You probably know that companies with thoughtful internal communications strategies do better than the competition. Their employees are more productive. They are able to offer their shareholders more value. And they have less employee turnover. What you might not know is why. The answer lies in the employee experience.
You might not think internal communications has much to do with the overall employee experience. The fact is, however, that internal comms and the employee experience are inexorably linked. That means that implementing proven internal communications strategies should be at the top of your list whenever you’re looking at how to improve the employee experience.
Maybe your company has tried various ways to boost worker satisfaction and happiness, but you haven’t looked all that closely at how internal communications and the internal communications tools you use potentially impact your company culture and employee engagement.
In this post, we’re going to share internal communications strategies and tools that can improve the employee experience and prove once and for all that employee experience matters a lot when it comes to your bottom line.
9 Communications Strategies for Improving the Employee Experience
1. Analyze Frustration at Every Level
The quickest way to turn a positive employee experience into a negative one is to put barriers to success in front of hardworking employees. Disorganization is a huge problem because the harder it is for your workforce to find what it needs, to collaborate, to understand company goals, and to grow in a position, the more likely it is that employees will be unhappy and disengaged.
Your internal communications strategy should be focused on reducing the frustrations that can undermine a good employee experience. Think about your employees’ biggest pain points. Are resources hard to find? Do messages to management go unanswered? Are simple administrative or HR tasks taking up too much time? Do meetings regularly interrupt the flow of work? Consider what internal communications strategies and internal communication tools could reduce or even eliminate the biggest comms challenges at your company.
2. Reach Employees Where They Are
No matter what industry you’re in, the internal communication tools you’re using should be digital and mobile-friendly. Gone are the days when a bulletin board in the break room was sufficient for sharing information with employees or between teams. Healthcare firms, transit companies, and online stores are all turning to digital internal comms solutions like Blink—often at the request of frustrated employees.
In the transit industry, for instance, studies have shown that drivers and other employees actually want more opportunities for mobile digital communications because they prefer being able to get updates on the go instead of having to check a board or the book before and after shifts.
Your aim when implementing any internal communications strategies should be to engage all of your workers, no matter how remote or how seldom they’re on site. When you look at tech tools to enhance internal comms, make sure they can be used on employees’ own devices, support notifications, are easy to use, and aren’t so resource-heavy that your workers resent having to put them on their phones. It should be easy for your employees to get what they need to get the job done from anywhere.
3. Stop Sending So Many Emails
Workflow interruptions can be a real motivation killer. Even short interruptions can pull employees away from the work they were hired to do, and as a result, they may start to feel ineffectual or like what they do isn’t important. One internal communications strategy that tends to be popular across the board is to stop wasting precious time with unproductive emails.
At most companies, things like sharing priorities, updating schedules, changing benefits, or getting caught up on a project can easily be accomplished in an employee app like Blink instead of in an endless email thread. Employees can stay focused on their work and then get up to date when they have a free minute because it’s all right there in their personalized feeds.
4. Put Everything in One Place
Having to dig through archives to find phone numbers, documents, presentations, and other resources is tedious and can make employees less productive. Workers at your company will have a better experience (and stay more engaged) when your internal communications strategy includes storing information centrally and making it easy to access.
Blink’s Unified Search makes anything that has been posted, shared, or mentioned in chat instantly searchable and easily retrievable. Employees know that the messages, posts, documents, files, photos, and emails they need to get the job done are right there in the app.
5. Make Sure No One Is Missing Crucial Info
It’s easier to ensure that every employee, especially those in the field, gets the updates they need when you use an internal communications tool that can be personalized. That way, you’re never left wondering whether employees received those project updates, and your workers don’t have to worry that they’re missing anything important.
If you’re never quite sure if your communications are getting to the right people, Blink may be the answer. Your comms team can decide who receives what messages, and there are even priority posts that have to be acknowledged by the people who receive them. A simple ‘message received’ can reduce frustration at all levels of an organization and create a better experience for everyone.
