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Future of Internal Communications in the Workplace (2023 and Beyond)

Future of Internal Communications in the Workplace (2023 and Beyond)
Future of Internal Communications in the Workplace (2023 and Beyond)
Discover the future of internal communication in the workplace, from data-driven insights to strategic tips.
Posted in: Internal communications
Future of Internal Communications in the Workplace (2023 and Beyond)
Future of Internal Communications in the Workplace (2023 and Beyond)

What will be the future of internal communications

Especially for the companies that are facing more problems now than they did in the past, both inside and outside the company. 

These include fast changes in technology, the economy, society, and the need for open, mixed work settings for people from different groups. Also, people now expect businesses to have a big impact on society. 

These businesses need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively, especially with their workers.

In the current landscape, employees are increasingly expressing their thoughts. 

They seek recognition and a listening ear, necessitating heightened awareness from their superiors. 

However, despite its growing relevance, 40% of the professionals we polled noted that internal communications is progressively becoming a lower priority for employers.

What can we expect for the future of internal communications in a world that is changing so quickly? 

In this article, we will talk about seven new and some old problems that people who work in internal communication need to solve in order to make a bigger effect and stay relevant.

What is internal communications?

Internal communication, also referred to as employee communication, encompasses the flow of information between employers and their employees. 

Historically, this communication took the form of face-to-face interactions or formal letters. 

However, advancements in technology have transformed workplace communication, incorporating methods such as instant messaging and video.

In recent times, Internal communication tools refer to software designed to facilitate and organize employee communications within companies. 

These tools play a key role in streamlining communication channels, whether it be between managers and employees or among employees themselves, types of internal communication tools, are intranet systems, employee communication apps, messaging apps, and Video Conferencing Software.

So, why does internal communication matter? 

A staggering 97% of employees acknowledge that workplace communication directly influences their job performance. 

Now more than ever, as employees voice their desire to feel valued and heard, the role of internal communication becomes crucial, demanding heightened awareness from employers. 

Despite this increasing significance, our survey revealed that 40% of professionals feel that internal communications is gradually slipping down the list of priorities for employers.  What is Internal Communications in the Workplace?

Remote team communication challenges

Remote team communication challenges

Collaboration poses a considerable challenge for remote employees, and effective communication is crucial to overcome this hurdle. Poorly executed communication can emerge as a major obstacle for numerous businesses. 

When communication breaks down, work is adversely affected, leading to a sense of isolation among employees. 

As team connections deteriorate, morale takes a hit, directly impacting overall performance, it also presents the following challenges:

  • Absence of nonverbal cues poses a challenge in remote communication. While face-to-face interactions benefit from facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice to convey meaning, these cues often get lost in virtual exchanges, contributing to potential misunderstandings.
  • Time zone disparities further complicate matters, making it challenging to coordinate meetings and collaborative efforts among team members situated in different regions. This can result in project delays and a sense of isolation for those who are not consistently available during overlapping work hours.
  • Technology issues, such as technical glitches and connectivity problems, can disrupt seamless communication. Ensuring a reliable internet connection and utilizing user-friendly communication tools becomes paramount to overcoming these hurdles.
  • Building trust and rapport also becomes a more intricate task in a virtual setting. The absence of a shared physical workspace makes it challenging to establish the interpersonal connections that contribute to a cohesive team dynamic, potentially leading to breakdowns in communication and a lack of unity within the team.

The challenges associated with maintaining seamless communication in remote work scenarios highlight the need for strategic solutions to ensure continued collaboration and employee engagement.

How important is internal communication for remote workforce 

Remote working offers numerous advantages, such as heightened productivity, cost savings, and increased personal time. 

Despite these benefits, it comes with its share of challenges. Many individuals working from home grapple with feelings of loneliness, while others find it challenging to disconnect from work after hours. However, one of the most significant challenges lies in internal communication. 

