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Internal Communications Best Practices

Denise CoxDenise Cox·
Internal Communications Best Practices

I can see all of 2016 in the rear view mirror, which means it’s time for me to select five internal communication best practices for 2017.

How am I coming up with these? It’s based on recurring themes that kept bubbling up over the year as I talked to IC professionals, including our customers, and attended and spoke at IC events around the world such as the IABC World Conference, SMilE and CIPR Inside. I also tapped into the creative internal communications ideas of various thought leaders that were guests on my monthly Best Practice webinar series.

Here is my guide to the Top 5 Internal Communications Best Practices

Improving internal communications with 360° measurement

The Internal Communication function is a fairly mature function now. As a result, we join HR, Finance and Marketing in having to prove our results and business value. Getting our hands on metrics, such as page views, opens, comments has been the goal for this year. But individual metrics, in siloed channels, isn’t enough. This year we need to make sense of it all as a cohesive view in order to achieve organizational communication best practices. This year you want to be able to answer the CEO’s questions about your success. In fact, you’ll want to lead the conversation with “How would you like to see total engagement results? By location, channel, department, audience, device, business unit?” Read my blog post on the future of internal communication measurement.

Learn how Poppulo can help you achieve your internal communication goals in 2017.Request a demo

Employee Communication – Engaging all generations

Workplaces featuring a wide range of age groups is nothing new. What is changing is this: More boomers are working past retirement age, and more tech-savvy millennials continue to graduate and enter the workforce. There’s a striking difference in the generational values now. Communication preference styles and work habits of each generation are becoming more pronounced. How can organizations reach these groups? What channels should you use? How can you successfully integrate such diversity into a collaborative, technology-inspired workplace? This year, reaching and engaging a diverse workforce will be a hot topic. I’d suggest starting with an IC audit to understand what channels you have available, profiles of your audiences, and how to best create and implement a comms strategy that works. Download our IC audit how to guide.

Remote is a (big) (growing) thing

That’s right. In the US alone remote working has grown by 103% since 2005 and 6.5% in 2014. Studies repeatedly show employees are now not at their desk 50-60% of the time. Many Fortune 1000 companies are in the midst of completely overhauling their work spaces around the fact that employees are already mobile. Corporate communications best practices now involves tackling the challenge of removing barriers for remote workers. Whether ‘remote’ is offsite, the factory floor, in their car or working from the home office – they all need to feel connected and engaged with your communications. Not getting around it – it’s a big pain point, and a big challenge that must be met. See our whitepaper – Communicating with remote employees.

Multichannel is the new black

Proclaiming ‘<fill in the blank> channel is dead!’ every time you want to introduce a new channel is so last year. One method of communication in an organization is never enough. A new internal communications tool should not simply replace legacy or existing channels. Employees have channel preferences, plus there are routes more suited for certain types of messaging than others. Instead, you need to be at the center of your communications strategy – and understand the power of each of your communication channels. What’s the answer? Take a multichannel approach, playing to the strengths of each medium. Instead of dropping channels, join the dots between strategy, behaviors and technology, to improve the flow and quality of communication and collaboration.”

You’ve got to tell it to sell it

Creating and pushing out a communication in the workplace from the top down no longer works. Employees want to understand ‘why’, they want the WIIFM factor (What’s In It For Me) – and be compelled to change and engage. You’ve got fleeting opportunities to make a point, catch the eye and make your case. Especially if your audience is dispersed and diverse. It is difficult to connect, inspire and get people to act on just logic and reason alone. Storytelling brings hard data, facts and figures to life. What does storytelling look like? It uses all the tools available to you, such as videos, infographics, podcasts, narration and images. Read more at this All Things IC blog post.


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