Internal Comms Trends and Predictions for 2019

The only thing constant is change, and it’s no different for internal communications which sees some interesting developments in 2019.

As we’re nearing the end of the second decade of the 21st century, it can safely be said that a lot has changed not just in internal comms, but the entire workplace in one generation. Digital tools, virtual offices and automation of most processes have left us completely sufficient with a laptop, WiFi and a power source.

internal comms
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But as physical equipment has minimized, the software and online resources we can now access online has expanded beyond all measure. The effect this has on our working lives, particularly in internal communications, is significant. With the help of developing technology, we can experiment, hone and continuously improve the way we work and communicate across our organizations.

internal communications predictions for 2019
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So, it’s safe to say that internal communications has transformed significantly in the 21st century. However, when it comes to forecasting the IC trends for 2019, it can be hard to look at the subtle changes that occur year-on-year to see what’s on the horizon. Despite this, there have been a few things in 2018 that are getting us excited about the year ahead.

When it comes to internal communications, 2019 looks to further harness the tools that are developing around us to improve the way we work. And it’s not all about being digitized, there are simple methods that have been honed which are being used by more and more companies to maximize the potential of their communications and workforce.

Creating a constant feedback loop

Internal communications in 2019
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Employers are learning that actively listening to staff is crucial to maximize their potential as organizations. Active listening involves a process of information gathering, analysis, actioning and notifying in order to be effective.

  • Information gathering: asking questions that unearth problems in the workplace
  • Analysis: using data to discover trends and habits
  • Actions: form a plan that addresses problems head-on
  • Notification: keep employees abreast of the ways you’re addressing their issues

This process not only values workers but allows them to progress and learn new skills. Implementing their ideas has a significant impact on morale, productivity, and value.

Using this method also energizes the lines of communication and boosts employee engagement. Staff work hard because they know they know their ideas are being actioned. They communicate better because their views are being taken onboard. And they perpetuate this style of active listening because it creates a happier, more positive work culture.

In short, feedback loops help staff retention and increase the potential of the workforce.

internal comms
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14 steps to great internal communications

Download this handy eBook and discover practical tools and tips to maximize engagement and impact business performance through internal comms.

Employee satisfaction

internal comms trends for 2019

Making sure our employees are happy and productive is key to a healthy business, and there have been many ways that employee satisfaction is measured. Amid the questionnaires, polls, surveys and one-to-one meetings used to check in on workers, IC and HR are constantly looking for better, more effective ways of getting feedback to improve the employee experience.

One of the biggest focuses in 2019 will be on Employer Net Promotor Scores (eNPS). This is way of seeing how regarded your organization is in the eyes of the workforce, with the help of a survey. Through this survey, you can discover how many promoters and detractors you may have inside your workplace, and any issues or problems you need to address.

Using an eNPS is a metric that all businesses should employ. Highlighting the things the business is getting right – and wrong – is fundamental to development and growth. It is based on the classic feedback question, “How likely are you to recommend this company to a friend?”. This can be followed up by more questions to break down what makes the employee happy, indifferent or unhappy at work.

Mobile-first approach

predictions for IC in 2019

For the last few years, mobile has overtaken desktop in internet usage. Mobile now makes up around two-thirds of all internet traffic in the US – so it’s clear that businesses need to take a mobile-first approach. Not only does this mean responsive site design, but also a completely new way of how people use their intranets.

Mobile has become the workforce’s go-to tool: on the commute, waiting in a queue, during downtime. Rather than prohibit these devices, businesses are realizing they are an integral part of modern life, both for business and pleasure. Workplaces will find newer and better ways to harness their power and incorporate them into the digital workplace.

internal comms
eBook

14 steps to great internal communications

Download this handy eBook and discover practical tools and tips to maximize engagement and impact business performance through internal comms.

With smartphones and devices being submerged by the digital workplace, internal communications will focus more on mobile-first solutions in 2019. Using apps like Workplace and intranet software, businesses will focus more on mobile communications. However, with individual preferences and the various ways of receiving information, a ‘headless’ approach may evolve, where all comms are managed through a central location to appear on multiple places, from SMS to email, intranet to mobile.

Chatbots

Internal communication trends for 2019

Chatbot technology has come on massively over the past few years, to the point now where virtual assistants like Amazon’s Echo and Siri from Apple are commonplace in households and on smartphones across the globe.

Their application in business has the potential to be huge, and a particular boon to internal communications. With its ability to have a 24/7 presence, a chatbot can be utilized for IC when real humans cannot, which is particularly advantageous in crisis comms, during holidays and out of hours.

There are still improvements to be made for the widespread use of artificial intelligence in business; for example, the choice of language used to convey the right tone in specific situations. This “humanness”, particularly crucial in certain IC situations, is some time off.

So, while bot technology can be massively useful to convey facts, information and news, when it comes to matters that are sensitive in nature, there is no real replacement for a real-life human. Despite this, 2019 will see more AI technology being pushed and picked up organically.

Multimedia

internal comm trends for 2019

More than ever, there is a need for creating internal communications which combine multi-channels, different tools, and multimedia. 2019 will be about using all the tools available in the digital workplace to create messages that are dynamic, impactful and engaging.

There’s a universality to this approach. By taking advantage of the expanse of apps and services out there, you’re using the tools and channels that people are already using every day. Outside of IC, communications are moving fast so any company that tests different tools are going to be ahead of other organizations who are committed to more traditional ways of engaging with the workforce.

This will mean utilizing social media, creating video blogs and using communication tools like Slack to find the best ways of reaching workers and delivering information that gets heard, understood and remembered. Internal communications will focus on creativity in 2019 and experimenting with the tools available to work out the best ways of maximizing IC’s effect on their organization.

internal comms
eBook

14 steps to great internal communications

Download this handy eBook and discover practical tools and tips to maximize engagement and impact business performance through internal comms.