5 tips for an effective internal communications strategy

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5 tips for an effective internal communications strategy

By Kelly Ellis, Global Engage Practice Area Lead

You can’t underestimate the importance of having an integrated internal communications strategy.

From informing employees of important changes to processes or suppliers to encouraging policy adoption, the right communications strategy can determine the success of all kinds of important initiatives across your organization. Plus, when employees are informed, you’ll see a boost in creativity, productivity, and morale – and you’ll know that everyone’s aligned to your purpose and goals. This enables those same employees to be your best advocates when working with customers. The only question is: where do you start?

For a successful internal communications strategy, you need to:

  • Harness data to evaluate engagement trends
  • Know your ‘why’ to improve engagement
  • Leverage the right communications channels
  • Ensure all communications are digitally accessible
  • Optimize campaigns with metrics for greater effectiveness

Let’s dive deeper into each of these key steps.

1. Harness data to evaluate engagement trends

Before building an internal communications campaign, it’s critical to identify where your employee engagement could use a boost. But how do you know when your company could benefit from an engaging communications strategy? It’s all in the data!

It’s essential to look at key data to identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement across your organization. To help you understand when you need a communications campaign, you should tap into two types of data:

  • Subjective data (or soft metrics) like satisfaction and sentiment feedback, idea sharing, morale and team dynamics.
  • Hard metrics such as employee retention, productivity, company growth, and quantitative employee surveys.

2. Know your ‘why’ to improve engagement

Once you know where a communications campaign would be beneficial, you need to lay the foundation for sharing your message clearly and efficiently. That starts with answering three key questions:

  1. Why are you building the campaign?
  2. Why does it matter?
  3. Why should employees care?

These questions can help you assess campaign objectives, organizational impact, and individual relevance so you can create thoughtful, purpose-driven campaigns that resonate with employees. When you communicate your “why”, you should encourage, inspire, and motivate employees so they embrace the change you’re implementing and take the desired action.

3. Leverage the right communication channels

When planning employee engagement campaigns, where you communicate is just as important as what you communicate. To ensure your communications stand out and to avoid overwhelming employees by over-reliance on a single channel, consider some unconventional digital channels to share your message, such as:

  • Podcasts and videos for sharing compelling messages directly with employees
  • Internal social networks to foster community among employees
  • Digital wallpapers and waiting screens showcasing important topics
  • Gamified training and employee-led webinars and workshops
  • And much more!

Using these innovative channels can help you transform your employee engagement efforts, helping employees feel informed and empowered.

4. Ensure all communications are digitally accessible

In today’s highly digital world, it’s critical to consider whether your communication channels are accessible to everyone in your organization. There are multiple barriers to accessing content for employees with limited tech skills, non-native language proficiency, or disabilities. These barriers are often overlooked but ignoring them will result in lower engagement among employees. While there are many elements that can make your content accessible, begin with these basics:

  • Use alternative text (alt text) to describe images to those who can’t see them and those using assistive technology
  • Deliver your campaign in multiple formats, such as audio, video and text
  • Use color contrast effectively
  • Caption videos for those unable to access audio

The more accessible your campaigns are, the better your engagement will be among ALL your employees.

5. Optimize communications campaigns with metrics

Once your campaign has launched, the work isn’t over! An effective strategy requires ongoing management to optimize your messaging and delivery. It’s best to track data and metrics on a regular cadence to understand when employees are engaging, what channels are most popular, which messaging is working best, and much more. This allows you to make strategic adjustments to your campaigns to find the ideal mix. Continuing to track those metrics will also give you a historical view and benchmarks to quickly assess campaign performance.

Advito recently helped one client shift market share away from a particular airline supplier to avoid significant cost increases by implementing a strategic communications campaign. By continuing to monitor engagement throughout the campaign, Advito was able to track the effectiveness of the client’s messaging and make strategic adjustments to maximize the value of the communications strategy.

With a strategic approach to internal communications, you can align internal messaging with your organization’s strategic goals, empower employees with the information they need to be their best AND be your best ambassadors, and lay the foundation for your company’s success. Contact our team to power up your internal communication strategy!

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