6. Promote Transparency
Employees can only exceed your expectations if they know what those expectations are. When your workforce understands your company vision and the role they play in your company’s success, they are empowered and driven to deliver consistent value. More surprisingly, they may also be more willing to weather any storms that might hit your company if they feel like they’re in the loop with regard to important company news, and their experience at your company is overall a positive one.
7. Promote Stronger Connections Across Teams
Employees are happier and more engaged when they feel a useful connection to colleagues and they can easily collaborate. When you think about internal communications strategies and internal communication tools, make sure any ideas or tech you’re considering makes it easy to share ideas and resources both inside and outside of teams. It’s also important to set transparent team and department goals, and even add social events that give employees an opportunity to bond outside of work hours.
An intranet app like Blink lets your employees communicate with their own teams and across departments more easily, ensuring that deskless, remote, and frontline workers still feel a connection to their colleagues and your company.
8. Support Your Employees’ Growth
Do you give your employees time to hone their professional skills, so they grow in your organization? An easy way to improve the employee experience at your company—and to boost the value of your employees—is to find and publicize conferences, classes, certification programs, and other growth opportunities for your workers. That said, putting information up on the break room notice board or sending out an email announcement is often not enough to encourage enrollment.
To ensure that your employees know about growth opportunities, make sharing them part of your internal communications plan. With Blink, you can post these opportunities, remind employees to sign up, and even manage course registration and attendance.
9. Broadcast Your Employees’ Accomplishments
It’s hard to feel good about doing your job when you’re not getting any positive feedback. Make this the year you start broadcasting employee and team accomplishments via posts to your employee intranet. The promise of public recognition can be a big motivator. And when you’re recognizing team or department accomplishments, it can increase feelings of cohesiveness—even when team members don’t work together every day or are remote.
10. Make Time for Fun
What does fun have to do with the employee experience? A lot! Ideally, your workers come to work each day ready to focus on getting their jobs done, but the fact is that taking regular short breaks throughout the work day can make your employees more productive. When your internal comms team shares occasional interesting, entertaining, or laugh-out-loud funny content as part of your company’s internal communications strategy, your employees will feel less stressed and think more creatively when they do refocus on work.
What’s so interesting about the nine employee experience-enhancing internal communications strategies listed above is that they’re almost all focused on making sure information gets to the people who can benefit the most from it. Don’t forget that information overflow can be just as frustrating for employees as a data drought, so strong internal comms is typically targeted, comprehensive, and focused. Ultimately, your internal communications should support the kind of positive employee experience that can literally drive big increases in performance and productivity.
Here’s Why Internal Communications and the Employee Experience Matter More Than Ever
As employees and entire teams have become more dispersed and remote work is more common, keeping employees happy and more engaged has become a bigger challenge. Disengaged workers can actually cost companies $10,000 per year, but that’s not the most alarming statistic. Employees who don’t feel like part of your company culture are also more likely to jump ship—even without a competing offer—and turnover is a huge money pit. Replacing a single employee can cost as much as the annual salary for a position when you factor in the cost of recruitment and retraining.
The employee experience is hard to summarize in just a few sentences, but in general, a good employee experience is the result of empowering workers and giving them a voice, helping them understand the company’s vision and impact, making sure they feel valued for their contributions, and giving them opportunities to collaborate and grow. All of these factors are intimately tied to internal comms.
To give employees (especially deskless and frontline employees) a voice, there has to be a platform where they can express themselves. To empower them to go above and beyond, they need to understand what’s expected of them and to have easy access to the resources they need. You can’t make employees feel valuable without some mechanism for praising them for their efforts, and you can’t give them opportunities to succeed without also giving them a way to share with their colleagues more easily.
Tech tools like Blink make deploying best practice internal communications strategies easier than ever before. With it, you can create an internal communications plan that is comprehensive, trackable, and fully integrated with your business processes. More importantly, that plan will improve the employee experience for everyone in your organization, from in-office employees to workers in the field.