At a lot of companies, organizational communication is an afterthought. Even though research from Gallup shows that a startling 69% of employees are disengaged on the job, internal comms is seldom front of mind as a solution. Why? Because at first glance it can look like the resources necessary to enhance organizational communication just aren’t there.
The good news is that implementing the most effective internal communications best practices at your company doesn’t have to take a lot of money or time. When you invest in an internal communications app like Blink, you can empower your teams to communicate and collaborate more successfully and boost overall engagement at your company.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of companies with great internal communications that you can emulate when you’re creating your own internal comms strategy. Before we dive into that list of internal communications examples, however, let’s take a look at why some businesses are investing so heavily in comms.
It’s a Fact: Organizational Communication Matters
Launching a new organizational communication initiative can be overwhelming, but the ROI of enhancing internal comms with new strategies and tools can’t be ignored. The Holmes Report found that companies with strong internal communication strategies were able to give their shareholders 47% higher returns. One study by the McKinsey Global Institute found that productivity rose by as much as 25% when employees used online social tools to collaborate. And companies with effective internal comms have more engaged employees and less employee turnover.
The impact of employee engagement may be tough to measure, but the very real financial toll of churn isn’t. Recruiting, hiring, and training one new employee can cost as much or even more than paying an existing employee’s salary for a year. On top of that, you may need to pay your other employees overtime to pick up the slack during the transition and productivity can slow dramatically. Clearly, taking organizational communication seriously makes economic sense.
Now that you know why comms is worth investing in, let’s take a look at 11 examples of companies with great internal communications so you can create an effective comms strategy of your own.
Company 1: Stagecoach
Stagecoach knows that employee engagement and good internal communication go hand in hand. That’s why they implemented an employee app to effectively reach and enable their biggest asset—their customer-facing workforce. To reach the 30,000 individuals (including 21,000 bus drivers) within their organization, they utilized a mobile employee app, which received phenomenal feedback team-wide. Not only did more than 84% of employees actively use the app within the first week, but Stagecoach saw an overall increase in employee satisfaction too.
The Takeaway: Look for organizational communication solutions that reach employees where they are. Deskless, frontline, and customer-facing workers should be able to access and share information, find the resources they need in the field, and work collaboratively with their in-office colleagues. A mobile employee app like Blink empowers all of your employees to stay connected and engaged—especially in fields like healthcare or transportation where critical schedules, timetables, and key documents should ideally be accessible from anywhere.
Company 2: TED
Famous for its signature talks, TED is much less verbose when it comes to its internal communications best practices. Research has shown that the average person can pay attention to a speaker for 10 to 18 minutes, so at TED, most meetings take 18 minutes or less. That’s good because having shorter or fewer meetings means that employees have more time to focus on the tasks they’re being paid to tackle.
The Takeaway: Long meetings are counterproductive, so consider setting a hard time limit for most meetings at your company. And before you even schedule your next meeting, think about whether booking a conference room is really even necessary. Project updates, check-ins, budget rundowns, calendar changes, and more can all happen in an employee app like Blink, and chances are that you’ll communicate a lot more in a lot less time.
Company 3: Amazon
At Amazon, organizational communication is doled out in targeted, snack-sized bites instead of in memos or long and winding email chains. That’s because the comms team knows that most people will stop reading any message after just over 100 words. The end result is that employees get the information they need and no more, which means they’re more likely to read, understand, and reply to the information that comes their way.
The Takeaway: Because digital communication happens in real time, it doesn’t have to be as wordy as the memos of yesteryear. Make your internal comms more like social media by distilling your messages down so they contain only essential snackable information. Kick it up a notch and use modern intranet features like the Blink Feed to send those messages (along with photos, videos, polls, documents, links, and priority alerts) only to the people who actually need to read them.
Company 4: 3M
Innovation can only happen when employees have some breathing room, which is why 3M has instituted a policy that allows workers to spend 15% of the workday pursuing fresh ideas in collaboration with colleagues. Internal comms plays a huge role in the policy because wasted time means less time for collaboration and effective communication is one of the keys of idea generation.
The Takeaway: When people communicate and work more efficiently, they have more time to innovate. Make sure that your employees aren’t facing any roadblocks when it comes to comms. With Blink’s Unified Search, anything that has been posted, shared, or mentioned in chat becomes instantly searchable—that includes messages, posts, documents, files, photos, and emails. Blink also lets employees across teams collaborate, which may just result in some unexpected fresh ideas.
Company 5: Virgin Trains
Virgin Trains wanted to encourage more communication between leaders and employees and between older and younger workers, so they implemented a connected and trackable platform that everyone could access from anywhere via company smartphones. Employees had access to several different apps filled with curated content, making it easier for their entire workforce to stay informed, stay connected, and communicate across teams.
