In 2021, there is really no excuse for having your internal communication rely solely on your Intranet or an email newsletter. If you want to achieve the readership, engagement, and alignment that you are after, all your communication channels need to work in unison as part of an integrated communication ecosystem.

In this short article, we explore a critical question – are you due for an upgrade? A follow-on article will explore another important question – can you afford the upgrade and what are your options? But first things first.

Communication Directionality

Old: Internal communication has been focused for a long time on one-way top-down push of information. The results of this type of communication have been well document and range between adequate to poor depending on the organization and its culture.

Tired: Trying to have everyone engaging in a casual-style conversation about everything. This can not only eat into productivity, but conversational interfaces are terrible for managing critical communications.

New: Modern internal communication is all about having vibrant two-way communications, that includes blogs, posts, updates, announcements, and input from everyone in your organization while not sacrificing the ability to manage it and ensure everyone sees what they need to see (as opposed to it getting lost in the feed).

Communication

Old: Employees receive communication that is not relevant to them. Cluttered inboxes and Intranet home pages that you glaze over are the norm. There is no easy way to segment employees by role, location, and interest. Employees tune out since majority of communication is not relevant to them.

New: Each employee has a personalized newsfeed. Communication is segmented multiple ways to eliminate noise and increase readership. This is akin to the personalization that we have become accustomed to on social media. Employees thirst for information is quenched with relevant communication that makes a difference.

Engagement

Old: Communication and content is primarily read-only, engagement is low. Employees go about their work life without reading or engaging with their content. Culture suffers, organizational alignment suffers, performance suffers.

New: Social media-like interaction, with comments, threads, notifications, and emoji reactions. Engagement is high, employees read and engage with your content and communication on a regular basis.

Accessibility

Old: Most employees access communication via their desktops. There are no good channels for your employees to access your communication from their mobile devices.

New: Your communication is accessible from any browser, mobile apps, and more, with flexible install options. You decide as part of your strategy which channels to enable and how and where your employees access your communication.

Frontline Workers Communication

Old: They are forgotten from a digital communication point of view. You depend on managers to rely information to them.

New: They are first-class citizens in your communication ecosystem. They have access to your communication right from their mobile devices. They can comment, react and be part of the same conversation your office workers are having. They are engaged.

Multilingual Communication

Old: You communicate in one language. Translating your communication to multiple languages is too difficult, expensive and time consuming.

Tired: Having posts in multiple languages multiplies the effort for communications and for IT.

New: Your workforce is global even if you are company is not. Information is translated into many languages and each user sets their preference. Communicating in multiple languages is easy, quick, and inexpensive. And most importantly, integrates seamlessly so IT and communications have no additional effort.

Analytics

Old: Gathering metrics is difficult so you end up with no meaningful reporting around your communications readership and engagement. Even when available, it takes a lot of effort and involvement from IT to put them together.

New: Metrics are available at your fingertips. Dashboards and reports are ready without any IT involvement. You can easily see readership and engagement metrics and are able to continuously improve your communications.

Renewal/Refresh Cycle

Old: Your communication platforms are renewed or refreshed on a 3-to-5-year cycle. Functionality grows stale, you are unable to take advantage of new communication channels (Link to the MS Teams post) and innovation.

Tired: Having to back off a much needed revamp because the costs are huge and there have been too many refreshes that didn’t have any lasting effect, with new features and ideas coming with a big price tag.

New: New features are introduced throughout the year; your communication platform continues to evolve and improve. You can continuously add new channels to align them with your evolving communication strategy. This is simple to do and requires little to no IT involvement.

In Summary

The first thing is recognizing whether or not your communications platform is truly a platform or is it a bucket of tools that you have to manually switch between. Next is being able to answer the question of how well it is hitting the mark that it needs to for today’s circumstances. Lastly is asking how much of your workforce are really getting reached with it (Calculating Your Communication Channels Reach).

From there we can ask the question of is an upgrade due and what should that upgrade bring. The next question is can we upgrade our existing intranet to meet those needed or do we need to start from scratch? And are we going to be able to afford that in terms of time, money, and impact on our people. Check out our next article on this – coming Feb 9.

If you are ready for a modern, vibrant communication platform, we’d like to introduce you to Sparrow.

Sparrow LogoIf you’re looking for a platform to help make your life easier and connecting you with all of your workforce, give Sparrow a look. We’ve lived the pain, we understand the hopes, and we built a platform for communication professionals that delivers. From Intranets, to Microsoft Teams, to newsletters, and mobile, we know how important corporate communications is. Sparrow – Built for CommunicatorsBook a conversation with us today.  

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