Adapting to fast-changing markets is no longer an option for companies. They have to rethink their workplace and embrace digital technologies to stay ahead of the competition.
What does growing a business in an ever-changing world mean? Basically, it means that you need your employees to have a deep understanding of your business goals, stay on top of industry trends, and come up with cutting-edge strategies that will take your product to the next level.
In short, you need to help your employees adapt to the ever-changing business world we’re living in and to do so, you’ll have to provide them with the right communication technologies. Think about it: you may have a great business plan, but if your employees are not informed and engaged, they won’t be able to adapt to this fast-changing business environment.
By sharing the right information with the right employees at the right time, you make sure that everyone is aligned with your business goals and vision. Also, you help your employees increase their productivity and work with their teammates in an effective way all while supporting their thought leadership.
Businesses know that effective employee communication is critical to their success and most of them have already started rethinking their internal communications. So, how does the employee communication landscape may look like in the near future?
We’ve compiled in this blog post 5 employee communication predictions for 2020 and beyond:
1. Instant Information Is the Future of Employee Communication
The way we communicate has changed: we expect information to find us immediately rather than having to spend time looking for it. How many times have you felt frustrated because you couldn’t find the information you were looking for right away (you had to browse several websites to find the stats or product reviews you were looking for), or because web pages you wanted to browse took too long to load?
We are living in a fast-changing world and not surprisingly, we are getting impatient when it comes to finding the information we need. The same goes with communications in the workplace: employees don’t want to and can’t afford to spend time searching for the information they need.
34% of employees are currently dissatisfied or extremely dissatisfied with communications they’re experiencing at their workplace. And it’s pretty easy to understand why they're feeling frustrated: employees spend on average 2.5 hours a day searching for the information they need.
The time wasted looking for information has a tremendous domino effect: not only do employees get frustrated, but they also have a lower productivity and feel disconnected to the business.
At the end of the day, if you’re not able to provide your employees with the information they need at the right time, you may end up with lower employee engagement. To avoid this domino effect, many businesses are shifting their internal communication towards instant employee communication.
2. Relevancy at the Heart of Content Distribution
Internal communications and external communications are usually perceived as two distinctive worlds. In most businesses, HR and communication teams create materials for their employees such as newsletters, onboarding materials or surveys while marketing teams produce educational and engaging content such as videos, infographics, success stories, quizzes or eBooks to reach their target audience and increase brand awareness.
Many internal communication professionals have realized that this distinction between internal and external communications is not the best approach to keep employees engaged. Instead of excluding marketing materials from the content they share with employees, they are merging internal and external communications. In other words, they don’t build their content distribution based on their audiences (internal vs external stakeholders). Instead, they have a global, holistic approach where they distribute content based on their audiences’ needs.
As a consequence, they may share across the organization marketing materials that are informative, helpful, and most importantly relevant for employees, even though this content was created for external audiences in the first place. What matters is not to spread content across the organization – but to share the right information with your employees.
3. Mobile-First Employee Communication
Millennials represent 50% of the workforce worldwide and they are projected to represent 75% of the workforce by 2025.
As we all know, millennials are tech-savvy and mobile-oriented. So, if you want them to engage with the content you share with them, you’ll need to adapt your internal communication to their news consumption habits. In short, you’ll need to turn your internal communication into mobile-first employee communication!
Sending emails across the organization, using an intranet that is not mobile-friendly, or hosting meetings where 73% of attendees are not paying attention or doing other work is not the best way to get your message through to your employees!
To improve their internal communications, more and more businesses are launching communication apps where employees can find the latest company news and the materials they need in their news feed. That way, they can communicate with their employees in a fast and engaging way!
4. Tailored Communication
Sharing instant information with employees doesn’t mean sending them hundreds of notifications a day!
Did you know that nowadays, employees open only 24% of emails they receive? Most employees feel that they’re dealing with too much information and information overload has negative impacts on their ability to focus on a task. At the end of the day, it’s your employees’ well-being and productivity that may suffer from information overload.
But thankfully, internal communication and HR professionals have acknowledged the drawbacks of information overload in the workplace and they are launching communication apps that allow them to tailor content each employee receives based on their needs. That way, employees don’t feel overwhelmed with too much or irrelevant information.
Simply put, each employee receives in their news feed any content that is relevant to their role in the company, their expertise, the language(s) they speak, their location and so on. That way, employees are up-to-date with their company news and have access to the right information, even in large organizations or companies with branch offices in several countries.
5. The Shift Towards Visual Storytelling
Welcome to the new world! The old days where you used to share company news through your intranet or weekly newsletter that no one would read are over!
Your employees are not that much interested in reading long emails or detailed activity reports (yes, long reports can be boring!). Think about it: why do people browse their social media feeds several times a day? The answer is pretty simple: they’re looking for entertainment! What’s more, content that drives the most engagement on social media includes videos and images.
So, if you want your employees to interact with your content, make it fun and engaging! And to do so, you’ll need to tell stories and to include visuals in the materials you share with your employees. With visual storytelling, not only do your employees read your content, they also interact with it more often. The shift towards visual storytelling has already started: more and more businesses are sharing infographics, videos, interactive newsletter and quizzes with their employees!
Are you interested in learning more about employee communication in the digital workplace? Join our upcoming webinar “The Future of Employee Communication” where our very own CEO, Roope Heinilä, will share more insights on the way employee communication is changing the way we’re working. Save your seat now!