08 January 2021

If your 2021 internal communication strategy looks like every other year, it will fail

Read Time: 2 min Author: Pieter Hofkens

2020 was a year unlike any other, with a pandemic scattering and isolating employees far and wide. As COVID-19 disrupted our entire way of working and forced companies to adopt new communication tools and strategies in order to reach everyone fast and efficiently with vital information, the spotlight shifted to internal corporate messaging.

More than ever, internal communicators must now go the extra mile to ensure they can continue to connect and engage their colleagues, create culture and instill purpose. Therefore, every internal communicator must ask the same question: “what do I have to do, to step up my game in 2021?” Because if your 2021 internal communication strategy looks like every other previous year, it will fail. So what are the most important trends and takeaways for 2021?

We are happy to share our insights with you.


1. DIGITAL IS THE ONLY WAY FORWARD

The digital workplace and agile work are no longer long-term business goals, but immediate necessities. Now is the time to make digital work thrive, there is no other choice. In years past, internal communication strategies still relied on mediums like printed staff magazines, email, messaging boards in lunchrooms, etc.. However, modern messaging approaches can take advantage of next generation technologies to unify communications, create a single source of truth for all employees and to effectively connect with each and every individual. Digital solutions provide messaging experiences that mirror what your employees have grown accustomed to as consumers in this digital age. If you don’t meet your employees in their own comfort zone, you will lose them.


2. WELLBEING FIRST

Not only the COVID-19 pandemic, but also rising workloads, rapid change and uncertainty are increasing stress levels among employees. Therefore, it is important to take pulse of your staff and empower your colleagues to reach out for support. Feedback channels, pulse surveys and opinion polls can definitely help in gaining insights in employee sentiment. Once you have an idea of how your colleagues are feeling, you can collaborate with HR to launch or enhance staff wellbeing offerings.


3. FRONTLINE AT THE FOREFRONT

For years, companies have struggled to effectively communicate with their non-desk employees. And today more than ever, frontline engagement has become non-negotiable as they keep your business operating, even in the face of crisis or disruption. Effectively informing, connecting and engaging your frontline workers needs to be a top priority if you want to keep the machine running and the team unified.


4. MEASURING IS KNOWING

Measuring the success of your internal messaging and the engagement rate of your employees becomes ever more important to optimize, adjust and improve your internal communications strategy in a time where change is constant. Data and hard numbers have become crucial to explain and prove the value of your communication to top management. Particularly as budgets tighten in response to the pandemic, metrics on employee engagement should be utilized to gain buy-in from leadership. Metrics can also play an important role in forecasting new priorities and setting clear goals and KPI’s for the coming years.


5. FROM COMMUNICATION TO CONVERSATION

If you are still delivering one-way, top down messages on behalf of management to staff, you are missing the boat. Encouraging companywide dialogue and enabling two-way communication is a must if you want to create a truly engaged workforce and satisfaction among your employees.

Now is a time of great change and it is the job of internal communicators to find the best ways to motivate all colleagues in these challenging times. Meet Roger can assist in the transformation journey to streamlined, digital and smart internal communications. Start creating a truly connected and engaged workforce today!

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