12 Internal Communication Ideas to Enhance Employee Engagement

Stuart Sinclair - July 6, 2021

Every company wants inspired, passionate staff who care about their jobs. Every company wants workers who begin each day eager and enthusiastic to give their all to their role. In short, an engaged employee is an incredible asset to your organisation.

Whether these employees are office-based or working remotely, you want them to have the same level of enthusiasm and engagement. However, when you’re dealing with a dispersed workforce with various working practices, it can be hard to make sure that everyone is fully switched on. Getting your internal communications right is the starting point to success.

This blog explores some of the best internal communication ideas that will connect with both remote and office-based employees. We’ve come up with some internal communication ideas to re-energise employees after a period of upheaval and change. Put some of these into practice, and you’ll find your employees are fired up and ready to work.

 

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#1 Be authentic: It’s all about plain speaking

As in all relationships, sincerity is key. To improve internal communication, your relationship with your employees needs to be underpinned with honesty and openness. Leaders who can build trust within an organisation will find they are rewarded with high levels of motivation and engagement.

How to build a culture of authenticity? The answer is straight-talking. Internal communications departments will often attempt to sugar-coat difficult news and requests in order to soften the impact. However, an open and direct approach is always better received. When communicating with employees, whether you’re asking them to put in overtime, take on new responsibilities or accept new management, adopt a candid tone. This is especially relevant when navigating a crisis.

One of the most straightforward internal communications ideas to implement, just by making the workplace an open concept, you’ll be encouraging honesty in return.

Connecting with the dispersed workforce: Focus on building a trusting working environment. Ensure your communications are plain-speaking, open and democratic, and you’ll be rewarded with integrity from your employees, wherever they’re based.

#2 Ask for feedback: Give them a chance to be heard

Too often, internal communication is viewed as a one-way street. The management team send directives and updates down to the office floor in a top-down stream of information. However, it is essential to remember that effective internal communication is a conversation, not a lecture.

Opening up two-way channels is one of the key internal communication best practices. This is especially important when a large proportion of your workforce is working remotely. When you give employees a voice, you tell them their opinion matters and their role has value to the organisation.

Make sure every communication has the opportunity for a response. Whether it’s a simple poll, a survey, or an invitation to submit ideas and proposals, you’ll be boosting engagement levels every time you ask for their feedback. An internal communications platform will include modules that make it simple to send out feedback requests and effortlessly collate results.

Connecting with the dispersed workforce: Remote workers can often feel left out of the loop. Make sure all your employees have a chance to be heard. Every communication should offer the opportunity for feedback.

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#3 Measure success: Are your communications working?

One of the most common internal communication mistakes is the failure to follow up on the impact of your communications. With so many employees now working remotely, it’s vital not to let your messages fall into a black hole. Without an accurate understanding of who has read your communications and what action they have taken, you are shooting in the dark.

Your aim is to continually adjust and improve your internal communications strategy. You can only do that with complete information about how your communications are being received. Tracking your internal communication metrics is an essential part of the process. Internal communication apps have built-in dashboards and reporting to help you know exactly how well you’re doing.

If you want to monitor the health of your organisation, make sure you schedule regular check-ups rather than an annual internal communication survey. Frequent reviews will give you a better picture and allow you to react more quickly to any issues.

Connecting with the dispersed workforce: Do you really know if your messages are being read and understood by every employee? Regular, scheduled health checks will let you whether you need to make adjustments. 

#4 Clarify goals: Make it clear what’s expected

Every employee should have a clear set of goals and responsibilities they need to focus on. While these are often introduced during the onboarding process or delivered as part of a change strategy, they also need to be re-established during times of crisis when the goalposts are continually moving. Without a well-defined set of responsibilities in place, employees can quickly become distracted and disengaged.

