By Caitlin Gibson
Automation has been a source of concern for employees across industries for a long time. Many fear that, at some point in the future, they’ll lose their job to a machine or software—but we don’t have to look at automation this way. Instead, we can embrace its ability to make employees more valuable. That is, we can appreciate how it allows employees to spend less time on manual, time-consuming tasks and more time on creative, innovative work that propels the company forward. The same can be said for businesses themselves when it comes to automating internal communications.
Rather than manually developing and deploying internal messaging every time there’s a need for it, you can automate more of your communications; this ensures you get the right messages to the right people at the right time in the most efficient way possible. As a result, you can make the most of an informed, well-connected workforce. Here’s how you can start integrating automation into your employee communications.
Pursue the Right Automation Opportunities
First, look to your business goals to identify the right automation opportunities for your communications. For example, if you’re focused on keeping your distributed workforce connected, you can import employee profile data from a company database into an internal communications software. This will allow you to send personalized messaging to specific employee groups for any given communication campaign, ensuring you keep everyone looped in regardless of where they work.
This type of software can also help you collect engagement data automatically, so you can routinely check in on the effectiveness of your communications and see what’s resonating with your employees. For example, you can track how many emails are opened and how many people follow through on an email’s call to action. Not only will these communication data insights allow you to iterate on your approach, but you can also apply those learnings across all of your campaigns, making them all more effective.
So, in the same way you use automation to make your products and services easier to access for your customers, you can use it to make your internal communications experience better for your employees. With strong internal communications, you can build trust, enable collaboration, create alignment, and inspire employees to do their best work. As a result, you can achieve strategic goals that require strong cross-functional collaboration across a distributed workforce. You can leverage the trust and alignment you cultivate to manage times of change more effectively. So, look for the automation features that will best support your communication needs as they connect to your business’ top priorities.
Foster Meaningful Connections
You can also use automation to build meaningful connections with your employees. This is especially important if you have a distributed workforce. Specifically, you can automate your communications, so important employee events are automatically marked with personalized messaging. Think about the abandoned shopping cart email that’s now an inbox staple. In the same way that those emails are triggered by an action, automated communications can respond to the moments that matter most to your employees.
For instance, you can automate an onboarding campaign so that every new hire is welcomed to the company with personalized messaging and content specific to their role that’s triggered to send based on their first day of work. You can automate a training campaign for people managers; each time someone is promoted to a manager role, they’ll be immediately connected with the resources and support they need to manage their team successfully. In this way, much like the customer who clicked away from their online shopping cart, your employees will receive messages that are tied to important actions they’ve taken. This will make your internal communications more relevant and valuable.
To identify the audiences that would be well-matched to automated communication campaigns, think about key moments in the employee lifecycle—from someone’s onboarding experience to their retirement—that should be met with thoughtful messaging. You can also utilize automated messaging for more routine events like open enrollment or annual compliance training. The best way to start automating your communications in this way is to find quick, easy opportunities. By starting small, you can measure the success of the automation features you try out and make improvements to them before they’re used to support business-critical initiatives.
Integrating automation into your internal communications is all about making your messaging more effective and meaningful. So, as you identify the automation opportunities that are right for your communications, consider how they’ll serve overarching business objectives. By tying these together, you’ll drive better business outcomes and make your communications more effective. Automating aspects of your internal communications will also help you build meaningful connections with your employees. With this approach to automated communications, your informed, connected workforce can focus on the creative, innovative work needed to grow the business and realize its potential.