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How Improving Internal Communications Can Dramatically Impact Employee Engagement

4/20/16 8:30 AM

The intranet start page plays an important role in the modern digital workplace. It is the gateway into an organization's many communities and knowledge bases, and it is often the primary platform from which internal communications begin. The problem is that most organizations get it wrong, and as a result, communication and collaboration suffer. Recent studies by Gallup and other leading research firms have shown that many as 70% to 85% of workers are not actively engaged at work, which has a direct impact on individual productivity as well as business outcomes. However, this trend can be reversed by improving internal communications and collaboration. Improve how you communicate, and you'll dramatically impact employee engagement.

Gallup defines an engaged workforce as employees having the opportunity to focus on what they do best, having a manager or peers who encourage them in their roles and professional development, and having feedback mechanisms and a corporate culture in place that allows them to share their opinions. According to Gallup, engaged employees are active and enthusiastic participants in the corporate dialog -- which has a direct impact on business outcomes and an organization's financial success. And how an organization supports internal communication directly affects that level of engagement.

The more engaged the workforce, the greater the level of innovation, growth, and revenue.

In a previous blog post, Beezy Product Lead Maximo Castagno (@maximocastagno) talked about the value provided by next-generation intranets that balance formal and informal communications, making the user experience more social and dynamic, integrating communications with other enterprise collaboration capabilities. The result is an intranet that is more intelligent, personalized, and that helps employees get their work done -- which really is the goal of the intranet. People want to get more done. The better you can align your internal communications with the business activities of your employees, the more engaged they will become. And much of that alignment begins with the intranet newsfeed.

"In the minds of employees, internal communications play a similar role to advertising in consumer social networks: it can be disruptive and irrelevant. Therefore, in order to be effective, internal comms must be intelligent and relevant, they need to have the human element, and they should be visually compelling."  Maximo Castagno, Beezy Product Lead

When communications are more visual, social, and personalized, employees respond by using the platform more, by sharing more, and by reaching out to peers and internal communities to talk. But do your systems and internal culture support this strategy? Some of the most visited websites on the world wide web are social networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter -- all of which offer user experiences that are visual, social, and personalized. To increase the level of employee engagement on your internal systems, you need to incorporate some of the same elements of these social networks into your intranet design.

For Beezy, the start page newsfeed is a core aspect of our solution -- incorporating some of these user experience elements and solving the problems that organizations and employees have with internal communications. Following the same patterns for communication used in the social networks, the key is to support both Follow-up and Discovery content:

  • Follow-up content: it's basically what the users care about. This is the content generated in the communities that they follow, or by the users that they follow, such as a notification that a peer has uploaded a document.
  • Discovery content: it is what the organization wants the users to care about. These are things that employees should be aware of, or actions that will help the network itself, such as completing an unfinished user profile.

Here's an example of how the Beezy Newsfeed provides both of these elements:

Beezy Newsfeed with Follow-up and Discovery cards

The Beezy Newsfeed covers both needs with an intelligent solution that mimics how consumer social networks operate with advertising. Basically, the social networks "inject" advertising within the newsfeed (i.e. Twitter promoted tweets) based on your connections and network activity. Instead of advertising, we "inject" the newsfeed with content, connections, and communities that are relevant to the individual. With cloud (Office 365) and hybrid environments, we take it one step further with unique Office Graph integrations that add additional personalization and intelligence to your platform, extending SharePoint's native capabilities, improving performance and helping to drive engagement.

One of the major failures of the typical intranet is the static nature of most communication. The more static your content, the more "blind" employees become to your message. In other words, if you want something to be seen, don't always show it in the same place.

Beezy helps intranets avoid newsfeed blindness

The dynamic nature of the Beezy Newsfeed ensures that employees will not become "blind" to your internal communications. Instead, what they will see is content that is relevant, personalized, and dynamic based on their connections, content, and community activities. Communications within the Newsfeed are always a blend of Follow-up and Discovery content that dynamically changes as employees interact with the system. In other words, they'll be highly engaged.

At Beezy, we believe there is business value in making internal communications and collaboration more visual, social, and personalized. If you would like to learn more about our award-winning collaboration solution, contact us at to schedule a personalized demo, or use our online form.

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