Last year, we blogged about what makes a successful multi-dimensional communication strategy. Since then we have not only learned from our customer’s success but also learned from HR and Communication professionals on how technology and communication trends are impacting internal communication strategies of organizations. We know that a good communication strategy can help increase employee morale, engagement and align employees with the vision and mission of the organizations. We took what we have learned in the past year and created the updated list of key components to a successful communications strategy:
1. Understand your communication challenges
As a first step, identify what communication challenges your team and organization face. For global organizations, reaching all employees can be a primary challenge. For others, employees may be constantly bombarded with messages and important company information is not getting seen. Consider the different audiences and groups of employee you need to reach and what tools you have available to reach them. Keep in mind that each employee has a preferred method of consuming news and information – and not all employees may have access to a computer. For example, if you have a large group of employees who do not have a company email address, your employee communication plan should include alternative communication channels to email.
2. Set goals and KPIs
Setting goals for your internal communication strategy are important for measuring the success of your program. By establishing clear goals at the beginning of your process, you will be able to directly see how your communication plan plays out. Consider the different types of audiences you are engaging with as each group of employees may need different goals. For example, you may have different goals for your sales team compared to the employees who are in your retail stores. Remember to adjust your strategy based on of what you learn, but keep an eye on the big picture.
3. Choose your communication platforms
Once you have established goals, consider what methods of communication you will use to get your message across. Keep in mind the different types of employees you are reaching and think of what channels will be best for each group. Using multiple channels is ideal for reaching a distributed workforce, however, too many sources can cause confusion. It is best practice to have one channel as the source of all company news and information. The source can then feed into other channels such as social media or company intranets. For example, your internal communication team may direct employees to their mobile communication platform as the source for all the information they need to know.
4. Create engaging content
Once you have established your challenges and what communication channels will be used, focus next on creating compelling content. Good content is short and varied. Content can come from a variety of sources such as videos, photos, podcasts, blog posts, stats and data, the intranet and more. A good content strategy involves pulling content internally, from outside sources and from your own employees. Our customers have noticed that the most engaging content either is employee-submitted or about another employee. People love to celebrate the successes of their peers! It’s important to be open to feedback in order to continually improve your strategy. Remember to also optimize your content for viewing on mobile devices.
5. Utilize mobile communication
Mobile communication platforms are quickly becoming the preferred method of communication for employees simply because they are already using mobile to communicate in their personal lives. Internal communication professionals are on board, in fact, 86% said that a mobile app would be more effective than the tools they already use. Using a mobile communication platform in your internal communication strategy will help to reach all employees and deliver content directly to their mobile devices.
6. Analyze metrics
Metrics are an important component of measuring the success of your internal communication strategy, but not all metrics are created equal – it is important to understand which metrics are providing you with the most meaningful data. According to a recent study, only 22% of respondents were confident in the effectiveness of the metrics they track and 70% said that their executives are not interested enough to ask for metrics. Find the metrics that are most aligned with your established goals and KPI’s and listen to the data. Often times communicators have hunches or assumptions of what kind of communications employees want to hear but only the data will prove that.
These six steps will help you build a solid foundation for your internal communication strategy. Once you understand your communication challenges, you can set goals that will help you to share engaging content and utilize effective mobile communication. Taking what we have learned in the past year, our improved list of multi-dimensional communication strategies will help you better connect with your employees to give them the news and information they need to thrive. To learn more about how SocialChorus is helping organizations improve their internal communication strategies, request a demo of our platform today.