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Technology Trends in Employee Communications – Unifying or Dividing?

How companies communicate with end consumers has definitely evolved over the last decade, but the ways companies communicate with employees has as well. In a recent Kansas City International Association of Business Communicators event, Jordan Warzecha from Backstitch walked through different ways companies can make sure employees are getting the information they need.

According to Warzecha, engaged team members knows their job, but also their role in the organization. Engaged employees are 20% better performers, 87% more likely to stay at a company and contribute $13,000 more to a company’s bottom line. One of the challenges companies have is that they are large. To reach this group, Warzecha said companies have traditionally relied on eblasts, an intranet, or memos in the bathroom/break room. Intranets, while a dumping ground for everything are a source for nothing, said Warzecha, and email announcements were pushed at employees but didn’t hold much value. Social intranets needed engaged employees to contribute and newsletters had much of the same challenges as email announcements. But Warzecha said these strategies are broken. 70% of employees are disengaged at work while $6B is spent on employee communications tools each year. This leaves the question: What’s next?

  • Mobile Intranet brings to the table the ability for employees to communicate everywhere. While potentially a challenge in a Bring Your Own Device environment and to hourly employees, Warzecha sees the mobile intranet helping improve the way employees get information because they can get it wherever they are.
  • Employee Advocacy programs leverage the marketing budget and also repurpose marketing content to help the company spread information, but also for the employees to know what is going on in other areas of the organization.
  • Team-specific platforms are geared toward particular groups of employees and give them the ability to communicate on the things that matter to them. While these platforms can be siloed, the information is relevant to the employee

To finish his presentation Warzecha shared some trends he’s watching and what he’s excited about. He said the companies best at communicating have learned to send the right message using the best channel while measuring the impact. He’s excited about companies that are telling stories and documenting everyday activities in a raw and unpolished way. These companies are sharing the normal stuff, but are telling people what’s going on. Finally, machine learning and how it can help companies communicate with employees is on his radar. No matter how an organization chooses to communicate with employees, the main point is it needs to continue to evolve as technology and culture come together. Engaged and informed employees are better for everyone involved.

Why do I work at AWG? “I value the opportunity to work with family businesses. My dad owned his own business for 35 years, so it is what I know and cherish. Plus, I love food, so thinking about it everyday is a huge plus.” -Kate