Just because we push out a message to employees, that doesn’t mean they’ll get it. There’s a lot competing for their attention, and we’re fooling ourselves if we think they’re eagerly awaiting that next internal communications missive.
By putting ourselves in the employees’ shoes, we’re better able to focus the message on what’s in it for them. Yes, they’d like to know the business reasons behind some major change, but first they want to know how that change will impact them personally. Sure, they like knowing the company has a vision or purpose, but it becomes more relevant to employees when they see how their individual roles support that overarching goal.
We also need to keep in mind that different employee groups wear different shoes. What do employees working in the corporate headquarters want to know about any given topic? What about the people in the London office? How about the guys driving the trucks or the people manning the cash registers? What about the employees who work from home offices? Do the new generation employees care more about some issues than the Boomers?
Those differences also impact what level of detail employees will want to know. If an issue effects an employee group directly, they’ll want a deeper level of information. When you roll out a new fleet of electric trucks, the people who will drive those trucks might want to know more specifics than the folks at corporate. When the New York office is moving to new space in a different building, they’ll be more excited to see renderings of the new office design than the employees in the St. Louis office.
Employees appreciate it when internal communications can be tailored to what’s relevant to them. Rather than every communication going to every single employee in the company, find ways to segment your audience. The intranet can have different pages for different locations or brands under the umbrella brand. Email lists can be segmented by location or function or any other factor. Make it easier for employees to pay attention to communications by helping to filter those communications.
They also have differing preferences in how they consume internal communications. Some employees prefer to get their answers online; others like to hold a magazine or brochure in their hands. Some want a way to add their two cents to the conversation. Some don’t even have computers at work, and far too little time to read printed materials.
That’s why we’re so lucky to be working in this field now. We have an ever-growing portfolio of communication channels that allow us nearly endless methods of reaching various employee audiences — but the solution doesn’t always have to be breaking edge technology. Need to communicate to the guys in the warehouse? Maybe big monitors for digital signage would work. Have a salesforce that’s traveling constantly and a CEO who wants to give them a weekly pep talk? Your answer might be a podcast they can download and listen to on the road.
Want to explore better ways to tailor your internal communications to a range of employee audiences? Tribe can help.