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What are the Best Employee Communications Solutions for the Modern Workforce?

Cocentric
Dec 01 · 8 mins read

Internal employee communications have a direct impact on factors like employee motivation, productivity and engagement, and with the increase in hybrid work trends, businesses are on a mission to reshape their communication efforts to meet modern workforce needs. 

Below, we unpack the best employee communications solutions making the most business impact, why effective solutions are needed for employee and business success and how to decide which are right for your company.

5 of the best employee communications solutions channels making the most impact within businesses

Here are some of the top employee communications solutions at businesses’ disposal. While readily available and familiar to most, the key to ensuring these solutions work is to select them in accordance with your objectives. Your goals should inform the solutions you choose, not the other way around.

1. Intranet

One of the most common employee communications solutions is an intranet, which is a centralised repository of employee information, packed with useful resources like news, policies, documents, updates and knowledge bases across a range of topics.

While traditional intranets give employees easy access to important company information, outdated software, infrequent updates and poor usability can affect employees’ use of the tool. Additionally, it being a one-way form of communication can also discourage employees from using it, as although they can be informative, they don’t empower individual voices. 

Luckily, modern intranet technology is shifting the way intranets provide value to businesses. These intarnet solutions, currently seeing widespread adoption across companies, no longer act as mere repositories of information, but allow employees to communicate, collaborate and share ideas more effectively.

2. Mobile apps

With the popularity of smartphone usage in our everyday lives, it’s no surprise that companies have opted to develop/outsource their own company-branded mobile apps for personalised communication efforts. And because of the nature of apps and our use of them, important messages and alerts are likely to be viewed by employees almost immediately – which can be especially beneficial to companies with frontline employees who don’t have easy access to intranets or emails. Apps can also be useful for encouraging social interaction amongst employees, and for gathering important information about how employees are feeling about the business.

Apps also come with some concerns that need to be properly navigated, however. If your app includes user-generated content capabilities, then some form of moderation needs to be in place, and you need to ensure that data privacy and security is maintained. Additionally, constant disruptions can actually hinder employee productivity, so be strategic about when you release updates and information to your app, so that employees don’t become inundated and therefore, distracted.

3. Emails/newsletters

Old but gold, emails and email-based newsletters are still prominent in employee communications. Email is easy and accessible, and allows for an array of content to be shared at a relatively low cost. With the creative use of subject lines, in-mail designs, catchy copy, and well thought-out distribution, email communications and newsletters can still be very effective forms of employee communications.

Again, to avoid overwhelming employees with communications, emails need to be carefully planned and strategised to ensure the right people see the content at the right time, without being too heavily distracted or simply putting emailing notifications on mute. Also, although email has been traditionally formal in nature, keep it short and to the point.

4. Surveys

Surveys are incredibly useful when it comes to giving your workforce a voice. Anonymous surveys enable more open and honest feedback, which can give you valuable feedback on your employee satisfaction. Honest, quick and regular surveys can even be more effective than the occasional employee review meeting.

The key with surveys, however, is to listen to employees and act on the feedback you receive. If employees see you actioning their suggestions, they’ll be more engaged professionally. Conversely, if you ignore feedback, employees will notice and morale will start to decrease. 

5. Recorded and live video

In remote working companies, video is a useful way of reducing the distance and internal hierarchy divides. From updates from executives to instructional videos from colleagues, video is versatile and engaging, and sees greater information retention than other employee communications tools. 

Furthermore, if your video medium enables watchers to comment, react and ask questions, you can easily turn an update meeting into a constructive two-way conversation. This is a great opportunity for employees who have never met in person to build rapport and engage with each other in a meaningful way.

For successful video communications, remember that poor content reflects badly on leaders, so ensure a polished presentation every time. Also, include subtitles for improved accessibility and be concise in your messaging. 

Why businesses require efficient employee communications solutions to meet the needs of the modern workforce

Effective communication works in a two-fold manner in business. From an business’ point of view, communication is necessary for ensuring each individual employee is working effectively on delivering key business objectives in line with defined goals. From an individual’s point of view, employees need to feel included in their business’ vision and mission, and that their efforts count towards achieving overarching company goals. From both a business and individual perspective, communication is the catalyst for a successful company culture overall. 

