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Five Internal Communication Trends

Five Internal Communication Trends

In 22 Mar 2019

Internal communication is slowly changing. We continue to see newsletters and magazines with content that rarely leaves employees enthusiastic. They want to be heard, taken seriously and enjoy quick and honest communication.

Collaborators no longer value custom content - such as "Interview with the CEO," "Our Office in Dubai," or "The Secret Hobby of". Thus, we outline some of the trends that will influence internal communication in 2019.

1 - Listen more, submit less

We know it's hard to hear. I believe that in many organizations, senior management is satisfied with traditional processes: annual performance reviews and annual employee surveys. These processes are slow and do not normally require immediate action. Top leadership does not like immediate action. With the old processes, it is possible to pretend that they are listening, when they are not.

2 - More in pairs and from bottom to top, and less from top to bottom

Traditional internal communication focuses on top-down communications. What do our employees need to know? We can observe a slow, long-term shift to peer-to-peer communication along with bottom-up communication, tapping into the wisdom of the crowd. It has become much easier to gather good ideas and opinions from employees in the organization without the need for long, structured questionnaires. Powerful software that analyzes unstructured texts is also available. One must counteract the natural tendency in organizations that continues to be top-down.

3 - More personalization

Personalization in internal communication still has a long way to go. There are still many messages addressed to "everyone," not personalized through individual profiles. For some years, tools have already been in place to help you get personalized information. And that can be as simple as: If I booked a flight at KLM, I was asked which channel I would like to receive the boarding pass and other flight information: email, WhatsApp or SMS.

4 - Assessment translated into action - quickly

In point 1 I mentioned the slowness of traditional processes. The current primary processes in organizations ("agile", "design thinking") require rapid feedback and quick action based on this feedback. Internal communication analytics can be developed. Simple top-to-bottom communications can also benefit from communication analytics. How many employees received and digested our message? Which channels worked best for which employees? What is the essence of the message understood? Did people act after the message? What looks best? Constant attention only makes sense if we are prepared for quick action at the right level.

5 - More visual and video, less text

We see a growing focus on visual communication. Business use of Instagram and Facebook seems to increase. Job sites and the intranet often contain many visual images. The credibility of the messages is higher when these are produced by real people and not by communication departments. There are nice tools that can help. 

Source: Tom Haak, HR Institute
Human Resources Portugal -

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