Internal communications in 2022 will be focused on finding creative ways to communicate change and executing the right communication strategy to support continuous improvement.
If we’ve learned anything from the Covid-19 crisis, it’s that empathetic, informative and personalized employee communications are critical to a company’s resilience and success. This will be no exception in 2022.
In this blog, we’ll highlight the internal communication trends that will be particularly important this year — so you can help your organization meet the increased demands of transformation, engage employees in-person and/or remotely, and connect the entire process to your corporate strategy.
An Emphasis on Employee Well-Being
Employee burnout is real and it’s on the rise. In fact, 75% of workers have experienced burnout, with 40% saying they’ve experienced burnout specifically during the pandemic. Having overstressed employees brings a myriad of negative consequences to the company, from disengagement to decreased productivity and increased turnover.
In light of this, many employers are placing major emphasis on employee well-being in the future of work. Deloitte’s Millennial and Gen Z Survey offers some indication of the wellness priorities today’s younger generations are expecting from their employers:
- Work/life balance
- Physical and mental health support
- People development opportunities
- Helping them be their true selves
Tailoring internal communications to the above topics can help motivate employees, support them during stressful times and show them the benefits and resources they have available to enhance their well-being inside and outside of work.
An Increase in Mobile Communication
Ninety-seven percent of Americans own a mobile phone. This particular method of communication has become essential in the world of remote work, with many companies covering the costs of cell phone plans so employees can be reachable in an instant.
Still, the need to establish a simple, intuitive interface for workplace communication on mobile phones is increasingly needed. Many organizations are turning to HR apps and other mobile applications to elevate their internal communications.
Either way, employees — especially younger workplace generations — have come to expect speed and innovation in their communication methods, inside and outside the workplace. To help accelerate transformation in 2022, it’s essential to get on board with mobile communication.
Tying Internal Communications to Analytics
How can you determine whether your internal communication strategy is effective if you aren’t measuring it? The need for data-driven internal communications is booming right now. Businesses are searching for numbers to inform their strategies and prove the ROI of their communication efforts.
We put together a two-part guide on how to measure your employee communications and what the best practices are. You can read it here.
Employee recognition is officially linked to positive outcomes for employees and the organization:
- 58% of employees say employee recognition is how leaders could do more to improve employee engagement.
- Companies with employee recognition programs have a 31% lower voluntary turnover and are 12x more likely to have strong business outcomes.
- 90% of employees who work in organizations with effective rewards programs said that “my work makes a difference”.
- 50% of employees believe being thanked by managers improves the relationship and builds trust.
Incorporating employee recognition into internal communications can help keep employees motivated, enthusiastic and engaged. These messages should be built around offering opportunities for feedback, implementing those changes, recognizing employee achievements, and encouraging their personal and professional growth.
More CEO Communication
In 2022 and beyond, CEOs will be expected to take a more active role in employee communication. If transformation is on the rise, leaders must be more present to transparently communicate the reasons, goals and strategies.
So, what can communications professionals and HR do to facilitate effective CEO communication? A few suggestions:
- Develop a series of key messages and post them regularly on a variety of channels
- Keep the messages aligned with the CEO’s unique personality and leave room to let them shine
- Think about using small group Q&A sessions
- Ensure employees feel heard
- For global companies, be aware of cultural differences when choosing content, channels and formats
- Let CEO communications be personal and even emotional, so employees can see the human side of your CEO
Multi-Channel Approaches That Meet Employees Where They Are
According to Gartner’s Future of Work Trends Post Covid-19 Report, nearly half of employees will work remotely at least some of the time. This is one trend that doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.
To evolve in step, a multi-channel approach is essential. Trying to reach every employee with one channel has never worked in the past. It’s more and more important to meet employees where they are, which will require utilizing a variety of channels such as:
- Employee apps
- Microsoft teams, Slack or other chat channels
- A project management channel like Asana or Trello
- Short informational videos
- Social media pages
Multi-channel intranets can streamline this concept by allowing you to bundle communication planning, management and deployment in one place. You can reach different target groups in the channels where they are most active and even measure the success of your employee communications in a single place.
Visual communication is becoming a big trend in internal communication as we head into 2022.
Research shows that 50-80% of the human brain is dedicated to visual processing. Which means we’re hardwired to remember visual aids like colors, shapes, patterns and images more than simple text.
It’s no surprise, then, that employees are more inclined to engage with visual communication than simple, standard text. Video messages are one of the most effective forms of visual communication and are perceived by employees as being the most engaging, authentic and credible.
If you’re ready to engage employees, even a standard smartphone can produce high-quality videos without putting a dent in your budget. Or, add emojis, GIFs and infographics to employee communications to break up text-only messaging. It’s all about allowing opportunities for interaction, so you can keep your employees’ attention.
Relevance, The Right Channels and Authenticity are the Keys to Internal Communications in 2022
For internal communications to support continued organizational transformation in 2022, they must be creative, approachable and innovative. Not only that, but they need to be genuine, transparent and delivered through empathetic leaders and diverse channels.
To ensure your employee communications are up to the task, it’s important to create a strategy you can measure, be able to adjust on the fly, and align it with your corporate strategy and goals for the year ahead.