Nearly two-thirds of remote workers express a need for improved technology from employers to facilitate better connectivity with their colleagues.

  • Enhanced Collaboration: Effective internal communication fosters collaboration among remote team members, ensuring they can seamlessly work together on projects and tasks.
  • Mitigation of Isolation: Regular communication helps combat the sense of loneliness experienced by remote workers, fostering a connected and supportive team environment.
  • Work-Life Balance: Clear communication channels contribute to setting boundaries and promoting a healthier work-life balance for remote employees, addressing challenges related to switching off after work.
  • Boosted Morale: Keeping teams informed and engaged through communication initiatives contributes to higher morale, which is crucial for sustaining motivation and job satisfaction among remote workers.
  • Technology Facilitation: Providing advanced communication tools addresses the technological needs of remote workers, facilitating efficient and effective connectivity with colleagues.
  • Alignment with Company Goals: Internal communication ensures that remote teams remain aligned with company goals, fostering a shared understanding of objectives and enhancing overall organizational coherence.

Employee Communications vs Internal Communications  

Internal communication is a planned way for workers to understand, work together, and understand the organization's goals so that the goals can be met. 

It's more than just sharing information; it's also about making the workplace more united and effective. 

This means helping workers understand the company's purpose, principles, and goals, encouraging teams to work together, and making sure that everyone is working together towards the same goals. 

Employee communications, on the other hand, are mostly about giving workers information, usually in a clear way. 

Statistics on employee communications vs internal communications for deskless staff:

Both types of business communication are important for keeping employees aware, interested, and driven, which is good for the organization as a whole.

Future of Internal Communications: Preparing for the future of internal communications

The future of internal communications presents a dynamic landscape, demanding adaptation to evolving trends and technologies. 

Organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of fostering open, transparent, and efficient communication channels within their ranks. Embracing innovative tools such as AI-driven chatbots, virtual reality meetings, and data analytics for personalized messaging can revolutionize internal communication strategies. 

As remote and hybrid work models become more prevalent, companies must prioritize digital communication platforms that facilitate seamless collaboration and connectivity. 

To uunderstanding the diverse needs of a multigenerational workforce and tailoring communication methods accordingly will be pivotal in ensuring widespread engagement and resonance. 

In essence, the future of internal communications hinges on embracing technological advancements, acknowledging workforce diversity, and cultivating a communicative culture that transcends traditional boundaries. 

How can enterprises prepare for forthcoming challenges and guarantee ongoing effective communication amidst the evolving workplace?  We have put together a list of on preparing for the future of internal communications.

1. Focus on Strategy

In this blog, we have talked a lot about how important internal communication is for making sure that workers know the company's plan and how they can help carry it out. But this part isn't emphasized as much as it should be. 

Experts in the field agree on this, and it's clear from the results of their work.

Gallagher's most recent State of the Sector Report has an interesting fact: 74% of communicators say that the most important part of internal communications is making the workplace a place where everyone feels welcome. 

It supports a healthy atmosphere and a sense of belonging. Moreover, 67% of people think its main focus should be on strategy, which is different.

The effects of this are very important. The Institute of Internal Communications found that only about half of workers in the UK think their company has explained its plan clearly.

When employees know what the company's goals and values are, they work harder to reach those goals. Some of these benefits are higher involvement, higher trust, stronger employee support, and better business success. 

Most workers read company messages in less than 15 minutes, so it's important that every message is smart, useful, and current. 

2. Emphasize Active Listening 

Internal communication teams often find themselves in a cycle of merely disseminating information as directed by various stakeholders. This approach, coupled with the intensifying demands from employees (who constitute the largest stakeholder group at 61%) for leaders to voice their opinions, explains the continued reliance on one-directional message broadcasting. 

Notably, half of the workers in the UK report feeling ignored by their employers, with an even smaller percentage believing their opinions influence decision-making.

This trend of one-way communication must shift towards more listening and interactive dialogue. Employees have emerged as the primary stakeholder group for organizations, leading to a management approach that starts from within. 

