Social media has undoubtedly changed the way people interact. It’s made it easier for people to stay connected and gather information like never before. When it comes to internal communications, the right technology can help you better connect with your employees and increase employee engagement.
As the Internal Communications Manager at Reward Gateway, I’m constantly brainstorming new ways to effectively communicate with our workforce.
I’ll outline the little ways that your internal communications system can have a big impact on your people and give some tips on picking the right technology for your organisation.
Set the foundations for connection by integrating social
I love travelling. I love seeing new places, eating different foods and experiencing how other people live. When I meet new people, it’s important for me to stay connected to them because I’m ever-expanding my network of contacts. Whether it’s a professional or personal connection, I make a conscious effort to follow their social media channels because it’s one of the best ways to stay in the loop. By seeing what people are up to – on a business trip in Germany or hiking Machu Picchu in Peru – I’m able to like or comment on their status updates.
This makes me feel like I’m still a part of their world because I’m involved and it helps keep the connection alive even if we’re thousands of miles apart.
So, why should internal communications tools be any different? When organisations focus on employee engagement and adopt technology that mimics social media platforms, their employees are more likely to participate in the conversation. Plus, interactive employee communications platforms are more likely to engage millennials with relevant, personal content.
Make employee communications accessible with one-click interaction
To start off, ask employees to upload profile pictures to their accounts to make employee communication even more personalised. Putting a face to the name makes it easier for colleagues to recognise one another. This is especially useful for connecting global employees in offices around the globe. When new starters join your company, invite them to upload a picture of their choice, allowing them to join in on the discussion early on.
Here at Reward Gateway, we understand that scrolling through feeds, using emojis and tagging people in comments now come as second nature. So, we kept this in mind when creating our own internal communications newsfeed, hosted on our employee engagement platform called “boom!”. I’ve found that when people see others involved in a conversation that they’re not a part of, they may feel like they’re missing out on something.
The FOMO (fear of missing out) is real.
Use an icon such as an eye to illustrate how many people have read an article. You can use a variety of icons to represent key actions at a glance. In boom!, we use a chat bubble to represent a comment and a heart to display likes on the post. Plus, if an employee finds something interesting, they can effortlessly tag their colleagues to share the message.
The idea is that when employees see these icons, they’re encouraged to read it so they’re not left out of the conversation. If we think of a social platform like Instagram, people are used to throwing out likes and comments. Similar to social media, in boom! you can “like” the post with one click and instantly participate with the option to add a comment. By easily clicking “comment” or adding an emoji on a blog post, employees are involved and can effortlessly express their thoughts in a way they’re already used to.
Use multiple touchpoints
While we believe one way to drive effective employee engagement is by mimicking social platforms, we also know that we need to offer various methods for employees to connect with content. It’s no secret that people digest information in different ways.
It’s important to diversify your touchpoints to make sure your message is received.
Use internal communications tools that enable you to reach a variety of audiences. Here at RG, we use email, boom!, Slack, social media, and our in-office visual updates. In particular, this visual newsfeed, called boom! TV, is set up around our offices, displayed on monitors and filled with global updates and pictures of employees. Employee communications is at the heart of boom! TV. For visual learners, it’s a helpful reminder to stay up-to-date on company news and learn about colleagues around the globe in addition to an internal corporate blog.
Your touchpoints will ultimately depend on your company values and business needs. But starting an internal communications blog is a good place to start. There are also employee communications tools to help you plan employee communication initiatives ahead of time. This helps to know what’s coming up next so you can focus on themed, diverse communication tactics that people can connect with.
Choosing the right internal communications tool
It’s simple: Choose a tool that reflects your business needs. It’s no surprise that people will react (and engage) with content that relates to them. Meaning, the right technology should spark conversation by delivering tailored, personalised content to employees. Using a tool to help you. target your message to the right audience makes sure that your content is being received well on the other side.
What’s more, allow your workforce to communicate and interact with others in the same space without having to leave the page. People can even read on-the-go, on any device and stay updated in their own way. This is a simple but effective way to not only make it easier to get your messages across, but to put employee communication at the core of your employee engagement strategy in an easily-digestible format.
By taking tips from popular social media platforms, implementing one-click communication, and using multiple touchpoints, you can achieve big success with little changes and use the best internal communications tools. Keep your workforce connected and diversify your message to make sure everyone is in the loop and feels included. By improving employee communications, you can increase employee engagement at your organisation.
As Head of Global Engagement and Internal Communications, Catrin's main focus is to make Reward Gateway a better place to work. Using the Engagement Bridge™ model, she drives our mission, purpose and values while adding sparkle and creativity to our internal communications.
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