Only 30 percent.
According to Gallup, only 30 percent of employees in U.S. companies are engaged at work, which means a whopping majority of the workforce may not be engaged at all.
Research shows that if employees are more engaged and connected, it can improve their productivity by more than 20 percent. Imagine how a 20 percent productivity hike could impact deliverables, culture and the bottom line. Now, imagine how employees who feel empowered could impact a company’s culture.
To see outcomes ranging from creating a culture of openness and empowerment to lessening turnover, an internal communications strategy is a foundational step.
We recently covered in-depth the benefits to creating an internal communications strategy and some ideas to help get you there in a previous blog post.
This time we’re plunging into tips and tools to help align the right tactics to get the best outcomes – by focusing on employees, messaging and continually gathering feedback to adjust moving forward.
Tips and Tools for Internal Communications
- Use multiple tools to reach every member of the internal audience (which may include employees, leadership, volunteers, board members, etc.) Remember, everyone receives information differently so use a variety of tools to get the point across (i.e. mobile apps, social media, web tools, project management systems, content management systems, emails, in-person meetings, printed pieces, etc.)
- Make sure the message is relevant and beneficial to everyone receiving the communication. If the message isn’t applicable to all staff, send it instead to the select group to which it applies.
- Have employees help bring fresh content ideas as well as create content. This will enhance the authenticity of the communication and build an interconnected web of communications. Plus, it increases the value these employees feel so it’s a win/win.
- Keep it brief and clear. Rather than jam in every detail that may (or may not be) important, distill it down to the core message the audience needs to know, with relevant action steps.
- Pay attention to what this information means to the employee. Give them context and help them interpret the details. Make it about them.
- Tell great stories. People remember stories almost twice as well as they do straight informational text. By wrapping the message in story form, the internal audience will be more likely to remember and internalize it.
- Use interesting subject lines and headlines. These two phrases are the most likely hooks to encourage reading the message.
- Send messages when staff have time to read it. Targeting workers who are out on job sites most of the day? Send it in the morning when they’re checking in before they start work. Targeting desk workers? Right after lunch can be a great time to send information when they’re scrolling through their inbox.
- Use simple text and formatting to pull the readers through the content. Today, enormous amounts of information are consumed every day – the simpler it is to read from start to finish, the more likely the audience is getting the message. Write for a middle-schooler reading level (what we tend to skim at), and use headlines, sub heads and bullets regularly.
- Bring in visuals. People process images 60,000 times faster than they do text. A video, meme, photo or infographic will capture their attention.
- Communicate more than once – remember, receiving information one time may not be enough for recall, full understanding and action.
- Create content with a personality rather than formal text (though this will vary depending on company culture). People better understand and relate more to conversational text.
Task either an individual or a team with regularly measuring the impact of the communications, and make sure to continually learn how to improve internal communications. Over time and with consistency, sustainable results will be achieved for both the team and business.
For more ideas on how to best implement or strengthen internal communications action items, get in touch with us! We’re fiercely committed to having the best communications for each audience. Contact us at [email protected] or (717) 885-0014 to start a conversation!