Recently, our Sociabble Mumbai office had the honor of presenting at the 6th Annual Internal Communication Summit in Delhi, India. The discussion centered around the future of internal communication, and how technology and the changing world of social media will shape the way that companies communicate with their staff moving forward. In addition to our own Mumbai team, the event featured keynote speakers from companies like Coca-Cola, Dell, Adobe, and Bajaj Allianz, to name a few. Below are some of the key takeaways from the presentations, with learnings that can be applied to internal communication both for companies in India, and around the world. “Internal communication trends 2020” is a hot topic of conversation, and these are some of the latest that companies should incorporate into their strategy.
Learning #1: Internal Communication Needs to Adapt for the Tech-Savvy Millennial Employee
For decades now, newsletters and memos have been the standard for employee communication. Companies used these methods (first in paper form, later in email form) to keep employees abreast of company changes, new policies, team restructuring, and any other matter deemed important to communicate to the workforce. And while these methods worked for a long time, the recent shift in how people generally communicate—especially among younger, more tech-savvy employees who are increasingly digital natives—means that employers need to find new and more effective methods to stay connected with their workforce. Today, in 2020, 50% of the workforce in India is composed of millennials/Gen Y and by 2025, this number is expected to jump to 75%. The true revolution has been with mobile technology coupled with social media. Specifically:
The central communication hub for many employees is no longer the laptop, but the mobile device. Which means companies need to have a communication plan which takes this into effect, and that makes crucial information easily accessible from mobile devices. Things like notifications and alerts can also play an important role in making sure employees receive the updates they need.
Social Media as a Conduit
Far more information is transmitted these days through social networks than by email, intranets, or physical mail. You’ve got to connect with employees where they are, and where they are is usually scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Your internal communication strategy needs to take this into account and use these networks to their full potential. Companies these days must have a social media presence—it’s as simple as that. And getting employees involved can help with employee advocacy as well, which is a smart way to use the employees’ own enthusiasm for the company to build positive brand awareness online.
Sociabble’s Krusha Sahjwani presents the latest trends in Internal Communication at the 6th annual Delhi Summit.
Learning #2: A Communication Plan with Total Team Involvement is Key
The traditional paradigm is that the comms team completely owns all corporate communication. It’s been this way for years, with any internal or external communication being funneled and filtered through a small cadre of experts. But today in the digital age of constant online information and social networks, this old system simply does not work anymore. And again, for communications to evolve, companies have to adapt to the online ecosystem their employees are engaging with. To that end:
Social Media Publishing Needs to be Democratized
The old days of a social media team managing every aspect of social media publishing are over. The idea of relying on highly-trained specialists is simply no longer relevant. Employers need a social media publishing system that is easy-to-use and that all employees can engage with. A system that does not require training, but that can also still be administered by certain keywords and filters. This will increase the overall authenticity of the social media publishing, which carries far more weight today than a perfectly tailored but ultimately unbelievable message.
CSR Initiatives with Meaningful Rewards
Today, employees are looking for meaning in their work. They want to feel like they’re part of something bigger, like they’re making the world a better place. While gift certificates and trophies were once enough, contemporary employees need to feel engaged at their company in real CSR initiatives. One way to do this is through meaningful employee rewards, ones that are integrated into a larger CSR company initiative, like reducing plastic in the ocean or planting trees.
Learning #3: Globalization and Localization Need to be Balanced
We’re living in an age with an interesting dynamic. On the one hand, globalization has changed the way business is conducted, with offices communicating across cultures, borders, and everything in between. But at the same time, having the local angle on business is more important than ever, as local markets and customers need to be properly serviced and understood. It’s a delicate balancing act, but one that modern companies must execute well to be successful. To do this:
Communication Barriers Need to be Broken Down
Language is an issue that becomes increasingly relevant as social media becomes more international. If a company has teams in France, Mexico, and Japan, and they’re all sharing a common information stream, a method should be in place to help ideas cross those linguistic boundaries. One solution that can be especially effective is a real-time translation function for your employee communication platform. Enabling this kind of global communication is crucial to the operations of a truly global, modern company.
But the Local Nature of Business Can’t be Neglected
The other side of the coin when it comes to globalization is that local differences need to be appreciated. Having a communication platform with filtered channels that can be controlled by administrators allows you to make sure crucial local news isn’t drowned out by a flood of irrelevant global information. But sometimes it can be as simple as ensuring that offline communication and human contact still occurs. An online platform can do a lot, but face-to-face communication does still matter.
Internal Communication Trends 2020 in Summary: Adapt Your Plan and Find the Right Platform
The more general takeaway from the Internal Communication Summit in Delhi is that communications are changing at a rapid pace as an increasingly global, tech-savvy millennial workforce becomes prominent, and as social media and mobile technology become the principle hubs for all kinds of communication. For companies to succeed in this new online digital reality, they need to adapt their communication plan to suit these new methods of sharing information. And to enable these changes, a powerful platform backed up by the proper methodology is absolutely key.
To learn more about how the Sociabble platform can help your company’s internal communication, just click here for a free demo.