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Today’s workplace offers a multitude of communication tools for managers and leaders to communicate internally. From email to video to digital apps, the opportunity to communicate with your people has never been greater. With such communication technologies available, organizations can:
Conduct value-added two-way communications
Reach employees wherever they are
Make organizational announcements more personal and authentic
Deliver targeted messages more effectively
Crucially, your internal communications can drive employee engagement to new levels. However, for your internal communication strategy to be successful, it is critical that you use an omnichannel approach and not a multichannel approach.
Many organizations mistake their internal communication for omnichannel simply because they communicate using multiple channels. Instead of being integrated across multiple channels, communication is simply made on them. Messages are misinterpreted and miscommunicated down the line. Consequently, authenticity is lost, and communication becomes meaningless.
Effective communication by multiple channels does not silo those channels – it provides a seamless, integrated experience which allows employees to interact with the organization in various ways with uniform results.
When communicating through multiple channels, first consider how your employees prefer to communicate – understand how to connect across the generational gap. Develop personas for your employees and use these to drive communication tactics to link communication channels with audiences and provide clear messages.
In the sales environment, studies have shown that personalized messages are more effective. A study by Experian found that personalized emails receive 29% higher open rates and 40% higher click-through rates. If you want your employees to read and interact with your communications, make them personal – which means you must ensure the accuracy of your employee data (where they work, in what capacity, etc.). Your communication team must work closely with your HR team.
Employing social communication tools will help to drive your message, but should also be seen as an effective method for ensuring transparency and engagement. Organizations that communicate only one way neither understand how their employees feel nor engender a culture in which ideas are shared and better solutions found.
Social communication channels should be social, encouraging questions and comments and promoting a culture of transparency. A high level of interaction changes the tone of communication, and is crucial to establish a culture of inclusive leadership.
Let your employees voice their concerns, ask their questions and share their opinions on your social channels. Help them find their voice by giving them opportunities to share their experiences in a variety of ways. Encourage them to contribute to your internal blog and intranet news, and help them to communicate with others in the most appropriate ways.
Opening your internal communication channels to your employees requires a new mindset and need to be managed, but developing tools such as templates and providing communication coaching will aid this shift.
You cannot determine success unless you can measure it. Therefore, you must develop metrics to measure the effectiveness of your omnichannel communication strategy. Decide what these metrics should be, and ensure that you identify who is responsible for achieving them. For example, when you share an item of news on your intranet you might measure effectiveness by the number of likes, shares and comments it receives.
Multiple communication channels are most effective when an organization adopts an omnichannel communication strategy. For ultimate effectiveness, you must ensure that:
You understand how your employees prefer to communicate
You provide opportunities for employees to interact with your communications
Employees are encouraged to engage by tactics such as personalization
Metrics are put in place to measure effectiveness
An effective omnichannel communication strategy can help drive employee engagement, but it must be managed. Your internal communicators will need to embed a new mindset, managing a community rather than messaging it. To do this effectively, your internal communicators will need to learn new skills and lead by example.
Contact us today and discover how we could help your leaders and managers improve their communication practices and strategies, and how this can feed through to improving employee engagement in your workplace.
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