Internal Communication Essentials for an Engaging Employee Experience

Five communication must-haves for employee experience management and employee engagement in 2021 and beyond.
Internal communication, employee experience, internal comms, remote communication

What is it like to be an employee at your organization? Do team members understand what is expected of them? Are they all updated on the latest good company news? Is boredom, or loneliness, ruling their days? Are they truly motivated and engaged at work? Undoubtedly, answers to these questions depend on internal communication. Indeed, it is impactful on employee experience, company culture and business in general.

Considering recent trends in internal communications, and events at the start of the decade, it may be time to evaluate communication happening with and amongst your workforce.

Here are 5 employee communication essentials to keep in mind for employee experience management in 2021 and beyond:

1. Two-way or Open Communication

2. Convenience

3. Prioritizing Health, Well-being and Flexibility

4. Realizing it takes more than Text to Build Connections

5. Making Room for Fun

 

1. Two-Way or Open Communication

Both keeping employees in the loop, and listening to what they have to say, is an opportunity to motivate and build upon organizational culture.

Certainly, information from the top-down is valuable. A study by Mushroom Management found that over 50% of employees believe their productivity improves when bosses openly share information. Furthermore, we have seen organizations take advantage of push notifications and SMS to share important updates with their entire workforce, especially during the pandemic.

On the other hand, giving employees a voice and a say, and enabling them to share these is not to be overlooked. Internal communication can be social! A digital social space for your organization’s workforce is a vehicle to foster engagement and the creation of content driven by employees. On Actimo’s Social Wall, for example, team members often share recent wins, which are highly motivating for all.

To complement interactive communication, explore ways to foster “push” and “pull” information exchanges between team members and leaders. Start using features to communicate with and amongst your workforce for FREE on Actimo Now.

 

2. Convenience

To make messages accessible, being organized and strategic in internal content planning, structure, and choice of communication channel is key. Check out our recommendations and template to plan your internal communications.

Moreover, making sure content is relevant, packaged snackable, and easily accessible on-demand contributes to employee engagement. As an important bonus, open rates and other engagement metrics can provide insights into how employee’s experience specific content.

McKinsey encourages leaders to communicate clearly, simply, and frequently, especially during times of crisis. It makes sense; if a work message looks long, people will likely only skim it. If it seems too complex or boring to skim, they might not even open it. Information overload is becoming more and more relevant in communication and content creation. Without a doubt, leaders must keep in mind that people want things fast and easy— employee communication included.

 

3. Prioritizing Health, Well-being and Flexibility

There have been some shifting priorities in society; a pandemic can do that to you. In the new now, showing people you care should definitely be a part of corporate communication strategy. After all, making people feel valued and cared for at work contributes to a more positive employee experience.

According to MIT, motivating your team with empathy could involve telling inspirational or relatable stories, and re-communicating the company vision so everyone feels a part of it. Compassionate leadership and communication could also involve being flexible with response time expectations and working hours, especially while working from home.

Additionally, leaders could take advantage of internal comms platforms to create wellness initiatives. In fact, you may find inspiration on how a company in Facilities Management is supporting health and well-being with Actimo’s communication features and pulse surveys.

 

4. Realizing it Takes More than Text to Build Connections

Being more socially distanced than usual, we are relying on digital communication to fulfill at least some of our need for human connection. Your employees likely appreciate “humanity” in their internal communication experience too, not just information stated in Arial font.

Due to how our brain was wired, visuals that depict actual people have greater engagement. Adding emojis may not be enough, and in many contexts these may be unwelcome. Explore using more videos, images and GIFs to complement text, and try to include yourself, or others, in them.

The Actimo team has seen success in doing this on their very own employee app. New members introduce themselves in video format, and garner a thread of welcoming messages in the comment section from colleagues around the world.

 

5. Making Room for Fun

Is your internal communication experience and content just plain boring? Even in industries with reputations of being super serious, [digital and virtual] water-cooler chatter to blow off steam is still important.

Encouraging and enabling employee-driven content can contribute to engagement in communication. Fun ideas and examples to do so include storytelling, friendly competitions, and groups or conversations around mutual interests (sports could be a good one).

Virtual gatherings for Kahoot! trivia and entertaining activities could also be encouraged as another sure-fire way to bring people closer together and create a more motivating work environment. Leaders can also join the fun!


Finally, a question for you Communicators: Does your organization have all these 5 as a part of the corporate communication strategy and culture?

Evaluate where your internal communication experience may have room for improvement. Efforts to make information exchanges at work more relevant, engaging and motivating for employees will go a long way.

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