Communicating change can be a challenging hurdle to overcome. Unless employees are clear on how their role is changing, organisational change can lead to demotivation on a large scale. In fact, recent research by Gartner revealed that over 80% of transformations in larger organisations fail to meet targets. One of the best internal communication ideas for handling change is to demonstrate how the new ways of working should be handled by providing clear examples and practical stories. In short, show rather than instruct. 

Connecting with the dispersed workforce: Re-establish goals and responsibilities for every employee. After a time of change and upheaval, it’s vital to ensure that everyone is crystal clear about what they’re meant to be doing.

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#5 Encourage collaboration: Get them working as a team

When colleagues work as a team, efficiency takes an uplift and engagement levels soar. By bringing employees (both office-based and remote) together to work across projects and strategies, you’ll be pooling their ideas as well as boosting their enthusiasm. Many organisations include colleague collaboration within their internal communication plan just for the improved productivity resulting from this teamwork.

There are many creative internal communication ideas that will help to bring employees together. Never assume that everyone has the same information to hand. It’s vital to ensure that every worker is kept informed and updated on a regular basis with scheduled communications. One of the useful internal communication tools is a social space where employees can meet, chat and share information. Internal communications software often includes ‘conversation modules’, which helps bring colleagues together and cultivate a commitment to common goals.

Connecting with the dispersed workforce: Make sure teams remain connected, however far apart they might be. Collaboration between colleagues not only creates a more positive workplace but also improves efficiency and productivity levels.

#6 Praise regularly: Recognise and reward success

Criticise in private, praise in public. It’s a well-known HR strategy to handle the positives and negatives of the work environment. And it works. The fact is, openly acknowledging success is one of the most motivating strategies you can put in place. A Gallup survey revealed that employees who receive regular praise are more productive and engaged. Interestingly, the research also revealed that employees who report that they are not adequately recognised at work are three times more likely to say they will leave in the following year.

How to implement this praise into your strategy? Of all the types of internal communication, this one is simple to execute across your organisation. By sharing stories of success, celebrating accomplishments and showing appreciation for hard work, you’ll be instilling a culture of recognition. The benefits of good internal communication are never more evident than when you’re handing out praise. It not only encourages the individuals involved, it also motivates colleagues to emulate their success.

Connecting with the dispersed workforce: When employees are working apart, praise can often get forgotten. Positive acknowledgement from managers and peers is one of the fastest ways to improve motivation and boost engagement.

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#7 Organise events: Bring colleagues together

Don’t underestimate the importance of bringing some socialising into the working day. It’s one of the things that employees missed the most during lockdown and one of the easiest internal communication ideas to reintroduce.

Whether you’re celebrating a significant milestone with a company conference or simply wishing staff members a happy birthday, these events make a difference. If you take the time to celebrate things that matter to your employees and give them a chance to form relationships, you will reap the rewards in improved engagement levels. This is one of the examples of internal communication that has a significant impact on morale. Workplace events help to foster strong relationships between individuals and teams. They enhance retention levels and encourage staff to go the extra mile to achieve targets.

An employee app will help you organise and promote events without resorting to endless emails and memos. Regular notifications, multiple calendar options, and automatic attendee tracking take all the hassle out of event organisation.

Connecting with the dispersed workforce: It doesn’t matter whether they’re virtual or not; events are an essential part of office life. Regular events and celebrations help employees to feel a personal connection with an organisation.

#8 Promote wellbeing: Consider both physical and mental health

If your employees feel you care about them, you will instantly see an uplift in engagement. Wellbeing strategies are one of the leading internal communication trends in the workplace. Recent research from Reba revealed that nearly half of organisations now have a wellbeing strategy in place. The key concerns were a high-pressure work environment and mental health issues, along with concerns about physical inactivity. These concerns were only heightened during the recent pandemic.

Consider what your workers need to feel happy and healthy at work. Run regular surveys to check whether the working environment meets their needs. Perhaps the air conditioning is unreliable, or the chairs aren’t easily adjustable. Small things like these can have a significant impact on morale over time. Polls and pulse surveys can help you keep track of mental health and activity levels, with regular and scheduled check-ups to ensure consistency. These internal communication campaign ideas will make a big difference for a comparatively small amount of effort.

