Digital is transforming the world around us. It’s changing the way we shop, the way we work, the way we share elements of our personal lives, and the way we meet people.
It’s also changing the way companies market themselves, the way they handle the media, and more recently than that, it’s changing the way firms communicate with their employees.
Internal communications has always been there. It’s always been something businesses do somewhere within the company. It’s just not always been at the forefront when it comes to being a focus for time or budget.
So now that digital is taking an ever more noticeable presence within workforces around the world, how exactly is it transforming the world of internal communications?
By embracing digital technology and online media, businesses can knock down any communications barriers and in doing so increase transparency, connect colleagues and give company communications a two way channel.
Giving colleagues a voice in the workplace helps them to feel empowered and shows them that they are all individuals that play a part in the output of the business.
Allowing content to be created for the people, by the people builds a culture of positive brand ambassadors each of whom have different views and opinions and can feel more motivated and productive knowing they can connect with colleagues within the company and have their voice heard.
Internal communications used to be all about broadcasts and updates from the top down. While these are still important, and therefore still need to happen, digital internal comms is all about humanising communication.
If you feel like someone is listening to you, you are more likely to be engaged with what they are saying too. Giving employees a platform on which to have their voices heard, such as a forum or social network, will help them to interact regularly both with each other, and the management within the business.
By ensuring employees know they are being listened to by a real person and something is being done with their content, you will find yourself with an engaged and personal workforce.
Real time news and updates
It’s great to have a nice thick magazine to pick up and hold in your hands, but when you think how long it takes a magazine to be printed, it’s clear that the news featured in it is never going to have taken place only a few hours earlier.
One of the best things about utilizing digital within internal comms is that you can supply employees with real-time news and updates as they happen. If the company has something to say or you’ve just won a new client, why not tell everyone straight away and build up a buzz?
Using digital platforms like Jive, Slack or Yammer and keeping digital screens updated means your team can know exactly what you want them to know the minute you press submit.
Types of content
The majority of internal communications come in the form of text, whether that’s through a magazine, newsletter or email. The great thing about using digital platforms and apps is that you can use a whole host of different content types to get your message across.
Visual content is proven to be more engaging than written text and external comms regularly uses multimedia to inform their audience and drive traffic and sales. Internal comms should be no different, as you simply want to keep your people engaged and contributing to conversations.
Using a desktop or mobile phone means that not only can you communicate using videos, images, GIFs and more, but your team can too when they want to share content with colleagues, even if it’s just a picture of their lunch.
Reaching far and wide
It’s not unusual for companies to have offices around the country and in some cases around the world. Using traditional print media has meant that internal communications aren’t always straightforward when you need staff magazines sending globally.
Another more recent trend is the increase in the number of remote workers and people working from home. With people all over the place, it can be hard to keep everyone informed and up to date with a one-stop shop of communication.
With digital communication, you can ensure staff can log into your hub or app from anywhere in the world and make sure all digital signage is the same in every office. For those on the go, having the ability to receive real-time information can really transform internal comms.
Digital is transforming internal comms in more way than one, and there are so many benefits to adopting online communications to engage your employees, boost productivity and encourage two-way conversations.
Digital can come with its difficulties though when it come to workforces that can’t be on their phone or computer during the day. The ideal scenario is to keep print in the mix and ensure you assess your audience and the platforms that will work best for your company and its employees.