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The Future of Internal Communications [#infographic]

Guest post by: Newsweaver Internal Communications, Danielle Gibbons

the-future-of-internal-comms“In a world where digital technology can both help and hinder employee interactions, there’s an intrinsic need to address how to ensure excellence from our managers. When companies get manager communication right, it can be a source of competitive advantage.” — Luke Dodd, Melcrum

Internal communications (IC) radically improves, controls and measures the way employers communicate with employees and stakeholders, helping to drive positive employee behaviour and increase engagement with influencers. The future of this industry is very bright as organizations are increasingly recognising its importance.

This infographic highlights the trends within the industry, the most popular channels versus the most effective, the evolution of the industry and the constant need to measure and monitor developments in order to improve upon it. It includes quotes from some of the best know thought leaders in internal communications today along with in-depth statistics from the ‘Newsweaver Internal Communications: Emerging Trends and the Use of Technology Survey Report 2014’ among others.

Trends

A snapshot of the IC industry highlights that the average ratio of internal communicators to employees within an organisation, is 1 per 500 to 1000. 3 in every 4 internal communicators say their IC strategy is aligned with their business strategy. A quarter of all IC departments say they will increase their budgets in 2014 and the biggest issue facing them is leadership communications. IC professionals also believe that smarter employee engagement leads to stronger business results.

Channels

Intranet — Interestingly, the intranet is the most used channel in IC, but email is actually the most effective. The future of IC channels places the focus firmly on internal social networking tools and an intranet with 1 in 2 companies planning to invest in both of these equally. Not surprisingly, print newsletters are dying out and the most unused tool with more that 50% of companies not using them anymore.

Digital — Many companies have employees who are not able to be “connected” during their work day hours either because of site / location restrictions or because they have employees who work in the field. In other situations, employees may be connected, such as call center employees, but they are not able to check digital channels because doing so would disconnect them from their call queue. More than 4 in 5 companies have not found a way to implement a technology solution to digitally communicate with their offline employees.

Evolution

The landscape of IC is continuously evolving and the trends towards ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) has risen out of a need for companies to be accessible at all times with the use of mobile applications and devices. Where once the ‘Out of Office’ email meant an employee was not contactable, now smartphones and tablets allow a constant flow of communication. Indeed, half of employers are predicted to require their employees to supply their own device for work purposes by 2017 according to the Gartner Bring Your Own Device: The Facts and the Future report. The biggest challenges in IC are acknowledged as the volume of communications, gaining employee buy-in and general employee engagement respectively.

Measurement

This infographic also takes into account that an IC professional cannot successfully implement an IC strategy without including a benchmarking system for measuring the success of any campaign. The top 5 highest rating goals for IC teams are highlighted and not surprisingly 76% rate employee engagement as the number 1 goal. The future for IC teams revolves around finding new ways to measure the effectiveness of campaigns as more than 2 in 3 communicators are not satisfied with their current methods. This infographic highlights the top 10 ‘wish list’ for IC teams in terms of metrics that they would love to see in the future.

The Future of Internal Communications

Elizabeth

Elizabeth is a strategic communications leader with nearly 20 years experience in both internal and external communications. She is a passionate advocate for developing communications that foster a stronger relationship between the organization and its employees. She is a global keynote speaker on employee engagement and HR communications. Elizabeth is a certified professional in Employer Brand through Universum Global's Employer Branding Academy.