5 Things To Consider When Planning Your Internal Comms Strategy For 2023
It’s hard to believe we’re already in the third quarter of 2022 and 2023 is just around the corner. This is the time to take a look at your current internal communications strategy and start thinking ahead to 2023.
“Although these past few years have been challenging, adaptation and innovation proved fundamental to survival and growth, which is why putting together a proactive and well-thought-out corporate communications plan is crucial. “
- Chris Izquierdo, CEO, Sparrow Connected
Here are five questions to ask when evaluating your current strategy and planning for next year.
1. Do You Have The Internal Communication Tools You Need To Be Successful?
So many internal communication professionals today find themselves in a situation where they don’t have the tools they need to do their jobs well. They’re told to use Microsoft as it is (which just doesn’t cut it for a number of reasons) or they’re asked to use free, off-the-shelf tools for internal communications, even if they are inappropriate and not fit for the purpose.
If you want to kick 2023 off with a new internal communications hub for your employees, now is the time to start exploring your options.
As you do your research, you want to look for an internal comms tool that:
- Is actually built for internal comms professionals
- Doesn’t require ongoing IT intervention
- Natively integrates with Microsoft
- Enables you to reach employees without Microsoft licenses
- Is not just another corporate intranet that no one uses
- Has built-in analytics and measurement tools,
2. Is I.T. A Roadblock To Your Success?
The IT department usually tasked with technical innovation is a roadblock to the same thing they are supposed to enable. Now is the right time to consider eliminating IT involvement and completely free IC from IT.
Here are a few more reasons why:
- IT often becomes an organizational bottleneck.
- IT is usually understaffed and overworked.
- IT doesn’t have the time to sit down with the internal communications team and help them on a regular basis.
- IT often resists the introduction of new tools even before they understand whether the new tool will add to or subtract from their burdens.
- IT resources have become more and more expensive over the last two years.
- IT demand and turnover are both high so maintaining a qualified IT workforce is difficult and costly for most organizations.
- IT and comms sometimes have an antagonistic relationship.
3. Is Driving Employees To A Corporate Intranet The Right Approach?
Regardless of how engaging, relevant and user-friendly an intranet is, it’s not solving the fundamental issue – employees want to be reached on the channels they’re already using day-to-day.
To the employee, the Intranet is just another tool that they have to remember to use, and, in many cases, a distraction from their jobs, reaching them on channels they are already using or spend their time on, makes more sense.
Add stat here about low engagement with Intranets, I think it’s in the blog
Start looking at where and how your workforce actually wants to engage with internal communications content and cater your 2023 strategy to their preferred communication channels and preferences. Don’t forget deskless and frontline employees.
Our customers find that the best way to reach this segment of the workforce is by using SMS and mobile apps. Think beyond your corporate intranet.
Learn more about how to reach each and every employee.
4. How Are You Measuring And Communicating Success?
One of the biggest challenges facing communication professionals as a species, and particularly, internal communicators, is a basic discomfort with measurement.
It presents a real credibility problem when many IC pros are unable to look beyond whatever embedded analytic tools they may have access to - and solely base their measurement approach on such readings as “click rates” and “open rates,” rather than measures that are actually aligned to business performance.
There’s nothing wrong with using embedded analytic tools. The problem emerges when the embedded measures are presented as important without being connected with what the organization is actually trying to achieve.
Your measurement narrative is critical to bringing your leaders into the story being told by your words and numbers - and also for punching up the importance of your numbers to achieving the business’ outcomes.
It’s also a defining way to help your own team and stakeholders focus on activities that can be demonstrated to have direct impact on your measures - and to deprioritize activities, initiatives and spend that don’t.
5. Is Your Current Communication Plan Effective?
As per Gallup’s State of the Global Workforce : 2022 Report, engagement and well-being that was rising globally before the pandemic for nearly a decade are stagnant and stress among workers all over the globe has reached an all-time high. The world's employees are feeling even more stressed than they did in 2020.
As an internal communications professional, you may be wondering what low employee engagement and high employee stress mean to you and your role. The current state of today’s workforce means that, as a diverse, global community of smart, talented internal communications professionals:
- We can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing because despite the efforts, employee engagement isn’t improving.
- We have an opportunity to affect real change in our organizations and the lives of employees by stepping up and sharing new ideas and strategies with our leadership teams.
- We need to collaborate more within our organizations with leadership, HR, marketing, operations, etc. - and with one another to improve the state of the global workforce.
Make it a priority for 2023 to reach each and every employee with the right content on the channels they’re already using, in their own time zone, and in their own language.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Start planning for 2023 now.
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