When researching the best internal communication methods that will enhance employee engagement amongst your teams, it’s essential that you look beyond (way, way beyond) email.
For far too long, many organisations have been relying on this method of internal communication, despite it never being designed to engage or inspire.
As it stands, a study by the McKinsey Global Institute revealed that employees spend 28% of their working week reading and replying to emails, providing little value and a lot of tedium. Yet by switching to more effective internal communication methods – particularly social technologies that are built to improve collaboration across teams – companies saw productivity rise by up to 25%. And given the strong link between productivity and employee engagement, there’s no doubt that using better means of internal comms will improve this area too.
That’s not to say that email doesn’t have its place in the world of work – it does. But it’s not exactly an internal communication method that will enhance employee engagement. There are plenty of others that are better suited for this purpose.
Here’s our pick of the most effective internal communication methods for boosting engagement:
What methods can you use for effective internal communications?
Internal intranet messaging
Internal intranet messaging is an effective replacement for those long-winded email chains, helping you avoid situations where you inadvertently get CC’d into a conversation that, quite frankly, you don’t need to be a part of.
This internal communication method works by consolidating one-to-one and one-to-many messages into a central location within your employee intranet, providing teams with a secure channel for collaborating with each other.
Because internal intranet messaging is located in the software your teams use everyday – the company intranet – it reduces context switching and distractions, which in themselves are time wasters. And the asynchronous nature of internal messaging (i.e. new messages don’t appear in real-time) means that employees can focus on their current tasks without being interrupted by constant notification pings. These in turn will drive productivity upwards and boost engagement.
Collaboration tools are one of the most popular business internal communication methods out there. These dedicated online spaces provide teams with an arena for sharing ideas, collaborating on projects, and getting tasks ticked off their list, all within the home of their intranet software.
Teams can create their own collaboration spaces on a per-project, department, or initiative basis, where all talk remains focussed on the subject in question. In-built access controls allow collaboration space creators to define which team members can view and add comments, ensuring that only the relevant people are involved – nicely avoiding those mass email scenarios.
Better yet, contributors can add tasks, share files and links, create events, and @mention their coworkers within the collaboration space to take ideas from initial concepts into fully-fledged projects. Now you can’t do that using email, can you?
Corporate social media channels
When it comes to internal communication methods that will enhance employee engagement, corporate social media is one of the giants.
Taking the best bits of consumer social media platforms such as @mention tagging, “likes”, and content sharing capabilities, corporate social media channels bring your company’s culture to life online.
Each team can have their own personalised feed of updates and join in the conversation at any point. To make it easier and quicker for teams to engage, corporate social media feeds can be embedded into departmental homepages, so that it’s the first thing that users see when they login to their intranet.
Company news feeds
As far as internal communication techniques go, company news feeds are a staple for any organisation. These are a modern twist on the staff memos of yore, allowing internal comms teams to create content-rich news articles that will increase engagement with company updates.
Content creators can add images, videos, links, and more to company news articles, making them a delight to read rather than a chore. Better still, internal comms teams can target news articles per team, department, or theme, so that staff only see content that’s relevant to them and will pique their interest. This provides a personalised experience for each and every team member, which will do wonders for improving employee engagement.
One of the more divisive methods of internal communication is instant messaging. Taking its cue from consumer apps like WhatsApp and Telegram – which allow individuals or groups to talk online in real-time – instant messaging in the workplace provides teams with a fast-paced environment in which to communicate.
The benefits of instant messaging at work are debatable because, on the one hand, whilst people are able to get immediate answers to questions and collaborate on-the-fly, it can be at the cost of constant distractions if used incorrectly. Like email, instant messaging is great at what it does, but if teams use it for every single interaction when a meeting or internal message would be better, staff can drown in a sea of notifications and pings.
Final thoughts on internal communications methods
Ultimately, there is no quintessential internal communication method that will enhance employee engagement, because each tool covers a different type of interaction. The key is to define what you’re trying to communicate, who you’re communicating with, and how urgent a response is, to understand which communication method to use. That way, you’ll be getting the right messages across to the right people, which will increase engagement rather than inadvertently causing distractions!