Effective internal communications require not only great content but also great distribution. You need to choose the right channels to ensure your communications are read and acted on. In this post we share the best channels for internal communications.
Once upon a time it was relatively easy to deliver internal comms straight to staff. Before digital transformation, most people would be at their workstation and printed materials could be placed right in front of them – the only danger being that they might get buried in their in tray.
Now, with so many different communication channels available and many people working remotely and flexibily, the chance of your communications getting lost in a virtual in tray is that much higher. For that reason there’s no one-size-fits-all for all employees within an organisation so it’s really a job of understanding the best channels to use for different groups of employees.
The most effective internal communication channels
Short video clips are effective because they engage employees regardless of age, gender or pay grade. This medium has been shown to get more engagement in terms of people actually watching the content and taking action as a result. The only issue with video is that it needs to be distributed digitally, and therefore relies on other channels, like those below, to be seen by its target audience.
- Social media
Set up social media groups for employees so you can reach them with important messages or inspiring content on their preferred platforms like Facebook. This may blur the lines between work and play but as many employees dip in and out of social media during the working day it’s an effective way of reaching them.
Most employees are contactable via email whether they have a company email address or a personal one. However, many people also receive far too many emails and therefore it’s very easy for your comms to get overlooked or buried in an inbox. That’s why it’s so important to make subject lines compelling and to keep content short and sweet. Give people a reason to open the email and then share information and directions clearly and succinctly. Adding links to videos, further information or documents is a good way to ensure you don’t overwhelm recipients with too much in one go, and help them find digest content in a way that works for them.
- Interactive e-letter
Instead of a boring old email take your digital comms to the next level with an e-letter that looks a lot more interesting. An interactive newsletter allows staff to find the information that’s relevant to them in an intuitive and enjoyable way. Make sure you review the analytics as these can provide some valuable insights into how you can improve your comms in future.
Great if staff regularly access the company intranet for work. Pop ups and banners are an effective way to deliver a message through this channel, as well as the more conventional messaging board.
Graphics communicating company values, culture and vision lend themselves well to being deployed as screensavers or wallpaper on company devices.
- Messaging apps
Many people now use WhatsApp, Messenger, SnapChat and other apps more than text messages and email. It’s worth polling staff to find out what their preferred communication channels are and then set up group chats if appropriate.
- Printed newsletter
Go old school with a printed newsletter for employees who are not digitally connected in the workplace, or to capture the attention of those that are overwhelmed with digital comms.
- Posters and banners
As with the printed newsletter, non-digital comms still have an important part to play and can reach both staff who are less digitally savvy as well as those that have developed a knack of ignoring emails, texts and other digital communications.
For most organisations all the channels listed above are relevant. However, you don’t necessarily need to use all of the channels all of the time. Choose the best channel for the content you want to share and your target audience. And if you’re using multiple channels, make sure your messaging is consistent across all of them to ensure that there’s no confusion about what employees need to know or do.
If you’re struggling to engage employees with your internal comms and would like to pick our brains about how you could do it better, please get in touch!