What is internal communications in 2022?
Internal communications are an often overlooked but vital part of any business. Ensuring your employees can communicate effectively has a fundamental impact on your business operations, from fulfillment to employee happiness and everything in between.
As businesses grow and evolve, so must their internal communications plan, and 2020-21 has been an exceptional time for internal communications teams around the world. Highlighting the importance of good internal communications, the pandemic has also exposed flaws and roadblocks in communications between teams for companies of all sizes and in all locations, leading to issues at all levels within the business, affecting both staff and customer satisfaction as well as the bottom line.
As we move cautiously into 2022, we look at what will shape internal communications strategy in 2022 and how to ensure success at all levels, no matter where your employees are based.
What is internal communications in an organization?
Each organization has a different structure, a different build to any other, and your internal communications plan should be built and tailored to accommodate the individual characteristics and people which form the business. There is no ‘one rule fits all’ in internal communications, and each communiqué should be evaluated individually to agree the most effective way to get the message across to its desired audience.
Internal communications strategy for 2022
Internal communications plans are frequently subject to change and require restructuring to fit the reason for change. This could be new technology, an increase in workforce, new management, or, as has been most common over the last two years, the ability to counter the effects of covid on a business’ ability to operate. We do not yet know what 2022 will bring, but according to Gallagher’s State of the Sector report, Gallup’s review of remote working, and Brilliant Ink’s IC Salary Report, many of the issues faced by internal communications teams in 2020/21 won’t be going away. This means your 2022 internal communications plan needs to be robust, and flexible enough to deal with changing work situations arising since the start of the pandemic.
How to supercharge your internal comms
In today’s workplace, effective internal communications are vital to business success. Engaged employees are a company’s greatest asset, but with the workplace transforming at pace, the way we communicate must adapt. This comprehensive guide offers a collection of insights to support internal communicators to supercharge their strategy for the future of work.
Review existing internal communication systems
To prepare for 2022, it is advisable for all internal communications teams to review their current systems, successes and failures during 2020 and 2021. With an ever-flexing workplace moving from in-house, to remote, to hybrid, to flexible working arrangements, internal communications has been a minefield for the last 18-24 months.
This seems not set to change, so reviewing the data you do have is a great place to start when refining your strategy for 2022. Open and honest discussions about the best and worst internal communications in the recent past can be a springboard for creating a new and improved plan for 2022.
Review your internal communication goals too, and ensure they are still aligned with company goals. Establish a process for measuring the outcome of all communications, their effectiveness, and how learnings can be applied in the future.
Adjust to new working norms
Lessons learned from the pandemic so far can be used to help internal communications teams be able to transition easily to fit the new working environment, no matter where your staff are and how they are communicating. It’s likely that the hybrid workplace is here to stay, and companies need to be prepared for every scenario.
A lack of effective internal communications can quickly lead to unrest and a lack of confidence within employees, as well as issues with customer experience and happiness. The issues with keeping communication smooth and effective has been exacerbated during the pandemic, with new processes and means of communication being implemented quickly and sometimes with little testing, in order to keep teams in touch and operations running during times of extreme change.
Come 2022, businesses will have experienced much upheaval caused by the pandemic and should have the data they need to make sure internal communications can be implemented effectively no matter where or when your staff need them.
Focus on your employees
Employee engagement is all important, and focusing your efforts on increasing opening rates, time spent on communication and responses should be high on your to-do list. Employee confidence and satisfaction largely rests on internal communications, and the fallout from poor business performance in this area can seriously impact company performance at all levels.
Create a balance where each group of employees get the information they need and feel heard but are not overwhelmed or feeling disenfranchised with information overload. Each communication should be tailored to reach a specific audience, written or created to specifically suit them, and allow them to feel heard or have a known line of recourse should they need more information.
Making your employees a priority is an important element of successful internal communications, and getting it right can have an impressive effect on everything from staff churn, to customer satisfaction and revenue.
How to fuel a positive culture for remote workers
Even under normal working conditions, cultivating a positive culture is both a challenge and a priority. Remote work can add an additional layer of complexity because it’s more difficult for dispersed workforces to unite under one vision. Paired with proper strategy and open lines of communication, the right set of digital tools can fuel a positive culture that boosts employee satisfaction and encourages every user to reach peak performance.
Encourage increased collaboration
As remote working and hybrid working become the norm for vast swathes of the world, one element of internal communication culture that suffers the most is the ability to collaborate. In the absence of being able to swing round in a chair and have a face-to-face discussion with a colleague, collaboration and creativity suffer. Remote working may also lead some staff to feel lonely, ‘out of the loop’, or unable to collaborate as they once did. This can stunt ingenuity and problem solving for the business, and cause mental health issues for workers who are not physically or mentally set up for remote working.
To counter this and offer your staff the most positive remote working experience, devise ways and means to ensure remote workers are able to communicate and collaborate quickly and easily, spark their imagination and share ideas in whatever format they choose.
Help stem any feelings of loneliness or disassociation by creating channels and platforms for staff to be able to talk to each other and see each other online, quickly and easily. Encourage collaboration and publish regular content aimed at bringing people together.
7 steps to futureproof your internal communications strategy
As leaders reimagine their world of work, it is internal communications that will lead the way in aligning the workforce against this vision. Future corporate communication strategies will be decidedly inclusive, agile, and digitalized. To succeed in this new era, internal communications teams will move towards an omnichannel approach that brings the consumer experience into the workplace.
Digital transformation and mobile
During 2019 and the years prior, a large number of companies had digital transformation and mobile on their to-do list. With the advent of the pandemic, many of these companies brought digital transformation to the top of the list, with internal communications being paramount in the list of needs and wants as companies struggled to communicate effectively using existing tools.
If you have not yet completed your communications transformation to digital, now is the time. Internal communications are key to successful transformation, making the process as efficient as it can be, and encouraging higher uptake and engagement.
Discover the power of a mobile intranet
2.7 billion people work away from a desk. That’s 80% of the global working population. These employees need more from their organizations, from their technology, and from the employee experience. This in-depth guide details everything your enterprise needs to deliver a consumer-grade mobile experience that connects and engages everyone from head office to frontline.
Your internal communications are key to the success of remote working and digital transformation. Keeping staff engaged affects every aspect of business and should be a priority for all internal communication teams. Speak to one of our internal communications experts today to find out how we can help.