As you are planning and budgeting for 2018, take a good look at your internal communications to see if it might be time for a refresh. You’d be hard-pressed to find a company today that isn’t regularly refining its external message, strategy and communications, but the state of internal communications typically isn’t given quite as much consideration. Here are five questions that can help you determine if your communications plan could use a breath of fresh air:
- What do the stats say?
Take a look at your 2017 objectives to see if they were met and, if not, pinpoint where you may have come up short. Check open and engagement rates to measure the effectiveness of your messages. You may even want to conduct a brief anonymous survey of key stakeholders to ask how they are most likely to find out about the company and whether they can clearly state the company goals and mantras.
- Does it feel outdated?
This is where it can help to have a fresh pair of eyes – perhaps from an agency or a trusted advisor – take a look at your communications templates and methods. Your internal communications are a representation of your brand, for the people that represent your brand day in and day out. If they feel tired or outdated, you can expect your employees to feel that exact same way about your brand.
- Are your messages still relevant?
When evaluating the key themes and messages that you deliver to your employees, consider whether they are still impactful. Is there a gap between your brand vision and how employees perceive the brand? If your external branding has shifted, but your internal messaging has not, you may need to adjust communications to ensure consistency and relevance.
- Are your messages clear?
Remember that less is usually more, especially as an increasing number of employees are working remotely at least part of the time. If you’re constantly emailing employees with nonessential news and updates, chances are they aren’t tuning in when you’re sending something more important. Evaluate which channels are used for which types of messages to see if it may be time to put a new strategy in place.
- Have you made mobile a priority?
Studies have shown that the majority of emails are now opened on a mobile device. How do your messages appear on all mobile device types? Are you getting the point across in the first few sentences, in case the recipient doesn’t swipe to read more? How compelling and clear are your subject lines? Employee portals, collaboration apps and other channels should also be mobile-friendly, so you can effectively connect with employees on all devices, at any time.
Most importantly, remember that you’re the communications expert. If you’re feeling “meh” about your communications, it’s probably time for a refresh.
Author: Estera Hayes