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What the Future Holds for Internal Communications


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What the Future Holds for Internal Communications

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Our annual guide identifies the key trends that are shaping the future of Internal Communications. This years guide focuses on:
1. Employee Feedback
2. Artificial Intelligence
3. Management
4. Internal comms strategy
5. The employee experience
6. Digital culture.

Our annual guide identifies the key trends that are shaping the future of Internal Communications. This years guide focuses on:
1. Employee Feedback
2. Artificial Intelligence
3. Management
4. Internal comms strategy
5. The employee experience
6. Digital culture.


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What the Future Holds for Internal Communications

  4. 4. EMPLOYEE FEEDBACK01 4 Only 4% of HR Managers think their system of accessing employees is effective at measuring performance - and 83% say their systems need an overhaul. (CEB Global, 2015) HIGHLYENGAGED ENGAGED SOMEWHATENGAGED SOMEWHATDISENGAGED DISENGAGED 51.5% 56.1% 68.4% 74.1% 77.8% ANNUAL PERFORMANCE REVIEW USAGE, BY ENGAGEMENT LEVEL Source: State of Employee Feedback, 2016
  5. 5. EMPLOYEE FEEDBACK01 5 Fortunately we’re in the midst of a pretty significant transformation in the business landscape around performance management. With lots of experimentation in: Continuous Feedback Processes Peer-to-peer Recognition Programs Use of new tech
  6. 6. EMPLOYEE FEEDBACK01 6 Because the recognition is peer-to-peer, it feels less like a performance review, and more like an organic expression of gratitude. Hugely motivating. Source: Harvard Business Review, 2016 PEER-TO-PEER RECOGNITION PROGRAMS
  7. 7. EMPLOYEE FEEDBACK01 7 Peer recognition also leads to a stronger sense of being part of a hard-working and high-achieving team. Source: Rob Peters, CEO Standard of Trust Recognition is becoming more specific and personal, which is a strength of peer-to-peer recognition.
  8. 8. EMPLOYEE FEEDBACK01 8 CONTINUOUS FEEDBACK PROCESSES During the year, new things will come along. Employees are iterating and experimenting, and oftentimes that means they’re not necessarily working towards what they originally listed as an annual objective. Nevertheless, employees would end up in an irrelevant discussion in December, trying to assess whether they’d fulfilled the goals they’d drafted 11 months earlier. Source: Diane Gherson IBM’s Chief Human Resource Officer
  9. 9. EMPLOYEE FEEDBACK01 9 According to PwC, nearly 60% of survey respondents reported that they would like feedback on a daily or weekly basis – a number that increased to 72% for employees under the age of 30. Furthermore, 80% of GEN Y said that they would prefer on the spot feedback and recognition over more formal reviews. Source: PwC Millennials at work Reshaping the workplace
  10. 10. EMPLOYEE FEEDBACK01 10 CONTINUOUS PEER-TO-PEER RECOGNITION PROGRAMS It looks at the process, and not just the end result. It does not solely involve a 'final grade'. This helps to reduce the fear of Trying new things is the only way to develop performance. That's why continuous peer-to-peer feedback could be the answer: failure that many employees experience when they try new things.
  11. 11. EMPLOYEE FEEDBACK01 11 Josh Bersin, Deloitte (2016) A new market has emerged: Employee feedback apps for the corporate marketplace. These tools are powerful and disruptive, and they have the potential to redefine how we manage our organisations. USE NEW TECH OF
  12. 12. EMPLOYEE FEEDBACK01 12 USE OF NEW TECH HAS GIVEN A Pulse Survey is a fast and frequent survey tool, that gives a quick insight into the health of an organisation. They provide, amongst other things... RISE TO PULSE SURVEYS Source: 6Q, the employee engagement survey system
  13. 13. EMPLOYEE FEEDBACK01 13 Encourages open communication Detailed information on the organisation Near real-time measurement of employee satisfaction Frequent reminder that leadership values employee feedback Helps direct future employee engagement activities Improves employee health & happiness HIGHER RESPONSE RATES THAN ANNUAL SURVEYS
  15. 15. A FOCUS ON MANAGERS03 15ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE02 15 Source: Mckinsey & Company, 2016 Artificial Intelligence looks set to cause great disruption in the world of work. With anything that can be automated, likely to be.
  16. 16. A FOCUS ON MANAGERS03 16ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE02 16 Ultimately AI will understand who needs to be connected with what and whom. Which it will achieve through the creation of a Knowledge Graph. Save & index every single document, message or file. Not only that, it will be able to connect eveything of relevance together. Source: MIT Sloan Management Review, 2016 IN THE WORKPLACE, AI WILL:
  17. 17. A FOCUS ON MANAGERS03 17ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE02 17 Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Cofounder 2016 The knowledge graph will represent the interconnection of all the data and communications within your company. Just as a social graph represents the interconnection of relationships in an online social network. KNOWLEDGE GRAPH
  18. 18. A FOCUS ON MANAGERS03 18ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE02 18 1. IMPROVED UNDERSTANDING AND INTELLIGENCE A Knowledge Graph will allow Internal Communications teams to measure, identify and provide effective solutions for less tangible workplace factors, such as sentiment; e.g. sentiment towards certain campaigns, policies or business decisions. BENEFITS OF AI FOR INTERNAL COMMS:
