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6 key actions to start with in 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced companies to impose telework. The isolation of workers and a redefined digital workspace has forced management not only to rethink internal communications but also to reconsider its central role. Sharing essential information to employees, preserving the engagement around a common vision and maintaining a corporate culture have never been so challenged yet crucial to ensure employee commitment and therefore company success. Yet, the internal communication strategy in 2021 requires a new plan, adapted to the “new normal”. New tools, practices and messages have emerged and now is the time to rethink the way we communicate internally.
Here are 6 key actions you should put in place in 2021:
1. Pre-requisite: make sure you have the right tools
Depending on your internal communications objectives (connect, engage, contribute, empower, collaborate), various user-friendly and intuitive platforms exist to facilitate communications and collaboration between coworkers (whether top down, bottom up or peer-to-peer) with a more fun and dynamic approach than emails. Here are a few examples of tools you might want to introduce or use more:
· intranet (cloud intranets are simple to manage, set up and cost effective)
· mobile employee apps (StaffBase)
Remote work is here to stay, so choose wisely!
2. A good Starting point: launch an employee survey
Feedback loops are crucial after such a challenging and overwhelming period. You cannot launch a performant internal communication plan if you have not measured the atmosphere in the team. What is the satisfaction rate? What is the level of trust towards Management? What is the feeling about how the crisis was managed? Is the level of information shared too overwhelming or too low? The answers will help you define your priorities and key messages.
3. Make your employees your first ambassadors
Branded messages reach 561% more when shared by employees and content shared by employees receives 8x more engagement than content shared by branded channels. The multiplayer effect coupled with the credibility of messages conveyed by third parties ensure impactful communications. This will also ensure to add a identity on your company communications. Turning your employees into brand ambassadors is not accomplished by pressuring employees to gush about their workplace, it is done by creating a culture that makes them want to share about it. Let employees create content, share their thoughts and give them a voice. Through your well-chosen internal channels, content will be delivered without a hitch.
4. Use videos…also in internal communications!
Videos allow to disseminate complex, important or sensitive messages in a way that will be better remembered and understood. In fact, humans can retain 95% of a video message, but only 10% when reading it in a text. We also know that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words or 3,600 pages of text.
We tend to use videos a lot more in external communications because the cost of high quality videos is often too high for internal communication budgets. But what better option than a video which can make a more human connection in times where we all work from home? Nowadays, to produce an impactful video you do not need big investments: recording with your phone and editing with a video app are sufficient and provide enough good quality for internal communications needs.
5. Unlock the power of gamification
Gamification consists in the use of the mechanisms of games in a non-game context. In addition to bringing meaning, it can be used to facilitate the memorization of important work-related information or as part of a training. Many digital platforms with yearly subscriptions offer gamification tools such as contests, quizzes, online games… that can be used both for your internal and external communications.
6. Measure your impact…and adapt accordingly
Once your new internal communication strategy and new tools are in place, you will need to check if they are effective and correspond to the needs of your staff.
In this new work environment, it is also important to measure new metrics such as the employees’ trust in leadership, the feeling of being informed about change, the feeling of transparency about the impact of the crisis on the company…
You can measure such things via internal surveys, polls, feedbacks from the management and the staff, the number of requests or tracking tools.
Teleworking will stay the new “normal” in 2021 and it will continue to last, at least part-time, in the future. In this context, it is more than ever essential to reach and involve your workers efficiently. We, at Interel Belgium, are here to guide and advise you in this process. Please do not hesitate to contact us via email or telephone for an introductory meeting. We are happy to assist you during this period where internal communication is key.
Staffbase, What Internal Communication Will Look in 2021: a template to help you strategize.
AIHR, Gamification in the Workplace: Stats, Engagement, and Examples (Survey).
Interact, the changing role of internal communication after lockdown, 2020.
Techradar, Best online collaboration software of 2021 : paid and free tools for work sharing and communication, 2020
TalentLyft, How to turn employees into employer brand ambassadors?, 2019