The traditional corporate workplace has radically transformed over the past few years. Video calls have replaced many in-person meetings. Some coworkers may never meet IRL. More office buildings are mostly vacant, filled with unused conference rooms and empty water coolers.
In an increasingly remote and hybrid world, how can companies help employees feel engaged, motivated, and connected?
As in any relationship, the key to success is communication.
Gallup measures employee engagement through questions involving the quality of a company’s internal communications. From receiving recognition to understanding their company’s mission, employees feel more engaged when they receive clear, constructive communication on a regular basis.
The good news: Their research shows that businesses with the highest levels of employee engagement enjoy higher productivity and profitability and lower absenteeism and turnover.
And that should raise an important question: How does your internal comms strategy need to change to make your people feel as engaged as possible in the modern workplace?
Here are five great ideas to consider.
Always put authenticity first.
Being upfront and truthful with employees creates stronger bonds and fosters a culture of trust and collaboration. It also helps attract and retain people who are aligned with your brand and culture—people who will thrive at your company.
So don’t be afraid to showcase your distinctive personality in your communications, and to share authentic employee stories that help everyone get to know the real people powering your business.
Fine-tune the flow.
No matter what kind of workplace you’re working with, a clear, user-friendly internal comms system—with a defined information flow and cadence—is a great way to boost engagement. That can include:
- An intranet that makes important information easily accessible to everyone.
- Using different types of media to enhance your messaging and create more compelling experiences. In addition to traditional emails and newsletters, consider adding video, animations, Google form surveys, and even chats and texts (especially effective formats for remote and deskless workers) to the mix.
- Documenting your preferred internal comms process and flow for easy onboarding and convenient reference.
Measure your results and don’t be afraid to try new ideas—and scrap the ones that don’t work. Your internal comms best practices should evolve as your workplace and workforce do.
Get the C-suite involved.
When leadership makes internal communications a priority, it reminds employees of the “why” behind their work and helps break down silos. This can be especially rewarding for larger remote or hybrid organizations, but it has benefits for businesses of any size.
Ask your executives to use video and chat to keep everyone updated on your current plans and goals, policy changes, values, and achievements. Their direct involvement will help your entire workforce feel that they’re a part of one team.
Humanize your communications.
Remember: Employees are people first, workers second. So ditch the corporate-speak and lean into emotion. Communications that feel more like human conversations—and less like business correspondence—make talent feel more connected and inclined to join the discussion.
Being empathetic and relatable in your messaging signals that you understand they are not simply cogs in the corporate machine, but valued colleagues whose ideas are appreciated and perspectives respected.
Encourage feedback and conversation.
Communication is a two-way street, so it’s important to create opportunities for your employees to talk back. Check in regularly with your people to gather their input and assess their satisfaction. Make sure they can share their true opinions without fear of reprisal. And let them know how you’ll respond to their concerns and ideas.
Fostering a culture that encourages and acts on employee feedback will help them feel valued—and in turn, motivate them to feel invested in the greater good of your business. That means higher engagement and productivity and a richer company culture.