During our recent webinar, co-hosted with Social Chorus, our speakers examined current and future trends in internal communication and what challenges modern communicators face.
Sheryl Lewis of ROI Communication started the webinar off by discussing current trends in the business landscape. Many companies have become more geographically diverse. Employees are not all gathered in one central, convenient location. Companies are also changing more rapidly- 97% of executives say that organization redesign is a critical priority for them. Along with this openness to change, many employees are looking to move companies even if they are satisfied with their current role. With this culture of innovation and change brings inconsistency and disengagement, which can prove to be a great challenge to companies.
Today’s workforce has changed immensely since the beginning of the digital revolution. Although the workforce has a high percentage of millennials, it was noted that in 2020 five different generations of workers who all have a different relationship with technology. This leads to a large disparity between online and offline employees. Having such a diverse workforce can be a struggle for managers in effectively connecting to everyone. In The HR Challenges Report by ROI, they share that “Managers are not well trained as leaders. Companies have stopped investing in leadership development”.
This lack of leadership can lead to challenges in internal communications. It was noted in the webinar that only 49% of companies surveyed rate their managers as effective communicators. This number shows that companies need to find better ways to reach their workforce and provide managers and company leaders with the tools they need to effectively reach their workforce. A challenge that was discussed during the presentation was the amount of noise that employees face at work. There can be so much content and messages that employees miss what is important- 71% of employers report that their employees don’t read email and other content.
“It’s not about if we should deploy communication technology, it’s about how.” In the webinar, Tina Cox of ROI Communication shares that using visual communications, such as infographics, can increase employee’s interest in content and want to return for more. It is up to leadership to find the best way to communicate with their employees so that the information is accessible and relevant to them. Sonia Fiorenza of SocialChorus talked about mobile for internal communication. Recent studies show that only ⅓ of companies are optimizing their content for mobile devices despite more employees having access to a smartphone than company email or intranet. One of the biggest trends is that mobile will become the top focus for many companies. It was also noted that communicators need to become measurement experts to show the roi of their work. Communicators need to ask themselves: how do I measure success?