The hybrid workplace, capitalizing on the best of both in-person offices and remote/distributed workplaces, is here to stay. It has a number of advantages, but if your company wants to make the most of it, there are some important internal communication lessons you’ll need to learn.
First, you should understand that employee experience matters more than ever before. Businesses that have prioritized employee experience have always historically done well, but these days, focusing on employee experience is no longer elective; it’s a practical necessity.
Employees have many different employers to choose from, and significant flexibility in how they work. If you don’t offer them an engaging and rewarding experience in your internal communications, they’re going to grow frustrated. In best, morale issues could cause your productivity to decline. In worst, you could end up with a mass exodus on your hands.
Fortunately, there are several communication strategies that can help you boost the average employee’s experience. One of the easiest approaches here is to conduct regular surveys regarding employee satisfaction with internal communication; not only will you get a feel for how employees are responding to your communication efforts, but you’ll also get ideas for how you can improve.
Visual Communication Is Faster
Visual forms of communication are often faster and more efficient than the written word. That’s because human beings are wired for visual information; we’re capable of reacting to the sudden lunge of a predator much faster and more efficiently than internalizing an abstract idea presented in an essay.
Because of this, you should incorporate more visuals into all forms of your internal communication. Sometimes, that means including illustrations or photos to make a point easier to understand. Sometimes, that means turning a memo into a short video. You can also invest in digital signage software to display data visuals, motivational messages, and other pertinent information to your team (and possibly, your customers). In any case, you need to tap into the power of visual processing if you want to communicate more effectively.
Mobile Is King
Increasingly, mobile devices are the gateway to fast and efficient communication. If you want your employees to get the message reliably and quickly, make sure they have a way to get it on mobile, whether that means sending an SMS text update or ensuring they get notifications from their project management app. Most people have a mobile device on them in all times, and it’s a universal piece of technology, so it’s going to guarantee you some of the highest deliverability, read rates, and response rates.
Tech Adoption Is Critical
It’s not always easy to convince your employees to adopt new tech solutions – even if those tech solutions offer improvements in every conceivable way. If you want your new internal communications tools to be consistently adopted and used, you need to focus on internal education and tech adoption.
As long as you’ve selected a dependable tool that’s easy to use, it shouldn’t be too hard to convince your employees to use it. You just need to explain what it is and how it works from their point of view – and explain how this will make their life easier.
Options Are Necessary
No matter how streamlined your internal communication gets, your employees are all going to need options. There’s no “best” medium of communication, since almost every conceivable medium has strengths and weaknesses. Make sure your employees can choose from a wide variety of different communication possibilities, so they can use the right tool for the job in hand. While you’re in it, spend time educating your employees on the pros and cons of each of these tools.
Democratization Makes Employees Feel Involved
Workplace democratization is all about giving power to workers and allowing them to reshape their own workplace environment. It’s a great way to boost morale and brainstorm new solutions in the same time; try to democratize elements of your internal communication strategy whenever possible to make employees feel respected and included.
It’s Not Enough to Talk About Changes
Finally, realize that it’s not enough to simply talk about changes to your internal communications. If you want to make measurable steps forward, you need to take action. For most organizations, that starts with putting together a comprehensive internal communication strategy.
What are your goals and priorities? What are you going to accomplish and when are you going to accomplish it? What are the ground-level changes that are going to lead you to these results, and who is responsible for implementing them?
Mastering internal communication has always been difficult, even in the era before the hybrid workplace. Now that employees are working both in the office and remotely, those challenges have only increased.