Following the pandemic we have seen the proliferation of digital channels to support employees working remotely. These range from the company intranet or apps, to social media and interactive dialogue platforms. In fact, new technologies are being added by the day as we see the hybrid workforce continuing to grow. But with our attention turning to digital, are we focusing our efforts on the channels that are really going to engage employees and drive our business?
With this question in mind, we carried out the Gartner 2022 Workforce survey to compare the effectiveness of various communications channels in terms of reach, employee preference and usefulness (see Internal Communications Benchmark Report for full details). Here are 5 key points to bear in mind when determining your channel strategy for 2023:
- Human Connection is desired in just the same way as before. Despite greater opportunity for digital communications, employees still want to hear from their manager. The manager channel came out as the number one preferred channel of employees, just as our pre-pandemic survey indicated.
- Secondly, the peer channel, that is to say communicating with your peer group, was among the top three most effective channels. So if we can tap into our audience’s peer network, that is a great way to get our message through in the hybrid world.
- Speaking of peer-to-peer communications, instant messaging has risen to a frequently used channel. Even though employees may prefer to have that human connection, we can’t underestimate the importance of instant messaging platforms when engaging employees – that’s where we are most likely to find them!
- Demographics matter. And this is why it’s hugely important to put the time in to create employee personas so we know which tactic to adopt. For example, older employees told us they prefer intranet and email, while younger employees prefer instant messaging.
- Finally, company newsletter ranked low across all metrics. Despite many companies still investing time in creating employee newsletters, workers rated them as their least preferred channel, and had the lowest efficacy in terms of achieving business objectives. If you are using a company newsletter to convey key messages, we’d recommend pressure testing whether it is really worthwhile the time investment before putting it together.
If you’d like to learn more about which channels can help achieve your Communication goals, and what approaches other organizations are taking to enhance their employee Comms, schedule a call with one of our Gartner Experts.
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