5 Internal Communications Myths Debunked
It’s not your imagination – reaching your workers is hard.
In our Technology Gap Survey, communicators reported that 71% of employees don’t read email and other content, 36% said employees were unhappy with the format in which most content is delivered, and some were at a total loss knowing where to look for updates.
With these statistics, no wonder communicators are frustrated with keep employees engaged. Here are five communication misconceptions and truths you need to know to keep your communications strategy relevant.
Myth #1: Smartphones are distracting at work
You’ve read the stats. More than 95% of Americans own cellphones, and they are sapping productivity at work. In this age of distraction, workers are spending too much time on social media, video games, texting, etc. instead of work.
Truth #1: Company mobile apps are transforming internal communications
Internal communications is riding its own digital transformation The workplace has changed in the last ten years. Deskless or frontline workers make up about 75% of the global workforce, and the amount of remote and distributed workers are growing. Many of these workers don’t have access to email or intranets —tools used by office workers—which can result a lacking a sense of connection to their corporate headquarters.
In parallel, consumer online destinations have changed the information consumption landscape. Internal comms leaders are now seeing the benefits of mobile and launch their own mobile apps to better connect employees to leadership and the rest of the company. Communicators are starting to embrace modern content formats formats like video, company mobile app channels, podcasts, bite-sized news, and more to capture the entire workforces’ attention.
Myth #2: Internal communications doesn’t affect the bottom line
Your team is only sending stuff out and not really making a difference to your company’s revenue.
Truth #2: Productivity can increase 20-25 percent
Effective communication has a direct correlation to employee engagement, and any HR or communications professional will tell you, relevant information and updates help people do their jobs better and stay at the company longer. And your leadership team can inspire greater trust simply when people actually know what they’re doing and what’s going on at headquarters.
Myth #3: The comms teams controls all internal communications
Your team are the experts. Why should others get involved?
Truth #3: It’s everyone’s responsibility
The best way to look at this is to first determine your communication objectives. Do you want to align your company’s goals? Do you want to engage employees? Or is it benefits and compliance?
When your internal comms strategy is working well, you’ll find it’s everyone’s responsibility, and that your communications tools, such as your company app, belongs to your employees.
Different departments may be responsible for their own channel, while your CEO may hold a monthly video chat, or your frontline workers share their experiences to the entire company. Modern communications is about taking a holistic view and empowering your workers, who have grown more and more disengaged with their work.
Myth #4: Employee-generated content (EGC) has no place in internal communications
The intranet is the internal comms teams responsibility, right?
Truth #4: EGC is awesome!
If EGC is already happening in your company, please encourage it. When workers are posting about their day on the company app, those likes and comments are the types of engagement you want.
Birthday wishes, congratulations on a new sale, or posts about production goals are some simple steps to get started with EGC, especially with distributed and frontline workers who often feel disconnected from leadership and the rest of the organization. And when employees do post their own content, your job is to help curate those posts and educate employees on best practices, such as appropriate language and channel usage.
Myth #5: You can’t measure success with internal comms
There isn’t an effective tool, so why bother.
Truth #5: You need to analyze your metrics to be successful
There are definitely tools to set key performance indicators (KPIs) for your communications, but many communicators either aren’t using them or aren’t confident in tracking their success. In our recent ebook, we discovered 56% of respondents tracked website analytics, 44% looked at email clicks, while 19% didn’t track metrics for employee communications at all.
In addition, only 22% of respondents were confident in the effectiveness of the metrics they choose to track. That lack of confidence manifests itself in how the information is used. While more than two-thirds shared the metrics with their executive teams, 70% reported that their executives were not interested enough to ask for them. In short, metrics are often given cursory attention, which is bad news — we should rely on the data, not ignore it completely.