This shift in stakeholder dynamics, especially regarding social issues, underscores the need for communication teams to actively listen, assimilate information, provide upward feedback, and ensure leadership responsiveness to employee concerns.

However, empathy by itself is insufficient. In times of conflict and increasing unrest, internal communicators must guide leaders in offering better support to their staff. 

This involves active listening, deliberate communication, and fostering an environment where diverse voices are acknowledged, contributing to a culture of inclusivity and belonging.

For internal communications to thrive in the future, a paradigm shift towards more listening and less speaking is imperative. 

3. Navigating the Multigenerational Workplace 

Up to five different generations work together today, and each brings their own ideas, skills, and standards to the table. This variety gives internal writers a great chance to learn more about specific audiences, create thorough characters, and write material that speaks to each group in its own way.

It's very important for internal marketers to let people managers know about these ideas. This kind of information helps them work better with workers of very different ages. 

It is very helpful to know what motivates each group of employees, what they need to succeed, and what they expect from their job, their boss, and their coworkers.

Internal communications teams can strengthen their role as strategic experts by carefully listening to top leadership and telling them about the different needs of each generation. 

For example, telling managers what employees think about social problems can shape how the company acts, which has a big effect on its image.

Effectively controlling and capitalizing on the differences between generations will be a rich and useful area for internal communications. 

4. Overcoming the Metrics Hurdle 

Internal communications have historically had trouble showing their worth and measuring how well they work, usually because they didn't have enough technology. Improving the way effect is measured and evaluated became a top goal for marketers in 2023, in part to show that they needed more resources to deal with their big problems.

Internal messaging teams are becoming more and more important as a way for organizations to connect and coordinate their activities. They are responsible for handling a growing number of clients, getting feedback from employees, and finding possible risks.

Data is the most important thing for doing these jobs well. To make good choices, executives need data that is easy to get to and can be used. So, it's not a surprise that 54% of communicators surveyed in a recent report said that how data is understood and used is where the real value of communications technology lies. 

Moreover, 44% are also putting more money into more advanced systems and tools.

Communicators who can quickly and accurately collect high-quality, real-time data from their large network of peers and understand what it all means will strengthen their reputation as experts who can give useful information. 

With this feature, businesses can communicate more clearly, improve their image, and lower their risks. 

5. Adapting to Evolving Work Practices 

There are two different parts to this task. First, internal communicators have to keep adapting because of the fast spread of new work arrangements after the pandemic. 

These include the desire for hybrid work, fully remote setups, and required office returns. Moreover, 90% of companies are planning to make changes in 2024, most of which will involve technology and systems. 

This means that internal speakers need to be very good at adapting their lines of communication to meet the needs and wants of a distributed workforce.

Teams need to find a way to keep workers from getting burned out from using all the tools they are supposed to. This can be done while also teaching them about the benefits of new technologies to get them to use them. 

As was already said, the most important things to do in this situation are active listening and data processing.

Second, it's important to remember that up to 80% of workers, like those in retail, don't sit at desks. In contrast to office settings, where communication is mostly written, these "deskless" workers do best in an atmosphere of verbal communication. 

Because of these differences in communication styles and the fact that internal marketers don't know much about their audiences, they need to rethink their strategy in order to reach and engage remote workers.

6. Shaping Modern Leadership through Coaching

Internal communicators have been teaching leaders for a long time, but this part of their job will become even more important in the future. Why this change? The reason is that people are looking for leaders with more and more traits like self-awareness, humility, and motivation. 

However, this study shows that only 25% of people think their leaders are involved, passionate, and deserving of following. This harsh truth explains why employee enthusiasm is falling around the world, turnover rates are going up, and productivity is going down.

Internal speakers can help bosses adopt a more modern style of leading from a unique point of view. 

They know a lot about the company's goals, strategies, and way of doing things. With data and information about what workers are thinking and feeling, they can work together with leaders, changing their own communication styles to make them more genuine and purpose-driven. 

