Is Your Internal Communications Strategy Evolving With Tech?
Legislation, technology, employees, company policies — HR pros are always dealing with change. One of the biggest, but often overlooked, workforce evolutions dates all the way back to the days of cave drawings: communications.
No matter how the workforce has transformed over the years, successful businesses rely on effective internal communications. That’s why HR executives rank “provide open communications” as a top priority of their communications strategy, according to a 2016 report, The Missing Piece In The HR Technology Landscape, by EmployeeChannel, Inc.
Unfortunately, the report also found 57 percent of HR executives have no company-wide budget for employee communications.
To gain deeper insight into how internal communications have evolved, EmployeeChannel — a leading provider of workforce communication solutions — travelled back in time.
Here’s what they discovered:
Even cavemen needed to chat
As far as historians can tell, the first communications began with cave drawings over 40,000 years ago. Luckily for those of us with no artistic ability, the communications landscape has significantly evolved since then.
By 1448, thanks to Johannes Gutenberg, the first movable type printing workshop was invented, allowing businesses to process and send messages quicker than ever before.
However, as the workforce rapidly evolved, so did the need for even faster ways to obtain information — both inside and outside of office walls. The telegraph, then telephone, hit the work scene and sufficed for quite some time. But as work evolved, companies found themselves wanting an even more efficient way of communicating.
In 1961, a significant internal communications change came with the Compatible Time-Sharing System. This allowed up to 30 users to log in at the same time and send messages to each other.
The work from anywhere movement
The idea of working remotely has taken off in just the past couple of years. But people have been taking their work outside of the office since 1964, due to the invention of the beeper.
Once the beeper became popular, internal communications become not so ‘internal.’ This trend intensified after Motorola came out with the first mobile phone in 1973. This bulky, on-the-go phone revolutionized how and when companies communicated with employees.
Even though the introduction of cell phones was monumental to the workforce, nothing changed internal communications like the birth of the internet in 1983. Suddenly, HR pros, company leaders, and co-workers were able to communicate at any time through various channels.
The combination of cell phones and the birth of the internet in 1992 resulted in the smartphone, forever changing how we work and live. Today, HR pros can constantly and immediately communicate with employees. This empowers them to connect with employees on a more meaningful level with simple pop-up notifications.
Internal communications of the future
All this new and improved technology is virtually useless if it isn’t combined with a strong communication strategy.
While HR pros can communicate faster and more frequently, a recent report by EmployeeChannel of 1,200 U.S. workers, What Every Employee Wants From Their HR Team, found non-desktop, remote, and office employees all ranked “communicates frequently and effectively with employees” as one of the top two behaviors that creates a positive experience at work.
This means that as the workforce continues evolving with the Bring Your Device (BYOD) trend, new apps, more remote employees, and new SaaS tools, internal communications will become even more complicated. So, it’s crucial for HR pros to team up with company leaders to create a strategic communications plan to enhance employee engagement and improve company-wide business outcomes.
Read the full article on HR Technologist here.