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Internal Communications Strategy Tips for 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Sandy Yu on 11.21.2019

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By this time in the year, your focus is likely set on how you’ll revamp and improve your internal communications strategy for 2020. You know the weight it has on your company’s success, and you need to make sure it’s primed for optimal employee engagement, direct and transparent, and unique to your organization's needs. But are you really planning for the long haul?

According to a recent study by Gatehouse, 51% of internal communicators say that their company doesn’t have a long-term vision for their strategy. With rapidly changing trends and ever-evolving employee needs, it’s crucial to understand the widespread impact of your efforts and how the adjustments you make now will affect the future.

If you’re ready to look past yearly planning and into true long-term strategy, follow these four steps:

1. Focus on education

Be acutely aware of the communication skills of your leaders at all levels. Gatehouse found that 56% of internal communicators note poor communication skills from middle management, and cite how the shortcoming is detrimental to their efforts.

You won’t be successful without the inclusion of your leaders. From your C-suite executives down, everyone should be familiar with and prepared to meet your expectations. Be sure to provide the resources they need to effectively communicate with their team, and be diligent about offering up-to-date communications training at all levels of the organization.

2. Emphasize mobile — even more

The mobile boom keeps getting bigger. In fact, a recent study by Zenith predicts that 24% of all media consumption in the world will happen on mobile devices in 2019. And that number is expected to jump by 4% in just one more year. Brands everywhere are forced to reconsider how they reach consumers, clients, and their team. When it comes to your internal communications strategy, you need to focus on ease of accessibility — enter mobile.

Connect with employees on the pathways that are convenient for them. Quick, meaningful connections paired with the instant gratification of mobile communication provides information on their terms. Instead of making them log on and search, give them exactly what they need in the palm of their hand (literally).

3. Combine external and internal communications

While you’re serving two different audiences with internal and external communication, your efforts don’t have to be completely separate. Your ultimate goal is — at a high level — exactly the same for both parties: deliver accurate, transparent, and valuable information that will build connections and trust with your reader.

While it can be a struggle to get your team to pay attention to internal communication, taking a more holistic approach can help boost employee engagement. Focus less on concepts of “who needs to know what” and devote time to creating multi-functional marketing material that provides helpful and relevant information to the reader.

4. Measure continually, cut frequently

For a truly long-term strategy, adding on and adding on isn’t a feasible option. Keep a close eye on metrics and KPIs, and don’t hang on to methods that don’t work. 

Spend three to six months following the same pattern, and measure closely to see if you’re gaining traction with your efforts. With experience, you’ll learn the delicate balance of how to identify when something isn’t working and when something just needs a bit more time to take effect.

Your team’s needs will never stop evolving, so your internal communications strategy needs to be constantly changing, too. Focus your efforts on measurable and meaningful goals that will work for the benefit of your team.

Topics: mobile, employee experience, internal communications, employee communication, leadership communication

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