I genuinely believe that it is time to rethink (internal) corporate communication radically. I know you may say, “wait, wait, wait — we’re doing quite good with our current strategies. No need to change anything.”
But let me tell you: The world has changed during the last years. And I’m not talking about the recent pandemic crisis. I’m talking about the way we consume information and communicate. Social media and content platforms have changed our behavior. And it’s just started. On top of that, the current pandemic crisis accelerates the entire process.
Companies Are Stuck In 1996
The thing is when you look at internal corporate communication, most companies are stuck somewhere around 1996. Email still is the number one corporate communication tool. Indeed, many have started to use video conferencing and enhanced communication tools (Slack, Skype, etc.). Nonetheless, when it comes to corporate communication and information distribution across an enterprise, email and the intranet are probably most-common.
A Radically New Way Of Internal Corporate Communication To Drive A Company’s Performance
For a long time, many companies considered internal corporate communication as a necessary evil. Thankfully, this has changed during the last years. Corporate communication is no longer considered as a tool to distribute a CEO letter once a month.
Moreover, an increasing number of companies are discovering the potential a thorough corporate communication holds. Motivating employees, driving efficiency, or a superior level of knowledge are just a few examples.
However, rethinking internal corporate communication isn’t solely about introducing new software or mobile app. Indeed, it doesn’t work without new technologies. Nevertheless, this is only one part of an entirely new “corporate communication thinking.”
7 Strategies To Rethink Internal Corporate Communication
#1 — Content-At-Scale
Content at scale is probably the essential pillar of a new corporate communication strategy. This concept contains two super-powerful aspects. First, instead of having your employees creating content, content at scale aims for automated creation of content. Of course, there’s still the possibility of creating content manually. However, the automatic generation of content should account for the most significant portion.
There are plenty of sources to use for automated content-at-scale:
- Key Performance Indicators
- Social Media Content
- Blog Posts
- News Websites
- Financial Information
- And on, and on, and on.
However, the core idea is to create a mass of content. Not one, not two, but thousands of content pieces every hour. Subsequently, the second aspect comes in. Content-at-scale —at least in the context of internal corporate communication— is about a super-personalized delivery of content. Accordingly, you don’t distribute the tons of content pieces to every single employee. Instead, the content is carefully selected according to each employee’s needs.
#2 — Transparency Matters
Times of information silos are definitely over. Same accounts for information pyramids. Yes, there is specific information that shouldn’t be distributed across the entire company. However, rethinking corporate communication —first and foremost— is about creating transparency. Create a transparent form of communication. On top of that, distribute corporate performance information to all of your employees.
Transparency leads to the fact that employees feel involved. Subsequently, motivation will grow and, ultimately, your entire performance.
#3 — Emotions Drive Employees
You wanted radical thoughts. So here we go with another corporate communication strategy: Define entirely new performance indicators. Why? Because your current KPIs do not provide enough context to your staff. They are abstract.
New corporate communication means rethinking your KPIs radically too. Moreover, you have to set up KPIs that creates awareness and EMOTIONS! Once your employees are emotionally linked to your KPIs, they will take care of them.
Move away from technocratic KPIs and put emotion in the center of your thinking.
Emotional KPIs — Two Practical Examples
Here are two examples we implement with an airline client:
The on-time performance or delay minutes are abstract KPIs. Employees literally don’t care if the amount of delay minutes today is 1,234 or 1,450. There’s no emotional link to it. However, every delay impacts a passenger and creates an unhappy passenger. And nobody wants to have an unhappy passenger. Furthermore, everybody knows how a flight delay feels. This KPI creates emotions! It catches attention.
Compensation costs are another example. Instead of showing the delay minutes (see above why this doesn’t work), the airline calculates and visualizes the costs related to delays. A bold figure: $1,200,345
Again, that catches attention and creates emotions!
#4 — Discover The Potential Of Contextual Communication
The idea mentioned above of content at scale leads to another fantastic new approach in terms of corporate communication. Once you create tons of content pieces and distribute it, you create the possibility for a super-contextual communication. Your employees can comment, share, and like very specific pieces of information.
That leads to a totally new level of information sharing and knowledge creation!
#5 — UI & UX Are So Essential
To enable all of those ideas of a radically new form of corporate communication, new technical solutions are necessary. First, this about a mobile-only solution. Think about Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Second, you have to introduce a solution people want to use! Not a boring, hard to use, ugly looking app. On the contrary, an app people enjoy using!
And believe me: This is an absolute killer aspect. In case this isn’t done correctly, you don’t have to put in any work in other elements. This is your neck breaker.
#6 — Anytime. Anywhere. Anyhow.
Hand-in-hand with the latter, new solutions for corporate communication have to be available at any time. Your employees already work differently. And this trend will move at a much higher pace during the next months and years. Make sure that there no limitations when it comes to consuming corporate communication content. At night, from at home, the gym — your employees decided when, where, and how they consume your content.
#7 — Attention Is The Name Of The Game
Or to say it differently: Stop overthinking corporate communication content and start executing.
Overthinking corporate communication content to the very detail leads to a huge problem. It prevents enterprises from thinking about how to get the attention of their employees. And this is the real challenge of corporate communication in today’s world.
You can have the perfect, most comprehensive content — as long as nobody pays attention to it, you’ve just wasted time and money.
Having high-quality enterprise content, of course, is essential. Nonetheless, getting attention for your content or creating awareness for your content is even more critical.
Corporate Communication Is About Day-Trading Attention
When I think about corporate communication, the first term that comes into my mind is “day-trading attention.”
This is what the corporate content challenge really is about. What are the measures, the solutions, the functions you implement that make employees pay more attention to your content than to other sources?
Sources that —from an enterprise point of view— are less important.
How can you achieve that employees take a look at your content whenever they have a minute. At the time, how can you prevent your employees from checking their Facebook timeline instead? Employees have to see a higher value in enterprise content than in information from other sources.
And I’m repeating myself: Value isn’t only represented as importance. It is also reflected in how one can consume the content, and the time they have to spend to consume it.
That means corporate communication is no longer solely about producing and distributing content. It is about developing measures to ensure that your content is on top of employees’ information funnel — at all times.