Updated: Nov 23
The most significant takeaway of 2020 for most brands is to be able to pivot at a moment’s notice. Time and tide wait for no man and so for those left behind, it can get messy pretty quickly. The spotlight shifted to internal communications (IC), employer branding and social media during the pandemic simply because people were constantly on the lookout for brand communications that were relevant and added value to their online feeds. Which is precisely why every communications professional must ask themselves if they can keep up with the evolving landscape of internal communications. Brands too are slowly warming up to the idea of investing heavily in their internal comms strategy.
In the past, internal communications were more about company updates and an occasional message from the CEO during festivals. But modern internal comms is all about reinforcing the company culture. Corporate communications leaders foresee five big changes in 2021 that will reshape very way that the IC team functions.
Employees today prefer to participate in two-way communication. The modern employee is looking for information, collaboration and transparency from their company. But unfortunately, 60% of companies don’t have a long-term strategy for their internal communications which makes it very difficult to keep employees engaged! To put it simply, if people feel like they don’t have a say in the future of the company, they tend to lose interest in working towards a larger goal. So the next time your brand rolls out a fresh policy or makes tweaks to an existing one, the best thing to do is to invite feedback, keep every employee in the loop and ensure that each person feels heard.
Well-being tops the charts
While on the topic of developing a more people-centered approach, internal communications needs to pointedly address employee well-being offerings in order to help create a safe space for open dialogue at the workplace. Corporate messaging needs to undertake a tone of empathy and compassion when dealing with employee stress, burnout and disengagement. Poor internal communications about well-being can lead to a lasting effect on a company’s bottom line. Whether through a pulse survey or frequent communication inviting employees to avail of a company’s well-being services, it is important to show that you care.
Digital transformation takes precedence
The term ‘digital transformation’ was definitely one of 2020’s most overused words! But there’s good enough reasons for it too. Without a superior plan on how to thrive in the digital era, brands will find themselves scrambling to drive better outcomes. And frankly speaking, if your employees are not on board with your company’s digital transformation strategy, it will be practically impossible to fast-track growth. The solution? Ensure that your IC strategy caters to the needs of every employee, whether they work from home, in office or on the frontline. In a previous blog that we wrote, we talked about the importance of enabling the right kind off technology to communicate with employees to improve engagement rates and make the C-suite more accessible to their teams! Because not having an internal communications strategy that is flexible, relevant and transparent could hurt your brand more than you know. Whether it is for policy updates, work from home mandates, messages from senior management or even just the direction that a business is heading towards, the IC team is the one-stop-hub for workplace communications.
Finally, potential employees are no longer looking just at a brand’s positioning in the market or their perks and benefits. They are heavily invested in how well a brand engages with their own people on social media, a culture where feedback is appreciated and active opportunities for growth!