Workplace communication is a world in the midst of an evolution. Email tends to form the backbone of many corporate communication strategies, but as the volume of electronic mail increases, this approach to information transmission becomes vastly inefficient, and ineffective.
According to research by Sanebox, only 38% of emails in the average inbox are important and relevant. This means that while employees are required to spend more time reading and processing email, the truly valuable messages are being lost in the shuffle.
It is never good to fall too far behind the times; you end up missing valuable opportunities and risk being left in the wake of others. If you don’t want to become a technological dinosaur, your workplace communications strategy needs to evolve. Here are a few tactics to push the evolution along—allowing you to move your workplace in the direction of greater employee engagement, and perhaps even employee advocacy.
Make it convenient
Start by looking at the tools you are using for corporate communications. Real-time messaging, chat technology, social media, and shared groups are growing in popularity. Tools such as Slack are sweeping into workplaces and helping to revolutionize how we communicate in the workplace. People have embraced social media in their personal lives, so is it any wonder that real-time business messaging tools which embrace the same feel as social media have gained in popularity? The same principles that drive customer engagement also drive employee engagement.
The convenience factor of the tools you employ will form the foundation of your enterprise communication strategy. You need to communicate with your employees in the channel that is most effective for them – and that might include multiple channels for each employee. Whether it is text, social media, phone calls, real-time chat, or something else entirely, there are corporate communication tools to address any channel you might choose.
Make it interesting
All too often, we only turn our marketing focus outward. You can market to your employees in much the same way as you market to your customers and leads.
There are a few easy steps that you can use to get started:
- Use visual options: instead of sending out a long email detailing a new product, can you provide the same information in an infographic, a catchy sign, or something else that is attention-getting and easy to process? It takes slightly more effort, but the message will be read by a larger audience and be far more memorable.
- Try testing: internal communications can be tested just the same as external ones. Split-testing open and click-through rates, along with interactions can help you evolve your corporate communications strategy and increase its effectiveness.
- Make it fun: why are so many enterprise communications efforts boring? Corporate communications can learn from the marketing world. In a busy world, you need to be entertaining to acquire and maintain the attention of your audience. Whether it is with customers or employees, both customer and employee engagement will improve if your target is enjoying your messaging – just think of how many Superbowl commercial you remember vs. work emails.
Make it personal
If your employees have zero involvement in your workplace communication efforts, they will quite likely have zero interest in them as well. With the majority of your employees lacking involvement in either marketing or corporate communications, there will be little to no vested interest in sharing or becoming authorities on corporate messaging…but you can create interest.
First, you need to write your corporate messaging from the employee perspective. All too often, corporate communications and marketing are written in “legalese” or “tech-speak”. Why not write them in plain language? If everyone can clearly understand the nature of the communication, they will be more inclined to act on it and share it.
Second, you can start an employee advocacy program. If employees are involved in sharing the responsibility (and benefits) of circulating your message, then they have a personal stake in its success. If you go a step further and add a dashboard to your employee advocacy program, you enable each employee to see the impact of their efforts, thus adding to their motivation, and overall engagement levels!