This puts internal interactions in the spotlight and gives teams a unique chance to change how people see company leadership, which could lead to big wins.

7. Amplifying Impact on Employee Experience

Using people, processes, and technology to create a regular, happy, and long-lasting work setting is what Employee Experience (EX) is all about. 

In order to reach this goal, corporate communications, HR, IT, and other departments must work together to provide a smooth experience. Lear more about What is an Employee Experience Platform or EXP?

EX doesn't have a single "owner." This is a great example of cross-functional teamwork.

It's clear that EX will be very important in the future of internal messaging since 90% of companies around the world are making it a top priority. Effective internal messaging is a must for making experiences that are real, consistent, and interesting for employees at all stages of their careers. 

One way that many companies are dealing with rising sick leave rates is by making their wellness tools better. 

But if workers aren't properly told about these changes, they won't know how to access these tools, which will make their experience as a boss bad.

In fact, the level of communication within EX affects every part of the company. Therefore, internal communications teams are about to play a bigger part in planning and achieving EX. 

They will go from being support staff to business partners who work together with HR and IT staff.

Why do businesses need to embrace mobile internal communication?

In the dynamic and rapidly evolving business environment of today, effective internal communication stands as a cornerstone for organizational success. 

The adoption of mobile internal communication strategies brings forth a myriad of advantages, enriching employee engagement, productivity, and overall company culture.

  • Increased Accessibility and Reach: Mobile communication tools break down location and time zone barriers, providing employees with seamless access to company information, fostering connectivity, and inclusivity.
  • Enhanced Employee Engagement: Mobile platforms create interactive channels, inviting participation and feedback through features like polls, surveys, and discussion forums, ultimately making employees feel valued and engaged.
  • Improved Productivity and Efficiency: Streamlining workflows and enabling real-time collaboration, mobile communication empowers employees to access crucial documents, share files, and communicate instantly, thereby enhancing productivity.
  • Empowered and Informed Workforce: Mobile communication grants employees instant access to knowledge and resources, enabling them to stay informed with training materials, company policies, and FAQs, fostering self-sufficiency.
  • Enhanced Company Culture: Bridging gaps between remote, desk-based, and field employees, mobile communication promotes open collaboration, communication, and a sense of belonging, thereby fostering a connected company culture.
  • Cost-Effective and Scalable: Mobile communication solutions offer a cost-effective and scalable approach to reach a dispersed workforce, utilizing existing mobile devices and mobile-friendly platforms to streamline communication without substantial infrastructure expenses.
  • Real-Time Crisis Communication: During crises, mobile communication tools facilitate rapid and effective communication, enabling companies to send instant alerts, updates, and instructions to ensure employee safety and well-being.
  • Data-Driven Insights and Analytics: Mobile communication platforms provide valuable data and analytics, offering insights into employee engagement, communication trends, and the efficacy of internal communication strategies, informing future initiatives and improving the overall employee experience.
  • Competitive Advantage in Talent Attraction and Retention: Embracing mobile communication showcases a commitment to innovation, employee engagement, and a modern workplace, positioning companies favorably in attracting and retaining top talent within the competitive job market.
  • Future-Proof Communication Strategy: Aligned with the evolving digital landscape and the increasing reliance on mobile devices, investing in mobile communication strategies ensures companies are well-prepared for future communication needs.

Future of Internal Communications in the Workplace 

The trajectory of internal communications in the workplace is swiftly evolving, spurred by technological advancements, shifting workforce demographics, and the imperative for organizations to exhibit greater agility and responsiveness. 

