10 Trends Redefining Internal Comms in 2024
Recent economic uncertainties have prompted a reevaluation of traditional work structures. Many organizations are mandating a return to the office. However, according to a study by Gartner, organizations steering towards hybrid work models and prioritizing employee-centric communication are achieving greater success.
The Gartner study shows that organizations with employee-centric work environments are 3.8 times more likely to experience higher employee performance, 3.2 times more likely to have stronger employee retention, and have 3.1 times less employee fatigue compared to organizations with less employee focus.
The shift towards more personalized communication strategies, including collaborative project management tools, mobile-first intranet, and sophisticated analytics platforms, is evident according to Deloitte. This reflects a need for organizations to adapt to emerging trends.
Major 10 Internal Comms Trends That Will Shape 2024
Manager-Focused Employee Engagement
Managers serve as critical bridges that connect organizational goals with individual aspirations. Organizations, therefore, must empower managers with the tools and strategies they need to better connect with employees. This could mean investing in regular workshops, such as those that focus on enhancing communication skills, empathy, and fostering a positive team culture.
Managers should be encouraged to adopt diverse approaches like one-on-ones, recognition programs, promoting open communication, implementing wellness initiatives, facilitating mentorship programs, and establishing processes for feedback. These changes collectively contribute to a more cohesive and supportive culture, fostering employee satisfaction and retention.
AI-Powered Internal Communication
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is emerging as a digital maestro, orchestrating efficiency and personalization in internal communication. From automating routine tasks to tailoring personal messages, AI applications are changing how companies support their employees.
For example, moderns intranets can send a virtual wish card for employees who are celebrating birthdays or work anniversaries. And, if your employees need info on company policies or have a quick question, they can ask the integrated AI bot on your intranet anytime. The bot will provide instant responses 24/7, making info accessible when you need it. AI empowers communicators and content creators within organizations by providing smart content generation tools, enabling them to quickly draft announcements and refine communications. This feature allows the internal comms department to achieve greater impact with limited resources.
Navigating Return to Office (RTO), Hybrid Work, and the 4-Day Workweek
Return to Office, Hybrid Work, and 4-Day Workweek trends are resurfacing. Transitioning to flexible work arrangements can be difficult, as managers may struggle to oversee remote teams and maintain company culture. Employees can sometimes feel isolated and disengaged when working from home for long periods. Once the transition happens, though, Gartner research has found that work flexibility reduces workers’ fatigue by 1.7 times and makes them 1.6 times more likely to stay with an organization.
The key lies in effective strategies like regular and transparent communication through town hall meetings, newsletters, and intranet discussions. By keeping your crew informed, motivated and adaptable, organizations can more smoothly sail through currents of change.
Embracing Video-First Communication
Video-based communication is becoming increasingly popular. Acknowledging its power, organizations can amplify engagement by incorporating video into internal communications. Organizations can initiate regular video updates from leadership, addressing key updates, successes, and upcoming initiatives. Additionally, hosting virtual events, webinars, or training sessions through video platforms enhances engagement and knowledge-sharing. Embracing a culture of video communication allows companies to convey information dynamically and fosters a more visually engaging and connected workplace.
Hyper-Personalized Employee Communication
The shift towards tailored and targeted messages is becoming paramount as employees now seek job satisfaction, positive culture, motivation and a better work-life balance experience. Strategies like leveraging employee data insights for custom content delivery, personalized newsletters, and targeted recognition programs tailored to roles, achievements, and preferences can help you give a personalized feel to your employees.
Tackling Worker Burnout
In an American Institute of Stress survey, 40% of workers have reported their jobs are stressful due to unmanageable workload, unclear communication, unfair treatment, time restraints, or lack of support and recognition. The first step in battling against worker burnout is acknowledging the trend and working towards a healthier workplace.
Encouraging open dialogue about mental health, promoting work-life balance, and providing resources for stress management can help organizations work towards a healthier work environment. Regular check-ins with teams, discussions on workload, mental well-being workshops, and engaging activities for alleviating stress are also routine ways organizations can start shifting culture immediately. It is imperative to understand that in today’s work environment, communication isn’t just about tasks— it’s a lifeline for supporting employee well-being and creating a workplace where burnout struggles to take root.
As companies increasingly prioritize corporate responsibility, there’s a notable shift towards emphasizing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) communication. Transparency and sustainability are key for ESG. Companies should communicate in a way that demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, not just profits. Effective ESG communications can connect a company’s values to tangible actions, forging a path towards more accountable and ethical business practices. Clear, value-driven communication that highlights sustainability efforts can build trust and goodwill with stakeholders.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Approach
Fostering diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B) starts with communication. Strategies for this include:
- Amplifying diverse voices.
- Promoting awareness through targeted campaigns.
- Facilitating open dialogues in team meetings or intranet interaction space.
Though DEI&B initiatives have become more common over the last decade, 2024 will likely see a push towards less generic training to a more tailored approach that varies by organization.
Gamification for Employee Engagement
Gamification on a shared platform helps employees stay engaged and motivated. By infusing game-like elements in day-to-day work, organizations turn routine tasks into exciting challenges, enhancing motivation and participation. Using an intranet for interactive quizzes, leaderboards, and achievement badges are all ways to improve engagement.
Change Management: Always Being Prepared
As almost any business eventually learns, change is the only constant thing. Whether that change happens as a merger/acquisition, shifting management, or new software, it’s helpful to always be prepared for a communication strategy that is both agile and empathetic.
- Timely and transparent updates.
- Interactive forums in the intranet for employee input.
- Clear narratives outlining the benefits of the change.
Towards the New Communication Path
Aligning internal communication strategies with emerging trends cannot be overstated. This is the key to unlocking enhanced effectiveness, meeting employee expectations, and maximizing reach.
Ready to be the frontrunner and adopt the new trends and build the future of employee engagement? Talk to our experts and get to know the modern intranet platform, PeopleOne.