Industry Weapon Blog
The Struggle is Real: 4 Internal Communication Nightmares (and how you can overcome them)
Reality: you wear a lot of hats.
One day you’re the Communications Director; the next you’re knee deep in HR issues. In one moment you’re researching blog topics; in the next you’re on the phone with a journalist.
Internal communications probably aren’t the first thing on your mind when you wake up in the morning, are they?
They should be.
Even if your office is small, you simply don’t have the time to walk around to everybody’s desk and make sure that they’re up to speed on the latest products, promotions, and office happenings. You’ve got better things to do, like getting the folks in your office to pay attention to the messages coming through your channels.
It’s not easy. Internal communications can be a nightmare—especially if you’re dealing with the four situations below. The good news is, you can overcome them if you know what you’re doing.Here are four internal communication nightmares you might come across:
1) Nobody Reads Your Emails
You work in Communications. You choose your words carefully, spending more time than you probably need to so the wording in that department-wide email is just right. It communicates the right information, with the right tone, and may even have a tasteful joke thrown in for laughs. You tee it up, hit send, and what happens to it?
Likely, it gets ignored or sent straight to the trash folder.
Your employees (and you) receive dozens, if not hundreds of emails a day. You can’t take it personally if they skim over the monthly newsletter, or the announcement about that new product or next week’s potluck. They’re trying to keep their heads above water.
So what can you do? How do you ensure that the messages you’re painstakingly crafting reach their intended audience?
• Try a captivating subject line. Instead of “Weekly Newsletter,” try something with a little more splash. “Stop the Presses! Major Announcement!”: that’s going to grab attention.
• Use a variety of different mediums. Mix it up and do a video newsletter one week. Next week, use custom images or GIFs. Keep them guessing.
• Try testing out different times. Nobody is dying to read the email from internal comms that was sent at 12:01AM this morning.
*Photo Credit: HighTech Connect
2) People Have Insanely Short Memories
“Hey Jim, are you coming to the team volunteer day tomorrow?”
“Yeah, they sent an email about it this morning.”
“Oh yeah, I think I saw that. I totally forgot.”
How many times has a conversation like this taken place in your office? People may have the best of intentions, but their attention spans can be unbelievably short.
Don’t wait until you have every single detail nailed down. Send a placeholder. Put it on their radar. Then every time you get a new update, send an invite update.
People will have it on their minds, because they’ll see the updates come through every few days. You won’t have a single lost email buried in the sands of time.
3) Resource Management
OK, so you’ve sent the perfect email. It’s funny, it’s witty, it’s informative.
The problem is, Joe just got back from two weeks of work travel, and he’s climbing out of email jail, so your email didn’t make it to him. Or worse yet, Suzy has an Outlook rule that sends emails from you directly to her junk mail folder. (Don’t take it personally—Suzy’s not very nice.)
There are a number of services that you can utilize, in addition to good ol’ email, that will take your communications game to the next level.
Yammer is a great tool. It’s essentially an office Facebook, but built around the idea of collaborative communication. You can post large files and updates, and best of all, keep yourself out of email jail.
Slack is a collaborative task-sharing communication board. It’s a really simple interface, but you can dedicate different hashtags to different topics. It’s lightweight and easy to use.
4) Your Information is Out of Date
Let’s run through a scenario:
Your team goes through an office move. You shuffle around, and no one’s happy about it at first.
After you move, no one knows where anyone else sits, so you create some fancy maps to show where all the new departments are and where everybody sits. You print a bunch, hang them in high-traffic areas, and move on with your day feeling pretty good about yourself.
The problem is, a week from now several teams bring on new staff. There’s more shuffling, and now everybody has a place to sit, but your signs are outdated. They’re old. They’re useless.
Do you go make more? Spend time walking around, hanging up more posters? Are you still staring at signs from the potluck from a month ago? That fantasy football league poster was fun, but it’s July now.
You need digital signage.
Instead of spending hours creating new signs, printing them, hanging them, remembering to take them down, and then running through that whole cycle next week, why not go digital? Why not invest in some tablets or flat screens?
One way to invest in digital signage is through our Highlights service. With Highlights, you can automate your monthly newsletter, turning it into high-quality, appealing digital signage. You’ll save time, resources, manpower, and best of all, your sanity.
You’ll never get your whole team to hang on your every word. It’s just not going to happen.
What you can do, however, is take small steps to change the way you interact with the digital tools at your disposal. A little bit of variety can go an awfully long way, and knowing what you’re up against? Well, that’s just good business.
For more information on Digital Signage, or for a free Demo, check this out.
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