by Chris Izquierdo and Adam Zouak
To say that 2020 has been a crazy year for most of us is truly an understatement. As we enter its last quarter, we wanted to review three internal communication best practices we have noticed in the world around us. They are based on conversations with IC professionals, our customers and sessions in virtual conferences and webinars.
1 – It is time to measure outcomes not just outputs.
As the internal communication function continues to mature, the need to elevate our role and join other departments such as Marketing and HR in proving our business value to the organization continues to increase.
Metrics such as page views, opens, reactions and comments are good, but they are the starting point, the basics. Metrics like these in siloed individual channels are a problem. You need a cohesive view but even that isn’t enough.
This year you want to be able to answer your CEO’s questions about how internal communication is performing with more than just “Here are the engagement results”. You want to lead the conversation with “Here are the outcome metrics for each of the corporate strategic initiatives we executed.”
If you don’t have these type of metrics and would like to learn how Sparrow can help you achieve your IC goals in 2021 – please contact us for a quick chat.
2 – Accept remote as the new normal and adapt
Google, Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, the list of companies announcing a primarily remote workforce continues to grow. The pandemic has accelerated digital innovation and its effects will remain long after we have dealt with the virus. Studies now are showing that most employees are not at their desk 70-80% of the time. Many Fortune 1000 companies are completely rethinking their office space around the fact that employees are going to be working from home for the foreseeable future.
Corporate communications has dealt with the challenge of remote workers in the past. Whether ‘remote’ is offsite, the factory floor, or working from home –all employees need to feel connected and engaged with the organization, your communications is an important part of that.
There is not getting around it. You need to add channels that reach and engage with your workforce while remotely.
In Sparrow, we support multiple channels and have specific metrics on the adoption of each channel use by remote workers. Across all our clients, our metrics show that the most effective channels when communicating with remote workers are mobile apps and email followed by MS Teams. The metrics also show that Intranet performance is dismal in comparison with these other channels and it doesn’t matter if the Intranet is accessible via mobile devices or not, your remote workers are just not going to that channel for timely communications.
It is also important to mention that if we only consider organizations that have enabled MS Teams for their field workers then MS Teams becomes an effective as communication channel but mobile apps continue to rank at the top for several reasons: ease of use, ease of access, focused functionality. Check out our post on 3 Things to Consider before deciding on a Mobile solution.
3 – Different channels for different generations
Mid-market organizations have multiple generations in their workforce featuring a wide range of communication preference styles and work habits. You can find out about our channel recommendations for each generation in this article (we recently posted about this, check it out.).
Engaging with a significant number of employees in each generation is important to accomplish your goals as a communicator. This will inevitably lead to multiple channels of communication.
We have heard the cries, email shouldn’t be used for internal communication, the Intranet as a communication channel is dead. One channel of communication in an organization is not going to be enough. Modern communication tools allow employees to have channel preferences.
Instead of dropping channels, craft an omnichannel strategy. The good folks in marketing can help you. We’d recommend that for each channel you determine the personas that will engage in that channel and calculate the channel reach to make sure you have your whole workforce covered. This article explains a quick and easy formula for determining channel reach.
When it comes to communications platforms, the Sparrow teams aims to not only to deliver the best value product but to also be the partner that’s there for you. We work closely with our customers, sharing where we’re going, listening to what they would like to see in our platform, and always thinking about how we can make them even more successful with our platform. At Sparrow, we believe that corporate communications can be transformative. Sparrow – Built for Communicators. Book a conversation with us today.