by: Caitlin Gibson
The demand for internal communications and digital messaging that works has never been higher, particularly among large organizations. That’s because many workforces remain remote and distributed; most companies are focusing on digital transformation strategies; the list goes on. These new realities mean that companies have to hone their internal communication organization. It’s the key to keeping the business agile, change-ready, and successful.
For most organizations, it’s unrealistic for one person or team to own the entirety of the business’ internal communications. Those communications come from all corners of the business to drive many different initiatives and goals. The best, most realistic way to manage enterprise communications is a combination of high-level coordination and custom, program-level execution.
High-level coordination is about building a complete, employee-centric communications experience, rather than focusing on one program rollout at a time. Taking this approach can reduce communication overload and improve the employee experience overall. Building this type of experience requires the use of consistent standards and enterprise communication orchestration. For example, you’ll want to standardize things like brand voice, look and feel, the roles and responsibilities of individuals, and the timing and cadence of your communication schedule.
You’ll also want to focus on cross-communication consistency. Meaning, think about how to manage your audience groups, and decide which groups receive which messages at which time. Additionally, determine how you’ll go about launching multiple HR programs during the same timeframe. You can use employee communication software to make this easy and scalable. This data-driven software helps you plan, manage, measure, and scale any initiative. That way, you can effectively coordinate and optimize your communications to drive your desired outcomes, whatever they may be.
Once you’ve coordinated your internal communication organization at a high level, you’ll want to focus on the program-level execution of your employee communications. This is about giving program owners the freedom to craft internal communications that reach employees in order to drive the success of their particular initiatives. Different initiatives will require different approaches. For example, communicating your annual business goals will require a different approach than communicating the details of your wellness program. The key is to customize the approach for each program while staying aligned with your high-level strategy.
To do so, you’ll want to consider program-level factors like:
These are the specific employees you want to reach about your program. Use your employee data to group your entire employee population into unique personas—like managers and remote workers—to ensure the right messages get to the right people at the right time.
These are the delivery methods that carry your communications, like email, text messages, collaboration tools like Slack, and other mobile apps. It’s important to match your individual audiences with the channels that they’re most likely to engage with on a daily basis. For example, if you need to reach employees who don’t work at a desk, push text may work better than an email or a Slack message.
This is the subject matter of the program you’re communicating. It’s important to give each topic its own communications experience. That way, you can send communications about specific topics at different times. This ensures employees only have to consider one topic at a time, so they don’t get overwhelmed.
This is where your messaging will come from, whether it’s an alias or individual. To pick the right sender, think about what name, title, or department would carry the appropriate weight for your message. For example, if you’re communicating the details of your wellness program, the head of your HR or People team may be the best sender. They’re likely familiar to most employees, and, in this case, the message may feel more personal coming from a specific person rather than a department alias.
Feedback and dialog
These are the ways you regularly collect data from your audiences, so you can make sure your experience is as effective as possible. You’ll want to collect both qualitative data like poll results and survey sentiment and quantitative data like open rates, click-throughs, and minutes viewed. By collecting this data, you can see how your communications are performing and make changes to your approach as needed.
This is both the hub for all of the videos and resources you want to share with your employees and the overall design of those materials. When built effectively, a content experience keeps your employees engaged as you gradually roll out the details of your program over time.
Before scheduling your communications, you’ll want to consider factors like the time of year, day of the week, and event-based triggers. It’s about reaching people when they’re most physically and mentally available. For example, you could avoid sending messages early on Mondays and late in the day on Fridays. Additionally, you could launch a manager-specific journey after spring promotions take place.
This is how your communications interact and connect with the other programs and platforms that you use. Integrating your communications ensures consistent communication across all the HR technology you use, so you can stay aligned with your overall business objectives.
A tool like Communicate Planner makes program-level execution a breeze. Communicate Planner is a communications calendar that allows you to coordinate and manage all of your employee communications in one place. This centralized view of your communications is especially important for orchestrating the timing of your communications. You’ll be able to prevent your messages from competing with each other for your employees’ attention. That means every communication you can send gets the attention it deserves.
By taking this holistic approach to your internal communication organization, you can deliver enterprise communications that serve an increasingly digital, diverse, and distributed workforce. You’ll be able to create a communications center of excellence that reflects the move to communication experiences happening across the HR landscape. You’ll support the ongoing development of your digital transformation strategy. The key to effective internal communication organization is a combination of high-level coordination and custom, program-level execution. Over time, this framework makes your communications more effective. As a result, your organization will become more agile and change-ready, so you’re prepared to take on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.