Internal communication is starting to find its place in the enterprise. Gone are the times of communicators being seen as the people who create newsletters or manage the intranet. Instead, they are viewed as leaders who have a finger to the pulse of the company and what employees think and feel. Communicators focus on creating a shared understanding and meaning internally. Employee engagement and communications are, now more than ever, seen as business objectives as the need for engaged employees increases.
Communicators are now data driven
It starts with a question: How can you measure success? It may be surprising to learn that according to a 2016 survey, only 22% of communications professionals were confident in the metrics they tracked. As a result, metrics are often given cursory attention. Internal communicators now have access to data that not only tracks engagement but provides real insight on content performance, content reach and audience behaviors. Communicators are no longer flying blind without meaningful metrics to demonstrate ROI but can now successfully report on the values of their efforts.
The ‘firehose’ approach to internal communication is becoming obsolete. It is no longer acceptable to broadcast content from a single source, such as email, to a large audience. It’s been proven that users are 3x more likely to complete an event from a segmented message compared to a broadcasted message. The same holds true for employee communications. Employees expect content to be relevant and meaningful to them and internal communicators are tasked with the challenge of connecting with and driving action across large employee populations.
Communicators are Innovators
We are in the age of the digital workplace. Less people are coming into offices and working behind desks and more are bringing their own devices to work (BYOD). Employees are used to great, consumer-like communication experiences and expect the same when they’re at work. The growth of the digital workplace helped push internal communicators forward and look to new methods to reach employees. Global, diverse and modern organizations can’t solely rely on email or intranets to keep all employees engaged and informed. The role of the modern communicator is going to require knowledge and skills in understanding evolving technologies.
The functions and role of the internal communicator needs to meet the needs and challenges of the modern workforce. Today’s organizations are complex, composed of harder to reach employees and consumer technology driving higher expectations for internal communications. This is an exciting time to be in communications. While these workplace challenges are difficult, they also present new opportunities for communicators to develop new skills.