Connecting with the dispersed workforce: Do your remote workers feel as cared for as office-based staff? Make sure they do. When employees see you care for their wellbeing as well as their productivity levels, they give more back to the company.

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#9 Personalise channels: Let your employees choose

It’s all too easy to assume that company-wide email has done the job. But just because that directive from the CEO made it into every inbox, it doesn’t mean the message has been received and understood. A report by Workfront revealed that the average worker’s inbox contains 199 unread emails. And even if your email is opened, there is no guarantee it has been fully absorbed and acted on.

How to solve this dilemma? When you allow employees to choose their own communication channels, you’ll find barriers begin to disappear. One of the secrets to effective internal communication is giving employees the luxury of choice. By allowing them to use their favourite means of communication, whichever hardware or software platform they prefer, you can be sure you’re engaging with them. An internal communications app has the flexibility to work over a range of platforms. You’ll have the reach to connect with everyone, from office-based staff to remote workers and those on the move.

Connecting with the dispersed workforce: Expand your reach by personalising channels. Give employees the chance to choose their own channels, and you’ll be breaking down barriers.

#10 Build a culture: Develop a strong company ethos

Investing time and money into building a good company culture can significantly impact your bottom line. A strong, positive culture will not only make your company look more enticing to potential new hires; it will enthuse and inspire every worker in your employ. According to research by Entrepreneur, companies with happy employees outperform their competitors by 20%.

This is especially important when your personnel are dispersed across the country. When it comes to company culture, the importance of internal communication cannot be overstated. How you communicate your mission statement, goals, and ethics is crucial to the overall success of the organisation. It is also vital to encourage participation from employees. By promoting a company ethos of innovation and improvement, you’ll create a workforce that proactively addresses business challenges. When it comes to innovative internal communication ideas, building a solid company culture should be one of your top priorities.

Connecting with the dispersed workforce: A survey by Forbes revealed that 20% of remote employees lack a sense of belonging. Effective, targeted internal communications will help to reinforce a positive company culture with highly engaged employees.

#11 Ask for ideas: Empower your employees

All employees, whether remote or office-based, want to be part of the decision-making process. Rather than have final announcements handed down to them from above, they want to have a say in how their company operates and the direction it takes.

Effective communication in the workplace begins with opening up interactions into a free-flowing two-way channel. When you empower your employees to make their own decisions and implement new ideas, you instantly boost engagement levels. You’ll also find that your employees have fresh new perspectives to offer that could hugely benefit your organisation.

You’ll find that internal communications software is a great way to put a culture of empowerment in place. Innovation modules give you a ready-made platform where an employee can put forward ideas and suggestions. It will help you capture ideas and implement the best ones.

Connecting with the dispersed workforce: Introduce a culture of innovation by posting business challenges and asking for suggestions. When employees feel actively involved in the decision-making process, motivation goes through the roof.

#12 Have fun: Reintroduce light-hearted moments

It’s been a long haul through the pandemic, and mental health is at an all-time low. While we want to encourage our employees to keep working hard and bring the business back on track, we also want to make sure they enjoy themselves.

As long as you’re careful not to cause embarrassment, there are no reasons why you can’t bring a bit of fun into the working week. Whether you’re sharing entertaining events from around the office, sharing jokes or celebrating silly moments, these creative internal communication ideas will help build bonds and boost morale. Internal communication case studies have found that having friends at work helps employees to navigate times of stress and crisis.

An employee app is an excellent way to bring colleagues together for a laugh and a joke. It will provide a social space for employees to meet, share and chat, helping them forge those essential bonds.

Connecting with the dispersed workforce: Fun is an essential element of today’s working environment and one that has been sadly missing over the lockdown period. Reintroduce some fun back into your employees’ lives, and you’ll reap the rewards.

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