The Takeaway: You don’t have to stop using the applications and programs you love when you upgrade your employee intranet. With Zapier, you can integrate numerous platforms and the Blink app so your deskless employees enjoy a robust, familiar, and user-friendly communications experience. That said, if you’re not satisfied with the software you’re currently using, Blink also lets users build their own micro-apps to do things like use payment card systems, streamline project reporting, automate timesheet management, report unplanned absences, or update a product database.
Company 6: Starbucks
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has written that employees “are the true ambassadors of our brand, the real merchants of romance and theater, and as such the primary catalysts for delighting customers.” One way that Starbucks has invested in those ambassadors is by boosting engagement via internal messaging and store manager training. The company’s effective internal communication tools have ensured that employees and managers are all on the same page when it comes to the brand’s key offerings and core values.
The Takeaway: Supporting workers at all levels pays off. Employees who understand what’s expected of them can deliver more value, and Blink’s custom feeds can help customer-facing employees feel more connected to your organizational goals. An employee app can also be the platform on which opportunities for professional development and course registration and attendance are managed.
Company 7: Netflix
At large companies, organizational communication can become bloated and impossible to manage. At Netflix, internal communications best practices are all about keeping comms simple. When it comes to communication between board members and management, most discussions happen in the form of brief online memos where questions can be asked and answered—and archived for the future.
The Takeaway: Do whatever you can to make organizational communication easier. First, make everything findable. When you’re using Blink, you can safely store all the documents that power your company with Hub. Teams with access can see, edit, and share files on the devices they already have with them. And second, make sure that your employees have easy access to exactly what they need to stay productive, like actionable items, notifications, schedule changes, and to-dos.
Company 8: Royal London
Royal London was looking for a better way to get and then act on feedback from customers, employees, and managers. They completely updated the way they solicited feedback via surveys and in the process, gave every individual associated with the business a voice. Engagement increased across teams, and the company reaped the rewards.
The Takeaway: Giving your workforce a voice can pay off big time. The problem with most workplace surveys is that they aren’t anonymous. Employees who feel disengaged may not express that for fear of being seen as less productive or disloyal. With Blink, however, you can easily create anonymous polls and surveys that make finding and then creating solutions to employee pain points easier.
Company 9: Zappos
One of Zappos’ published core values is “Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication”. It sounds simple enough, but Zappos has actually taken the notion of openness and honesty to the next level in its organizational communication. At the company, communication is a two-way street and transparency is a big part of what makes internal (and external) comms at Zappos so effective.
The Takeaway: Reveal more than you conceal and make yourself available. Blink’s employee app makes it easier to be transparent and to be sure everyone is getting your messages (because you can see who is and isn’t engaging with your content). It also gives deskless workers the opportunity to communicate concerns and share ideas with management the same way in-office employees can.
Company 10: USAA
USAA made the strategic decision to update its organizational communication when it became clear that most of the company’s 30,000 employees only had eight minutes a day or less to consume important company updates and news. They redesigned their internal comms platform and updated its content development processes, which lead to an increase in engagement with key content.
The Takeaway: Use an intranet that lets you reach employees without wasting their time. A mobile employee app like Blink puts important information front and center and empowers workers to consume that info without interrupting workflows.
Company 11: Hershey
The Hershey company had staff working all around the globe and wanted a way to make employees everywhere feel more connected. They decided the best way to make collaboration between teams in different countries easier and more efficient was to have all workers use a single intranet hub.
The Takeaway: When you take steps to help employees work together, whether in-office or in the field, they’ll be more likely to come up with innovative ideas and to accomplish more together. With an employee app, employees can create personalized feeds that empower collaboration—both within teams, but also across departments.
What Companies With Great Internal Communications Have in Common
All of the internal communications examples above have one thing in common, which is that the companies identified a specific organizational comms challenge and looked for a tool or a strategy to solve it. The first step in overhauling your internal comms should always be to analyze what is working at your company and what isn’t. You can spend top dollar building a custom branded intranet, but if it’s not meeting your company’s unique needs, it’s not going to boost your bottom line.
It’s only when you know what comms issues are getting in the way of effective collaboration and stalling productivity that you can identify the tools and strategies that will ultimately become the backbone of a stronger, more effective internal communications plan.
Do you need a communications tool that reaches frontline employees and workers in the field, doesn’t require stopping the flow of work to use, and can be integrated seamlessly with other apps so employees only have to log into a single portal? Do you need to boost engagement or inspire your employees to collaborate more? An employee engagement app like Blink can do all that and more. Request a Demo