Regardless of what industry you work in, today’s workforce is more diverse than ever. Demographic variables, as well as individual workers’ level of comfort with technology, can all play a role in their communication preferences. That means that when you have important internal communications to deliver, a cross-channel communication approach is best for ensuring everyone receives your messaging.
Cross-channel internal communication refers to the delivery methods of internal messaging to ensure reach. For example, let’s say that you post a weekly bulletin on the company’s intranet. Those employees who sit behind a desk working on a computer all day are more likely to see your message. But what about those who don’t work in front of a computer, like warehouse or retail staff? How likely are they to take time from their everyday duties and busy schedules to find a computer and log into the company’s intranet? How can you maximize your reach to ensure every employee hears your messaging loud and clear? Through cross-channel internal communication. Here’s how
1. Use all Available Resources
Creating a cross-channel internal communication strategy first requires understanding all the resources available to you for messaging. If your organization uses Office 365, it’s likely that your entire workforce already has access to Microsoft SharePoint, Teams and Yammer. Let’s briefly review what each of these programs does:
- SharePoint is an intranet, or collaborative, web-based communications and collaboration platform. In other words, it’s a digital repository of documents and data that can be accessed by anyone in the company with permission. It makes collaborating and sharing documents easy.
- Teams is a digital workspace where people can communicate in real-time, video chat and share collaborative documents. It also integrates with SharePoint, making it even easier for teams to share and work on documents.
- Yammer is an enterprise social media platform that gives users within organizations the ability to chat with each other in real-time, provides a user-specific feed and even allows for the creation of groups or communities and live-streaming.
In addition to those applications, your company’s email client is another valuable communication tool. Unfortunately, email is sometimes the one and only tool used for internal communications even though not everyone is likely to open and read them.
2. Pick the Right Channel for Each Audience
While some office-based employees may be conscientious about opening and reading every email that lands in their inbox, others may not be. It’s important to consider this when thinking about everyone that you need to reach. Additionally, it helps to think about who is on what platform, as not everyone at an organization may even use all of the communication channels available. Ultimately, you need to reach people where they are. This might mean delivering the same core messaging on different platforms simultaneously.
3. Tailor Your Messaging for Each Platform
On an email or SharePoint e-bulletin, you can provide lots of details since people are likely used to reading longer documents on those applications. However, keep in mind the people who don’t have a lot of time or who lack the propensity for reading longer messages. While it’s important to deliver messaging across different platforms, how you deliver those messages is equally important.
Think about both length and language to ensure that it resonates with all of your audiences based on what they expect from different platforms. On Teams, a quick post with a link to a SharePoint document may work well. On the other hand, Yammer might call for a more Facebook-style post, with a catchy picture or video clip accompanying a short and sweet post that promotes engagement and sharing.
4. Follow Up
The more important the messaging, the more important it is to conduct cross-channel follow-up. Some employees might have been out on the day you initially delivered your communication, or others might have been too busy to check in with Yammer or Teams. Also, consider that your company’s intranet might not be something that all employees use on a regular basis.
That said, don’t send the same message twice. Instead, find ways to add to the conversation. For instance, if the first message was about a new company policy, follow up by highlighting departments that are doing a good job leading the compliance charge or employees who have contributed to making the policy a good one. Alternately, find ways to engage employees in meaningful conversations about the new policy.
You should also drive users to different applications. For example, someone reading a follow-up message on the intranet e-bulletin should see a link to join the conversation about the policy on Yammer or to see a recorded livestream of an organizational leader talking about it. Likewise, someone seeing a post about the announcement on Yammer or Teams could be directed to the actual policy document on SharePoint via a document link or attachment.
5. Measure Your Success
Doing what you think works without any proof to back it up means that you might be wasting time and energy on approaches that simply do not pay off. That’s why measuring the effectiveness of your efforts is so important.
Unfortunately, most communication applications offer limited insight data. That’s where Tryane comes in. With a suite of tools to measure communications across SharePoint, Teams and Yammer, Tryane gives you the ability to not only engage in continuous improvement, but also to demonstrate the value of what you do.
Using artificial intelligence, Tryane’s solutions can perform sentiment analysis, perfect for gauging reactions to important company messaging. A plain text analysis search engine quickly lets you know about trending topics that employees are discussing. It also lets you quickly extract key intelligence on any topic and detect the most challenging or supporting messages around any particular topic. Plus, it gives you the ability to identify experts on specific issues — in other words, potential influencers within your company.
Knowing just how well you’re doing what you’re doing matters. Tryane offers a deep-dive analysis of your communication efforts to inform future ones. Get in touch today to find out how to make the most of your cross-channel internal communications.