Transforming employee engagement is a critical part of digital transformation communication. While 87% of CEOs say keeping employees aligned to strategic changes is a priority, it’s up to communicators (and employees) to make that happen.
Despite the urgency, explaining why you need to invest in a new workforce communications platform to improve your internal communications plan can feel like an uphill battle.
Reaching your employees is getting harder
We live in an age of distraction. Attention spans are short, digital distractions abound, and the workforce is becoming more distributed. So it is no surprise that employees are ignoring work emails. According to a SocialChorus study of more than 300 HR and internal communicators, less than a third of employees read email or other content that companies distribute.
In addition to the multitude of new collaboration tools and enterprise social networks, communicators are facing challenges such as:
- Increasing diversity in the workforce with knowledge employees, deskless, distributed, and even freelancers or “gig workers” (one third of all workers are freelancers or half of us will be in the gig economy by 2020) (In 2016, 43 percent of employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely)
- Changing expectations around employee communications, especially with Gen Z and millennials, who may prefer personalized messaging, video, and highly engaging content
- Transparency on topics, such as diversity, gender pay equity, income inequality, immigration, and climate change
This is an opportunity to rethink your communication strategy with a focus on real-time information and technology that can reach employees where they are, when they are ready, and with content that is relevant to them.
Why the CEO doesn’t make digital transformation happen, the employees do
With today’s diverse spectrum of technologies to help employees communicate and collaborate in near real-time, companies are now faced with the mounting challenge of desynchronized communications. There may be too many channels, where employees can’t find relevant information. Or communications are not meeting the demands of deskless and unwired workers who don’t have access to computers.
This reality is often at odds with the executive mandate for “digital transformation.” Leaders may demand new technology, but may not understand the importance of sweeping change to completely rethink communication initiatives. Also, new initiatives mean that employees need to understand and embrace change. At the end of the day, the CEO doesn’t make digital transformation happen, the employees do. And if employees don’t grasp the objective (or don’t know about it), progress is compromised or worse.
What does that mean for a communicator?
Essentially, CEOs want better alignment, which is a direct result of workforce engagement, but communicators are having to do more with less to reach employees. On average, companies have approximately four communication practitioners for every 10,000 employees. Fewer people equals less capacity to get things done – and to get things done right.
The IC Team
Internal communications needs to be a team sport, especially with the reality of these numbers. Teams of people across disciplines are essential because no one person is skilled at everything, and different team members bring other skill sets to the table.
If you take a look at marketing departments as a comparison, they are usually staffed with a diverse set of skilled people with different disciplines, working collaboratively and organized in a customer experience division. HR and communications teams should also come together and bring multiple disciplines together, so they can plan and deliver a seamless employee experience.
So, when you’re thinking about new technology, you need to also consider the makeup of your current or future team who will be responsible for planning content, creating content, measuring, and analyzing the effectiveness of your content.
There are a plethora of technology solutions, but the challenge is that many communicators lack the skills to understand and use them properly. Communicators should be looking for an easy-to-use platform that allows them to streamline their work, with more targeting and segmentation capabilities, and the ability to measure content performance to improve communications going forward.
Now, while all of this is happening, 72% of chief communication officers plan to increase their focus on digital communications. However, when asked about how they measure content performance, only 40% of communicators say they measure communications at all, and only 15% are satisfied with their ability to measure. So, using a platform with the right measurement and reporting capabilities is the best way to prove that your communications have made an impact on your organization’s business goals.
Get the full story on how communicators are driving digital transformation in their organizations. Download our ebook today, How to Secure Funding for a Workforce Communications Platform. Or reach out for a demo now.