There is a business advantage for companies that communicate with their workforce. Employees will be more informed, understand the company’s mission, and see their role in achieving goals. Also, they’re more likely to share the company’s story with the broader world.
Simply put, when a company is forthright and transparent about news—both good and bad—employees will respond positively. And let’s be clear: Today’s employees not only appreciate it, they expect it.
This is why internal communication strategies have become the centerpiece of creating a great employee experience. It also explains the growing recognition that Employee Communications Applications technology, which helps businesses reach their workers, can have a measurable impact on the business.
But a common challenge for communicators and HR professionals is explaining precisely how internal communication will influence the bottom line.
We make communication solutions that build authentic engagement and create two-way conversations between employees and companies. That’s why 40% of Fortune 100 companies have chosen us to unlock the potential of their workforces. We have identified five ways how authentically communicating with employees results in bottom-line value across an organization.
1. Grow the business
Better internal communication will drive profitability by increasing employee productivity and innovation through meaningful engagement. People want to know how their efforts are contributing to the company’s success. When they understand the mission, they’re more likely to go above and beyond to help achieve it.
Example: Southern Company Gas launched the FirstUp platform to give employees the same digital experience at every endpoint, including on mobile and SharePoint, providing employees with greater access to relevant content, leading to improved employee engagement, which in turn positively impacted the company’s business. The utility was also able to boost productivity, saving 91K hours of employee time—a productivity gain worth approximately $3.9 million.
2. Reduce risk
Clear internal communication can decrease risk in a multitude of ways. When employees understand the right way is to do something, they will. This can improve the physical safety of employees at work through the dissemination of proper procedures. It also can mitigate liability to the company—such as ensuring compliance on social media. It can also keep employees safe during times of crisis.
Example: Being able to centralize communications and reach every worker on their preferred communication channel is critical for an industry like healthcare where workers must mobilize quickly. When COVID-19 hit, Providence was able to view unified analytics for their pandemic messaging with the FirstUp Analyze dashboard. Seeing the employee response to their messaging across all the segments of their worker population helped the company foster company-wide alignment around their pandemic response.
3. Improve brand equity
Employees are more likely to become passionate advocates when they have access to information that makes them knowledgeable and excited about the business. They will be more eager to share the company story with their networks on social media.
Example: Consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton was concerned that its workforce of 24,000-plus mostly dispersed employees had become a “lost tribe” because they lacked a connection with the home office. Adding a communication platform that is accessible on mobile devices created richer, real-time connections with every employee. One benefit is that within the first 18 months of the program, employees also shared 35,000 pieces of content with their social media networks, generating nearly 41 million impressions and driving 4,500 additional website visits.
4. Reduce costs
A consolidated, platform that’s home to all internal communication results in lower operational and technology costs. Think of all the ways and places that employees are asked to find information. An intranet, email, collaborative tools (Slack, Yammer, and so on). It can be overwhelming, distracting and ultimately self-defeating. Streamlining that information into a single platform made employees more efficient on the job. It also saves money by reducing systems.
Example: After modernizing with Firstup, Lincoln Financial was able to reach 100% of its workforce on employees’ preferred communications channels, aligning and coordinating action around key line-of-business strategies. Implementing these changes has resulted in significant time and cost savings. The communications team is now able to publish 2x faster than they did before using Firsup, simplifying their stack for greater efficiency.
5. Improve business agility
Perhaps the biggest reason why internal communication can have a profound business impact is that companies gain a competitive advantage. They can mobilize all of their employees to react quickly to meet changing market and business needs. Things happen fast in the business world. Communication helps make sure employees can respond quickly.
Example: Wawa, the East Coast convenience store company with 33,000 employees, had trouble reaching frontline workers spread across 800 locations. Wawa dramatically improved response time to supply-chain issues when employees had access to information on their mobile devices and could offer immediate feedback.
Employees are the most valued asset to any business. When they’re enthusiastic, motivated and knowledgeable, it rubs off on customers. That’s why internal communication can have such a significant impact on the business.
It’s just good business sense.
Learn more about Employee Communications Applications and how to improve your ROI with Firstup.