Effective Internal Communication
Natalie Ediger, November 15, 2019· Communication
Internal Communication Trends 2020
E-mails, Messenger, WhatsApp, Facebook, Insta, Skype or rather classic by phone call? Whether with family, friends or colleagues, the possibilities for communication are boundless today. The same also applies within the company:
Digitalization has also changed internal communication enormously. Nowadays we are that overflowed with messages that it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between important and unimportant issues. You can’t even blame your employees if some information hasn’t reached them at all. And yet: In order to communicate successfully to the outside, internal communication must be impeccable. For this, it is important to find the best possible instruments to motivate the employees and to receive maximum attention for your message. We present methods which design internal communication efficiently and help reaching the corporate goals.
For our customers, we always rely on the latest technologies, unusual product stagings, virtual reality, music, action and lots of emotions. Large advertising campaigns with a portion of storytelling should not be missing either. The internal communication, however, is a bit weak: Many companies are still sending protracted e-mails and text messages that neither receive enthusiasm nor attention. However, internal communication is crucial to keep the team informed about changes, new processes and developments in the company. This should therefore be done in the most captivating way. Today it is almost expected that interactive video content should be part of any communication strategy.
As we explained in our post, visual content is processed faster by our brain and stays in our memory much longer. Therefore, we should make use of visual elements that digitalization offers: Explainer videos are ideal for training new employees or explaining new processes. Information combined with a pinch of humor prevents boredom and increases commitment. It is also not necessary to present the entire company culture . Even short updates can be implemented more effectively and authentically if the boss quickly reaches for the smartphone and provides information as a video.
In our everyday life we all use them: – our much sought-after Emojis. They deliver authenticity and emotions to every message. In professional life, on the other hand, there is still a little lack. Most of the time we don’t use emojis to stay objective on a professional level. That is at least the rigid way of thinking of traditional businessmen. Why actually? Why should every professional conversation suddenly take place at an enormous distance? Especially internally, stimulating emojis bring a little pizzazz into dry information.
This does not mean that every message should resemble the monologue of a “drama queen”, but it doesn’t hurt to integrate a little looseness and smileys into your team.
Gamification also brings creativity into the, otherwise rather dry business content: Gamification is the use of playful elements (e.g. scoring, competition with others) in a non-playful context to inspire and motivate the masses. The aim is to apply game theory to employee communication and thus promote interaction and raise awareness of business-relevant topics. To keep it short: Complexity and boredom become interaction and a lot of fun. This even works through a simple form such as an interactive quiz. Gamification is therefore a valuable element in the corporate context to transform dry information into an entertaining experience.
Chatbots and artificial intelligence
Communicating information quickly and precisely to employees is extremely important, as we all are bombarded with messages and don’t have enough time. At this point, artificial intelligence and chatbots can help and also be used effectively within the company. Possible applications would be, for example, navigation through complex topics, support during the application process and answering standardized questions, especially in the onboarding process.
Apps, Tools and Intranet
In the age of “digital nomads”, companies are increasingly faced with the challenge of communicating more effectively with employees and reaching them with relevant information from any location. For this reason, employee apps, messengers and social media are also enormously important in internal communication. Web 2.0 is the trend word. The goal is to maximize employee participation within the company and to exchange information across departmental boundaries. Tools such as Slack or Trello can be used to communicate and collaborate with employees from all over the world in real time. This means that updates can be provided in the shortest possible time and enable a smooth flow of information. Communication tools connect us virtually with each other and therefore promote a sense of community.
Face to Face Conversation
No matter how much digitalization affects our daily lives, nothing will replace the power of a personal conversation. Perhaps it is because of all the tools, apps and video messages that we all wish to have more for face-to-face communication. A feedback in the form of a dialogue remains indispensable for a successful corporate communication and for the development of a long-term employee relationship. Listen, exchange and understand each other: A personal conversation creates much more transparency than fast written messages, which can often be misinterpreted.
Internal Communication and corporate culture
Internal communication is important; we have stressed this often enough. You should therefore carefully consider which instruments are best suited to your corporate culture in order to achieve maximum success. Reaching blindly for all available means is also not a good strategy, as communication can quickly become chaotic and confusing. Ask yourself the following questions:
Which channels fit my corporate culture?
Which channels do I use to achieve maximum employee interaction?
Which communication channels are best suited to my team?
Also select communication channels that allow specific rest periods. For example, if you rely on internal WhatsApp communication, an app that we use mostly for private purposes, you will encounter dissatisfaction and frustration in the long term. Employees should not be bothered 24/7 with company news.
Especially the younger generation attaches more and more importance to the corporate culture. Does the philosophy fit my own values? Can I identify myself with the company? These are important questions for the millennials and Generation Z in particular. At this point, internal communication has an enormous impact on employer branding. As a manager, you should therefore set a good example and communicate with your employees in such a way that they want to positively represent the corporate values as brand ambassadors.
Takeaway: Internal communication in upheaval
Today, digitalization offers many possibilities for the internal communication. Similar to the communication with customers, you need to understand and analyze your target group, in this case your employees. This is the only way to find the right means of communication for your corporate culture and ensure maximum flow of information and interaction. Develop a sustainable strategy that promotes a sense of community, builds trust between you and your employees and helps you achieve your business goals as a team.