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April 24, 2018 Why internal comms has a role to play in building positive employee experience

Rubain Manzoor

Millennials have begun to take over the workforce. Organisations need to know how to stimulate, engage, and retain this extremely sophisticated class of employees, says Rubain Manzoor, content marketing manager at Contact Monkey.

Organisations have been slow to learn but are finally catching up on the importance of investing time and resources into creating strong employee experiences – and there’s a good reason why.

A study by Future Workplace found that 83% of HR leaders claim strong employee experiences lead to improved organisational productivity and success. In response, they are pushing for new types of engagement, and companies must respond to their demands by developing robust employee experiences.

But how does internal comms fit into all of this? And, more importantly, what role do communicators play in creating successful employee experiences?

In the past, organisations have devoted a lot of time and resources into creating successful customer experiences, allocating massive budgets to external relations and communications, while overlooking the need for internal marketing and communications.

With the rise of employee experiences, the focus has shifted on engaging the workforce, giving internal communicators the responsibility to create communication strategies that reflect cohesiveness and engagement among employees.

It’s not so much that Millennials and Gen Z want different things from their jobs; they want the same things as previous generations and more. They still need to have clear goals and a route for achieving them, but they want to know what value those goals are contributing. They want to feel part of a team, listened to and valued, but this need is amplified because they have grown up with a constant flow of messages, comments and likes on social media.

A big flaw in large organisations is the trickling of information in a top-down flow. Information often gets lost, distorted, or mismanaged, often leaving managers confused and in a tough spot.

Internal communicators can help by providing middle management with better, easier-to-use tools and processes that decrease the chances of information getting forgotten or delayed. And when it comes to delivering messages that apply to the whole organisation (or an entire location), have a central way of delivering them to reduce the pressure on individual team managers.

When it comes to internal comms, employees appreciate a steady flow of information which tells them how their team and the wider company is progressing towards various goals. But within this, they want to know that their own job matters. A recent LinkedIn survey found that 73% of the 26,000 people surveyed globally wanted a career where they felt they were making a difference.

Companies need to wake up to the fact that internal communications can no longer be treated as an afterthought; it’s an important business function that, when done well, helps keep employees engaged and loyal to the organisation. When neglected, it’s likely to have the opposite effect.

To keep a Millennial workforce engaged, an effective internal communications system should provide motivation for employees to keep working towards a shared goal. By seeing what they are working towards, employees are likely to become more committed to doing their part.

Fortunately, it seems that a growing number of companies are actively investing in the idea of letting internal comms own employee engagement programs in the modern workplace. A 2016 internal communication survey revealed that internal comms budgets are on the rise, with 87% of respondents saying their budget would either stay the same or increase in the coming years.

The ultimate goal of internal communication is to help leaders get their message out. In order to get buy-in, make decision-makers aware of this goal and get them involved in the planning and development phase of your internal comms strategy.

Rubain Manzoor is content marketing manager at internal communications Outlook tool Contact Monkey. Contact Monkey is holding a #CommsChat on 14 May – keep an eye on the website for details of topics

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