If the last two years proved challenging as companies navigated the unprecedented reality of a global pandemic, the next two years may prove just as difficult. The world won’t return to the way it was, and employees are demanding more flexibility and a bigger voice at their jobs. Improving the employee experience will require some give and take on the employer side and a willingness to meet employees where they are.
As they work to better the employee experience, one area leaders will need to pay particular attention to is internal communications. “Internal” will have a totally different meaning in 2022 as more offices settle into hybrid work situations and workers continue to work from home some, most or all of the time. Announcing major changes to a colocated room full of people will no longer be possible in this new way of working. Instead, leaders must rely on tools and technology to ensure employees get the right information at the right time. They’ll also need to be mindful of how employee attitudes are changing and respond accordingly.
The Impact of Internal Communications on Employee Engagement
Why should leaders care about internal comms? Because of the power they possess and internal comms’ ability to affect employee engagement. In a recent survey, a wide majority of communications professionals agreed that internal communications had a strong impact on employee engagement. When employees know what’s happening at their company they feel more trusted by and connected to the organization.
Leadership Must Step Up
Change starts at the top, and if leaders have any hope of improving their internal communications strategy, such change starts with them. Research suggests that nearly a third of internal communications employees cite leadership disengagement as one of the top challenges facing internal communications. However, those same employees also say that the more leadership is invested in their internal communication strategy, the easier it is to distribute effective internal comms. Success produces more success — but only if leaders are invested in the importance of internal comms.
Employees Are Demanding to Be Heard
Employees have experienced unprecedented upheaval over the past few years, first thanks to the pandemic and second thanks to the Great Resignation. These outside events coupled with generational attitude shifts means more employees than ever are demanding a voice in their organization — especially concerning social issues. A recent study found that 42% of employees want a say in what social issues their employer takes action on. Further, 50% of employees agree that employees should be allowed to voice their opinions at work on the issues that matter most to them. For younger workers, these numbers rise to 52% and 57% respectively.
Working for companies whose values match their own is fast becoming part of the employee experience. Employees don’t want to leave their morals at the door when they clock in to work. Taken together, having a message, including employees in the crafting of those messages and letting employees know where your business stands on social and political issues can improve the employee experience — especially for younger workers.
Internal communications might not seem like a critical part of business, but their impact is undeniable. When leaders use internal comms for regular, open and honest communication with their employees, employees feel more trusted and engaged. Using internal comms technology platforms allows businesses to schedule and prioritize internal comms, making sure employees never miss a beat. Such technology has only grown in importance as many organizations shift to hybrid or remote-first working models.
See how Simpplr can improve your employee experiences at simpplr.com.
Dhiraj Sharma is a serial entrepreneur and technology enthusiast who is passionate about promoting purpose and meaning in the workplace. He is the founder and CEO of Simpplr, a provider of modern employee intranet software that helps companies engage their workforce by transforming employee communication, learning, and recognition.