Companies with connected employees show higher productivity levels overall, which is no surprise as being kept up-to-date and in the loop on company updates helps employees feel like they are part of, and contributing to, the bigger picture. This improves their sense of belonging and therefore, their motivation and productivity. However, according to research from Deloitte, only 23% of executives say that their companies are “excellent” at aligning employees’ goals with corporate purposes. The reason for this low figure is poor communication, which is surprisingly common in businesses. 

For companies to ensure that their employees feel included and considered as part of a successful, healthy, and inclusive workplace culture, they need to align their employees with the company values, purpose, vision and mission. This, along with effective two-way communication that matters, is achievable with the right employee communications solutions.

Similarly, alignment is key for reducing and combating work silos. Silos don’t enable effective collaboration, and can hinder overall employee performance and make meeting objectives more challenging than necessary. With proper communication, interdepartmental teams can be aligned, silos can be broken down, and fruitful collaboration can be facilitated.

Knowledge sharing and getting employees on the same page (even if they’re working remotely) is also important for maintaining productivity levels, enabling collaboration, and fostering a culture of innovation. If everyone in a business knows exactly what they’re required to do, and are equipped with the right information and tools to do so, then individual employees and businesses on the whole can thrive. Employees need to be clear on, and comfortable with, what’s expected of them and how to carry out their duties, and with the right employee communication solutions in place, this is easily achievable.

To be able to efficiently align company goals with employee engagement and reap the rewards of a connected workforce, businesses need the right employee communications solutions in place.

How to decide which employee communications solutions are right for your business

It’s important to bear in mind that the quality and capabilities of your internal communications has a far-reaching impact across your entire business. If done poorly, your internal communications can cost you time, money, and potentially even your employeee, so it’s vital that you choose the right communications solutions for your needs.

However, with so many solutions, channels and vendors available, it can be difficult to decipher which option will provide the most ROI for your business. To help you get clarity on the best route to take, we’ve created a handy guide on How to Choose the Right Communications Software for Your Business.

In this guide, you’ll find useful information on:

  • Clearly defining business goals and objectives, why these are necessary, and how best to go about developing them in line with your business’ own definition of success.
  • Clearly defining business goals and objectives, why these are necessary, and how best to go about developing them in line with your business’ own definition of success.
  • Key considerations when choosing internal communications software, including personalisation capabilities, efficiency, scalability, flexibility, usability and integrations with other business systems and platforms. 
  • Important features and functionality to look for when evaluating internal communications software, such as documentation management, content management, information directories, analytics, and security capabilities.
  • Key questions to ask potential communications software providers and how best to go about choosing the right vendor for your business.

With the right information, your business goals, and key considerations worth remembering in mind, you’ll be better prepared to make the right decisions when it comes to selecting the employee communications solutions your business needs most. Our guide can be very beneficial in helping you ensure you make the best choice of internal communications solution, and ultimately, meeting your business goals.  

Summary

A changing world of work means that the needs of a modern workforce are starting to challenge existing communications structures and strategies. Communications can no longer be viewed in isolation from the greater business they serve, and need to be considered when future goals and objectives are being defined and implemented. To avoid falling behind and losing employee advocacy, companies need to reassess their approach to communications and consider whether their communications of today enable their business performance of tomorrow. 

Whether you’re just getting started on your journey to reform and optimise employee communications solutions, or have a plan of action ready to be acted on, Cocentric offers the full range of services you need to implement the best employee communications solutions for your business. We help you define your plan for success and how best to align your tools, while our technology agnostic products connect and empower employees to drive business success. 

To learn more about Cocentric’s effective communications solutions capabilities, reach out to our team. Alternatively, if you’d like our insights on choosing the right employee communications solutions, download our ‘How to Choose the Right Internal Communications Software for Your Business’ guide for some helpful tips and considerations.