How to Choose the Right Internal Communications Channels for Your Workforce

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LumAppsEnable your employees to do their best work

Monday, May 9, 2022

The changing shape of the modern workforce means your internal communications channels need to shift and change too.

Article 5 Minutes
How to Choose the Right Internal Communications Channels for Your Workforce
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Our latest report, What’s Missing From Your Internal Communications Strategy?, found organizations face an array of challenges with their internal communications. 24.5% of respondents consider the main challenge to be a lack of structure and connection, while 21.5% report too many communications. 11.5% also said they don't have the right internal tools and technology. Organizations need to deliver reliable and relevant internal comms for all employees and provide the tools to accomplish this.

Understanding what your employees want from internal communications

Our research also found a range of different preferences when it came to receiving internal communications. 43% of respondents rank instant messaging tools and company-wide meetings (43%) as their most preferred format for internal communications, with intranet collaboration tools (42%) close behind and newsletters (38%) and video (36%) behind that.

LumApps research visual on the formats people prefer when receiving internal comms

When looking at formats they would like more of, respondents ranked company-wide meetings (46%) most highly, followed closely by intranet collaboration tools (42%).

LumApps visual on what forms respondents would like to see more frequently used for internal comms

The types of messaging people enjoy reading can inform your content strategy. For example, our research found employees enjoy receiving important updates (53%) most, followed closely by company events (48.5%), monthly newsletters (41.5%) and annual newsletters (39.5%).

LumApps visual on the types of updates respondents enjoy receiving

Understanding what employees want from your internal communications can help inform the channels you choose to use.

Optimizing your channel strategy

For effective internal communication across your workforce, provide consistent messaging and utilize the right tools.

The above charts show the kinds of messaging employees want to receive and how they want to receive it. However, you’ll often find that an omnichannel approach is the most effective as you can reach a wider audience by providing your messaging is sent in a variety of formats, and using the right channels.

The key to finding the right internal communication channel mix

Taking time to explore and experiment with different channels will help determine the most effective ones for your workforce. Keep the following points in mind when deciding on your channel mix:

Test popular channels

As research indicates particular channels are popular with employees, use these as a starting point. If your workforce is particularly interested in instant messaging, then roll this out within your organization. If your workforce isn't sure, start with the easily recognized and popular channels and take a look at the results.

Evaluate based on effectiveness

Evaluating a communications channel should be done in an organized way. Any tool you test should be closely monitored for its effectiveness, and feedback from employees should be regularly requested.

Analytics tools can help with this, with easy-to-monitor metrics such as open rate and likes and comments on social content. In addition, employee surveys and feedback questionnaires are vital in gaining real insight into whether your choice of channels is engaging and delivering what your employees want.

Tie-in to company culture and goals

Much of the purpose of internal communications is to inform and further company messaging. Create goals around changing attitudes based on specific actions. This will help you assess the effectiveness of the chosen channels. For example, if you offer incentives for employees giving up single-use plastics, you would hope to see less single-use plastic in the workplace.

Internal communications are never one-size-fits-all, and you'll find departmental differences and expectations. For example, our research found Sales (65.6%) and IT (59.7%) departments enjoy important updates the most, while Finance enjoy company events (58.1%) and HR prefer CEO announcements (61.1%).

LumApps research visual on the types of updates respondents enjoy receiving - by business function

It also found differences dependent on seniority level, with 56.9% of Managers and 51.3% of Directors saying they enjoy company events updates, compared to just 32% of VPs.

LumApps research visual on the types of updates respondents enjoy receiving - by seniority

Messaging has to meet the expectations of your employees but also has to be appropriate depending on purpose and function. Let's look more closely at when to choose which channel:

In-person

While in-person communications aren't always possible with a growing remote workforce, it still has its place. In-person communications reduce the possibility of miscommunication and are also ideal for social and team bonding activities such as company retreats and all-company gatherings.

With advances in video integration and management software, you can deliver the same messaging to remote employees in real-time via video call. Employee evaluation and development is also something that most people prefer face-to-face due to the personal nature of the communication.

Social media and instant messaging

These communication channels are quick, efficient and easy to compartmentalize so departments can communicate within their teams. Social media and instant messaging also foster a community feel for employees who may never meet in person and be based in different parts of the world.

Social media and instant messaging require policies for correct usage, and sticking to a single, monitored platform is also recommended for efficiency and ease of management.

Intranet platforms

A modern intranet platform provides a central hub for employee communications. It's ideal for company announcements and messaging everyone needs to see. Intranets also allow for department- and individual-specific messaging and acts as a launchpad for all comms and business applications.

Your intranet can be the integral center for all of your employees, and logging in should be as natural as checking emails throughout the day. The newest intranet platforms are democratic, easy to use across all devices, in any timezone and location, and incorporate social features, blogs, business tools, etc.

Creating an effective internal comms strategy with the most reliable toolkit

A well-designed internal communications strategy maximizes the potential of your chosen tools. Of course, there will be some trial and error, but with commitment from leadership and engagement with your workforce, you can create a more cohesive and connected work environment.

LumApps

Enable your employees to do their best work

https://www.lumapps.com/

LumApps is a leading Employee Experience Platform founded in 2015 to unify the modern workforce through better communication, engagement, and instant access to information. Integrated with Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, LumApps intelligently connects people, information, and business applications to empower employees and enhance productivity. The product tailors each experience to the unique needs of the employee, from executives and managers to frontline workers. LumApps is a true SaaS platform, designed to scale to the needs of today’s largest enterprises and is easily accessible across any device or language.

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