Last summer, we asked survey respondents to rank a long list of potential business priorities for their companies. Of the top seven, five are issues than can be directly supported through internal communications.
We’re currently working on a new benchmarking study, titled Internal Communications and the Future of Work. We’re curious to see how these business priorities have impacted what internal communications and HR teams are doing now, as companies everywhere are creating the Future of Work.
Here are five top business priorities from our benchmarking research:
The current job market has put more pressure on talent acquisition teams, which seem to be hungry for content to help them build relationships with potential job candidates. For one client, we recently created a collection of short videos to be used in recruitment communications and social media. We’re also seeing more interest lately in developing or strengthening the employer brand. An authentic employer brand can help you attract not just more candidates, but the right candidates for your culture.
Diversity, equity & inclusion
Promoting DE&I is a shared responsibility for teams throughout the company, from the C-suite to those developing compensation models. Internal communications can support all those efforts, but also can champion DE&I across its usual channels. Visually, this might mean using photography that includes racial diversity, a range of ages, and differently abled people. It could mean using employees’ preferred pronouns in written communications. Or it might involve bringing your intranet up to ADA standards.
Although the pandemic’s instant experiment in widespread remote work helped demonstrate that employees can be productive while not in the office, we’re still learning how to build and maintain culture without face-to-face interactions in the workplace. Zoom happy hours and trivia contests seem to have had their moment, and are being replaced with more organic connections, like casual conversation during video meetings, and more deliberate cultural communications with a focus on the employer brand.
With all the changes in the way we work over the past few years, many leadership teams are concerned about keeping employees engaged for the long term. How companies treated employees in the transition to remote work may play a large role in that. In our national employee survey of office employees who went remote due to COVID, 31% said they were more likely to recommend their company as a place to work than before the pandemic, while 20% said they were less likely to recommend their company now.
One of the most striking and widespread reactions to employee needs we’ve seen is a new definition of employee wellness. Instead of being focused on biometrics and fitness, wellness communications are now addressing mental and emotional health and even financial health. Often, the company already offered benefits in these areas and internal communications are being used to raise employee awareness, but some companies are also expanding their wellness offerings or introducing new benefits and perks.