Key trends are emerging and the future of internal communications:

  • Digital-First Communications: Internal communicators increasingly leverage digital channels like social media, mobile apps, and intranet platforms to disseminate news, updates, and information to a highly connected employee base.
  • Data-Driven Decision-Making: The utilization of data allows internal communicators to gauge the effectiveness of their communications, enabling more informed decisions on what and how to communicate. Analytics tools track employee engagement, sentiment, and behavior.
  • Employee-Centric Communications: Shifting from top-down to employee-centric communication involves involving employees in content creation and distribution, utilizing channels preferred by the workforce.
  • Personalized Communications: Employing personalization techniques ensures employees receive tailored and engaging content. This involves segmenting employee audiences based on data and crafting messages aligned with their specific needs and interests.
  • Real-Time Communications: Technology facilitates real-time communication through live streaming video, chatbots, and instant messaging platforms.
  • Two-Way Communications: Fostering a culture of two-way communication involves encouraging employees to provide feedback and share ideas through surveys, focus groups, and social media.
  • Measurable Impact: Increasing emphasis on measuring the impact of communications on employee engagement, productivity, and business outcomes through surveys, focus groups, and data analysis.
  • Strategic Alignment: Aligning communications with the overall business strategy ensures consistency with the organization's mission, values, and goals.
  • Technology Integration: Internal communicators integrate technology such as automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to streamline processes and enhance efficiency.
  • Skills Development: Internal communicators acquire new skills in digital communications, data analytics, and change management to navigate the evolving landscape effectively.

These trends mark the initial phase of the future of internal communications. 

As technology advances and the workforce undergoes further transformations, internal communicators will need heightened agility and creativity to effectively engage with employees.

Wrapping up

For organizations, internal communication is a strategic linchpin that goes beyond just sending information to become a key way to help workers understand, get involved, and work together. 

Trends in 2023 that stress data-driven insights, shifting to flexible work models and making internal spokespeople key advisors show how important it is in a world that is always changing. While employee relations are important, they are only one part of this larger field. 

In an ideal workplace, communication would not be a mere obligation but a voluntary act driven by the recognition of its inherent benefits and the motivation derived from engaging with colleagues—minus the need for additional incentives.

This report underscores the essence of internal communication, emphasizing that it is more about creating an environment where message senders feel both capable and empowered rather than taking a directive stance.

The evident lack of creativity and inspiration in current workplace models contributes to a growing disengagement among teams. To address this, employees must feel supported and advocated for, marking a crucial change in the prevailing paradigm.

The unequivocal shift in this landscape necessitates a corresponding adjustment in the approach of employers. 

While internal communicators may not assume a leadership role, they play a pivotal role in facilitating the transformative shift required for a more engaged and inspired workplace.

Together, they are vital to the success of any business.  


Check out AgilityPortal for 14 days free and learn how they are informing and empowering their deskless workers.

FAQs About the Future of Internal Communications

What is the scope of internal communications within organizations?

Internal communications are the planning, carrying out, and managing of communication efforts that aim to improve understanding, involvement, and unity among workers, as well as to build a strong organizational culture and meet business goals.

What are internal communications ideas that work?  

Interactive virtual events, personalized communication, video material, peer-to-peer award programs, and teamwork tools to make cross-functional conversation and knowledge sharing easier are some new ideas for internal communication.  

What are the key trends for internal communication in 2023?  

Focusing more on employee experience, measurement, and data-driven insights, adapting to flexible work models, and the role of internal communicators as strategic advisors are some of the internal communication trends that will happen in 2023.  

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Guest - Lucia del Pino (website) on Thursday, 14 December 2023 19:11

Hey Jill, 👋

I agree, evolving internal communications is vital. 🔄 It's about understanding real employee connections, not just formal roles. Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) can map these informal networks, offering insights for better communication strategies. 🗺️

Have you seen shifts in how teams interact using digital tools? 🤔

Hey Jill, 👋 I agree, evolving internal communications is vital. 🔄 It's about understanding real employee connections, not just formal roles. Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) can map these informal networks, offering insights for better communication strategies. 🗺️ Have you seen shifts in how teams interact using digital tools? 🤔
Wednesday, 28 February 2024
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