate well if they don’t have the information they need – building a dynamic site structure to manage content means that workers will be able to discover and learn easily. When building the structure of your corporate newsfeed, striking the right balance between ‘push’ and ‘pull’ is essential.
‘Push’ refers to the news that the Internal Comms department shares to teams, departments, and the wider company. Your newsfeed should post enough content to keep workers engaged without overloading them and help them discover relevant news. A variety of posts from teammates, people in similar roles in other offices, product updates and office news will keep workers engaged with their workplace and potentially help them discover connections with other workers.
‘Pull’ is the self-motivated discovery of news related to a worker’s interests or team and their ability to actively engage with content. Site structure and navigation are key to this. Make sure information is easily discoverable using hashtags and a functioning search bar – this prevents workers from being discouraged by a lack of transparency or an overcomplicated discovery process. Additionally, essential HR functions like holiday requests, declaring expenses, and evaluation information should be easy to find from your central hub. Self-service tools that allow workers to complete HR tasks from any location at any time will create a much greater sense of empowerment and satisfaction.
3. Remove communication obstacles
In a sea of emails, documents, and instant messages, it’s easy to get lost. One of the most important principles of your internal communications strategy should be how to help workers eliminate unnecessary complications in their day-to-day interactions. This means simplifying existing means of communication like team updates, company news, email and document sharing, as well as creating new ways to connect with other workers.
Once again, your corporate intranet should be the hub of your communications where teams can easily share and find knowledge and documents. Because of this, your digital workplace will eliminate a lot of internal emails and messages. As a result, your employees will spend more time on your intranet. A modern, friendly user experience will make their work easier and will help them to be more efficient. Focus on improving the content editing and writing experience and – if necessary – train your most important writers.
In some cases, an employee might need to reach out to a colleague to discuss a certain topic in-depth. Making instant messaging solutions like Microsoft Teams accessible through your intranet breaks down information silos that are created by these individual tools. Besides, you can use these solutions to get your employees back to your central digital workplace. By simply publishing important company news to certain employees or team channels, or by using bot technology within the instant messaging tool point users to the specific content or colleagues they search for. All this information is stored in the digital workplace, and links in the instant messaging tools will pull the user back. By integrating communication technologies that employees use, you can transform the employee experience and foster efficiency, innovation and growth.
4. Eliminate unnecessary noise
It’s important to remember the phenomenon of information overload. While it’s important to share news and updates, these should always be tailored to individual users, or you risk creating fatigue with an abundance of notifications. Your intranet should employ personalization to ensure that employees see relevant news and stay updated without becoming overwhelmed.
Employ features like context search, filtering, and tailored notifications. These are key to streamlining the information that a worker sees and will help them to create their personalized newsfeed. A combination of discovery content (suggested users to follow, content that’s relevant to a user and their community), follow-up content (updates to projects they’re working on, mentions from coworkers), and recovery content (notifications about previous actions) will keep a newsfeed fresh and relevant. Creating some variety in your newsfeed is also beneficial – switching between different formats like text, image, and video piques user interest far more.
5. Celebrate internal achievements
The key to a positive and flourishing community is to share success and highlight members of your organization who are achieving their goals. No matter their position, whether they’re management or not, it’s important to recognize and praise workers regardless of their rank. Creating a culture where management praise top-down and employees praise bottom-up encourages positive engagement, gives employees a sense of purpose, and ultimately leads to higher worker satisfaction.
The ability to tag individual employees in outstanding praise posts is key for this, as well as the abilities to like, comment and share. In this way, your organization can recreate the positive benefits of the social media platforms that workers use in their personal lives.
Beezy’s Intelligent Workplace solution helps Internal Communications professionals to achieve their goals, and helps employees to communicate and collaborate more effectively.