It is widely acknowledged that the future of working practice is going to be a hybrid of office and home working, with remote and in-person engagements, and mobile and desk-dedicated employees. How this will manifest will vary substantially between industries – and between businesses – but unquestionably internal comms teams are going to have to reassess the type of campaigns they run, and how they run them.
A report by Growmotely found that 97% of employees don’t want to work in the office full-time, so we need to look hard at how we design and deliver our internal communication campaigns.
First, understand that in this new world internal comms are more important than they have ever been before. Your campaigns can support both employee well-being and productivity. McKinsey reports – in their paper on the future of remote work – that there is a direct connection between clear communication of vision and policies on feelings of productivity, support, and inclusion. The report also goes on to suggest that large numbers of organisations have not yet communicated their post-pandemic plans, leaving their employees feeling anxious and disengaged. Don’t fall into the trap of waiting to have a firm plan before communicating as, when you do have your structures in place, you may find that you have already lost the engagement of your workforce.
Talk to your employees about your plans and, in the absence of a plan, ask them for their input. Recognise the need to be honest and genuine. Use the open communications channels you have available to gather insight on how employees would like to work, what tools they need, how they would like to hear from the business and with what frequency.
Ripple gives you a platform to run polls or put forward discussion topics and then – using the unique Dashboard feature – study employee sentiment and reaction. This invaluable insight can help you shape meaningful structures for the new way of working.
Use the matrix
Next, consider your channel matrix. A one-size-fits-all approach will no longer work as the way we work is no longer one-size-fits all. From now on all comms campaigns will need to be considered from the point of view of different employee types – the remote worker, the at-home employee, the one-day-in-the-office staffer, and everyone in between. Modern workplaces need to employ a wealth of channels to share different messages and types of communication. From line manager briefings to email, internal social network to town hall style comms, and polls to hub articles.
Because Ripple is built to work on your SharePoint Online platform you have all the multichannel capabilities you need to connect with employees wherever they are online – and you can use video, text, and imagery to make your message come alive.
Bring it to life
With more mobile and online channels at play, and the need to reach and connect with employees wherever they are, using visuals is more important than ever in communication campaigns. The human brain processes visual content far faster than text – 60,000 times faster in fact – and 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Impactful imagery, infographics and clear, creative layouts will help land and cement information in employees’ minds. Video is also extremely effective with employees considering an informal style to be more personal and trustworthy (think Vox Pops rather than a newsreader style presentation behind a desk).
Ripple’s Publisher gives you the scope to create visually enticing messages. You can pull creative and imagery in from approved image banks or even upload unique pictures or graphics directly into your campaign. Because it is integrated with your SharePoint Online you can use all the rich content you have on your M365 platform including videos and other rich content.
With your workforce physically dispersed, Internal Communications plays a crucial role in bringing people together and persisting the business culture. Comms campaigns should look not just to inform but also to start conversations and give employees the space to connect over issues. Think about topics that will bring staff together, or spark creative thinking, and run campaigns that ignite thinking and emotion in your teams. Signpost individuals or teams towards comments, Teams chat or other social channels to continue the discussion and examine the output carefully to understand the sentiment behind it.
Kick the debate off using a Ripple built campaign and use Campaign Dashboard to watch the conversation and measure the thoughts and feelings that your communications provoke.
Inform and educate
Wherever your employees are working you need to ensure they are equally informed and equipped with the information and capabilities they need to do their job well every day. Internal Communications is the conduit through which this information flows and regular, timely delivery of key data is imperative to maintain confidence and security in all employees – but particularly those who are working remotely. Listen to what your teams tell you about what they need to do their jobs well and provide them with the information and training they need.
You can set up a regular campaign and schedule it through Ripple’s Planner, giving you and your employees the confidence that the right information will be delivered to the right people at the right time with regularity and efficiency.
In a modern hybrid working environment Internal Comms have all the capabilities to keep employees engaged, informed, and inspired. Make sure that you have the best tools to deliver campaigns that are easy to create and plan – and deliver great results every time.
Want to learn more about Ripple and how we can provide the tools you need to connect and engage your hybrid working teams? Get in touch.