Companies focus more and more on internal communication to improve employee engagement. Employee engagement is defined as the level at which workers are motivated, passionate, and willing to give their best in their place of work.
Quantum Workplace defined employee engagement as the amount of mental and emotional connection employees feel towards their workplace. How businesses interact with their staff has changed immeasurably over the past 18 months. As a result, business magazine Forbes is now calling for employers to develop new communications strategies as a matter of urgency.
Experienced business owners know too well the connection between employee awareness and engagement and their productivity – disconnected workers who have little or no investment in the business or its message cannot be expected to generate good results. When it comes to assessing your internal comms strategy and looking to make meaningful change, the first step is arguably in data analysis.
Let’s explore how data analysis is helping the internal communication strategy of businesses and why you need the same more than ever now.
What your employees show you
Remote working has changed how employees communicate, and employees often find this is a key part of their transition to remote work.
Research conducted by MIT found that 47% of remote workers surveyed said that regular communication was key to their role. However, this is not something that can have a cast-all approach. Luckily, through internal communications, employers already have ready-made analytics.
Through productivity and information management systems, employers can see how their staff work and how they like to communicate. Using advanced Sharepoint analytics, for instance, can show exactly where the busy and quiet hours for your staff are, enabling you to communicate messages appropriately and at key times.
It is thus crucial to get the best information possible from your employees as they show the way around.
Internal communications can be improved by collection of proper data and analysis of the same.
Some of the key focus areas that are a must for an improved team comms are:
- Proper feedback channels
- Anonymous feedbacks
- Clarity in the team goals
- Emphasis on team events (both internal and external)
- Online tools for managing key data and its analysis
And many more.
Picking the message
The message is as important as the timing.
According to the same MIT research, employees enjoy regular, transparent, and short messaging.
It needs to be a two-way conversation, and it needs to be packed with value. This is in contrast to long, low-value meetings, that could often leave employees stressed out.
Pairing your analytics that show you when employees are most likely to have the spare time and tying this together with open and honest chats is how this can be achieved.
Businesses are often used to the importance of the meeting, and felt it necessary to make employees work their schedule around joint communications. This gives the power back to employees and aids their productivity.
In order to ensure that the message travel internally freely it is important to take care of a few things as given below.
- Train the managers for effective communication.
- Use direct communication channels rather. that relying on Managers to pass information. Based on a Gallup study, Managers make up 70% of the variance in employee engagement.
- Use Technology effectively. Automate a few tasks related to data collection and analytics using information systems.
- Utilize videos and podcasts.
- Always analyze and quantify the effectiveness of internal communication efforts.
The below short video explains the above mentioned points and more to explain how internal comms strategy can be implemented properly within an organization.
What about when you do need to take that big, all-staff meeting?
Firstly, consider whether you do need everyone in.
Could an email or text chat deliver the message in a similar fashion?
Secondly, where you do have larger meetings, prioritise interaction. Use inbuilt tools with your comms platforms, or deploy third party services like Sli.do, to offer ways for employees to remain engaged on the call and to derive value from the meeting.
The days of long stuffy meetings, hosted within dreaded meeting rooms and on long-calls, are consigned to the past.
Communications focused on the needs of the employee and what will drive them to bring in better results are the name of the game.
These lessons don’t need to be restricted to remote working, either. The opportunity to change how businesses communicate has revealed a lot about how employees like to operate. Taking these lessons forward and developing a wider internal comms strategy will drive productivity forward for longer.