By Chris Izquierdo on January 18, 2022
3 minute read

Chris Izquierdo, CEO of Sparrow Connected, shares his insights on how internal communicators can improve the quality and relevance of their content by considering three key things: personalization, generational differences, and diversity and inclusion.  

It’s an exciting but challenging time to be in internal communications. As workplaces change at a rapid pace, internal communications play an essential role in supporting employees. 

So how can you, as an internal communications professional, do this well?  

How can you successfully engage the workforce?  

How can you prove to the executive team that what you’re doing is extremely valuable to the organization at large?  

The answer is content. But not just any content. Quality, relevant content.  

So many of the conversations my team at Sparrow Connected and I have with internal communicators center around the quantity of internal communications content. 

When it comes to content, I believe in quality over quantity. It’s not about the number of messages you send to employees, it’s about the quality and relevance of those messages.  

Let’s take a look at some of the ways to improve the quality and relevance of your content.  

Content Personalization 

Most companies have multiple channels to communicate with employees. But what I’m hearing from people in the field is that they’re often distributing the same content to every single channel.  

This is primarily due to a couple of factors: 

  1. Lack of information about employee communication preferences: By gathering data about your employees, you can efficiently determine when, where, and how your employees prefer to consume information. One of the ways to gather this information is through surveys and asking for feedback. 

  2. Lack of time or resources to create specific content for each channel: Producing high-quality content can be time-consuming. Luckily, the options for outsourcing content creation for reasonable prices are increasing. By embracing this option, you can produce more content faster without breaking your budget.  

Using data insights about your workforce and expanding your content creation capacity sets you up to deliver an omnichannel experience that can significantly boost your engagement rates.   

Let’s take a look at a real-world scenario.  

Say you need to share an announcement. You know that different employees prefer to consume different types of content on different channels.  

Knowing this, you could create: 

  • A long-form version of the announcement for those who like to read 
  • A short form for those who prefer more succinct messages 
  • A video for those who are more visual in nature 

It's the same core message, just presented in different formats that align with employee communication preferences.  

Then, you distribute the content to the right individuals, on the right channel, at the right time based on their preferences. 

So, if an employee prefers long-form content on your company Intranet or by email, you won't bother them with a video or short-form announcement on your company's mobile app.  

Cross-Generational Communication

Another challenge that I often speak to internal communication professionals in companies of all sizes in a variety of industries about is how to appropriately address employees that span across many generations.  

Everyone entering the workforce right now is a digital native. This generation expects the same type of communication from the company they work for that they’re used to in their personal lives – short, concise, instant, and visual.  

The type of content you create must shift to address the digital natives, as well as continue to serve those employees who still prefer more traditional or formal methods of communication.  

Catering your communications to the generations in your workforce is yet another way for you to move internal communications closer to becoming a strategic department that is recognized for improving the employee experience and supporting business goals. 

Diversity and Inclusion

I haven’t spoken to a single company over the past two years that didn’t raise diversity and inclusion as a key focus area. Companies are examining how they can make everyone in their workforce feel safe and included at work, even if they are working exclusively on Teams and Slack from their home office.  

Diversity and inclusion is new territory for some internal communications professionals and the fear of getting it wrong can be a barrier to making progress. The value of having an open-minded and positive workforce for everyone is immense. A diverse workforce brings unique perspectives that contribute to delivering better products and services. 

Yet a lot of companies still don’t talk enough about diversity and inclusion.  

  • Do you know whether your employees feel safe and accepted at work?  
  • Are there any ways you could make your communications more inclusive? 
  • How are you visually representing your employees in the communications you share with them?  

I suggest taking a look at your current communications strategy to ensure that it speaks to your diverse workforce and takes every opportunity to ensure that all employees feel safe, secure and included. If you don’t know how employees feel, this is another good opportunity to do a survey or ask for feedback and use what you learn to tweak your strategy going forward.  

Final Thoughts

Whether you choose to personalize your content, address cross-generational communication divides, make meaningful change to foster diversity and inclusion, or all the above-this, 2022 is your year to make an impact. By shifting your content focus to delivering high-quality relevant content, you have the power to significantly improve employee experience, resulting in higher productivity and job satisfaction.  


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