  19. 19. A FOCUS ON MANAGERS03 19ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE02 19 2. FEEDBACK AND PERFORMANCE REVIEWS For the majority of jobs, reviews tend to be subjective in nature. AI can identify every behaviour, idea and action that an employee makes. Allowing their value to be objectively measured. Clear strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement can be easily and quickly highlighted. AI will change that.
  20. 20. A FOCUS ON MANAGERS03 20ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE02 20 3. EMPLOYEE TRAINING and ONBOARDING The Knowledge Graph will be able to answer any question a new recruit may have. Furthermore: AI can quickly bring the new recruit up to speed on past and current projects, as well as the outcome of recent meetings. AI can serve up things it deems the new employee should learn and understand.
  21. 21. A FOCUS ON MANAGERS03 21ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE02 21 4. Redefining Management 54% 30% 10% 7% Developing people & engaging with stakeholders Solving problems & collaborating Strategy & Innovation Administrative coordination & control How managers spend their time. Source: Accenture survey 2016
  22. 22. A FOCUS ON MANAGERS03 22ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE02 22 Bots can do many admin tasks much better and faster than their human counterparts. This will free managers up to focus on the things they as humans are better at doing. It’s important to view AI as a colleague. and not as a competitor or replacement. Source: Harvard Business Review, 2016
  23. 23. 03 A FOCUS ON MANAGERS
  24. 24. A FOCUS ON MANAGERS03 24 When it comes to identifying the drivers of employee engagement, numerous studies, organisations and foremost thinkers all recognise there being one single most important variable: Source: CIPD, 2016 THE QUALITY OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EMPLOYEES AND THEIR DIRECT MANAGERS OR SUPERVISORS.
  25. 25. A FOCUS ON MANAGERS03 25 They’ve become reliant on one-way digital channels, e.g: Manager toolkits E-newsletters Email announcements The cascading of information in an organisation, has led to managers arguably becoming too focussed on passing information down.
  26. 26. A FOCUS ON MANAGERS03 26 Help is at hand for managers in creating better two-way dialogue, and it comes in the form of social media channels. In 2017, leadership and management must recognise that the use of social media is not a nice to have, but a fundamental skill that they must have as managers. Source: Chartered Management Institute, 2016
  27. 27. A FOCUS ON MANAGERS03 27 To see why else a focus on management communications is so important, it's worth looking at the main types of Internal Communications between employees. Of which there can be said to be four: 1. Management to non-management employees 2. Non-management employees to management 3. Non-management employees to non-management employees 4. Management to management
  28. 28. A FOCUS ON MANAGERS03 28 For some reason, management to management communications seem to have been neglected.
  29. 29. A FOCUS ON MANAGERS03 29 IC pro's need to understand the types of behaviours that are needed to help improve the flow of information from manager to manager, so that the right tools and training can be made available to them.
  30. 30. A FOCUS ON MANAGERS03 30 Source: The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey - Winning over the next generation of leaders In fact, understanding of the workforce has revealed that the next generation of managers – millennials – feel woefully under prepared for management.
  31. 31. A FOCUS ON MANAGERS03 31 And what with it being widely cited that employees rate their manager’s communication skills as poor... ...Manager communications is an area that must be prioritised by organisations in 2017. Source: Gallup, 2015
  33. 33. A STRATEGIC FUNCTION04 33 It has become clear that there are a number of changes in the workplace that are driving the need for far more strategic internal communications.
  34. 34. A STRATEGIC FUNCTION04 34 1. Millennials. They demand to have a clear purpose and want to work for organisations with distinct values that they themselves share. 2. The rise of internal social media. Organisations must understand how the use of social media can support business objectives.
  35. 35. A STRATEGIC FUNCTION04 35 3. The demand for more internal communications, often with less resource. A need to prioritise comms, ensuring all comms are linked to business strategy. 4. The development of metrics to determine employee engagement and outcomes of internal comms. IC being held far more accountable for their actions.
  36. 36. A STRATEGIC FUNCTION04 36 And more specifically on the outcomes of engagement: EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE INCREASES IN Engagement for Engagement Sake Internal communications need to focus less on simply Source: CIO, 2016
  37. 37. A STRATEGIC FUNCTION04 37 Most initiatives do not fail because of missing ideas or concepts. They fail because the intentions, goals and hard information do not properly reach their often company-wide audience. Good ideas need good strategy to realise their potential Frank Wolf, Staffbase Reid Hoffman, Founder, LinkedIn
  38. 38. A STRATEGIC FUNCTION04 38 Some of the ways by which Internal Communications can get more strategic: Internal Communications must continually reinforce the core values of the organisation. Ultimately, these values should be reflected in employee behaviour and output. 1. ALIGNED WITH VALUES
  39. 39. A STRATEGIC FUNCTION04 39 2. FORMING STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS WITH OTHER DEPARTMENTS The Internal Communications function simply cannot be strategic by itself. It has to form partnerships with all other areas of the business if its strategy is to be effective.
  40. 40. A STRATEGIC FUNCTION04 40 What should be obvious is how any internal communications strategy must be tied to a business goal. This helps leadership to recognise the importance of internal communications. 3. LEADERSHIP BEING REALLY CLEAR ON THE LINK BETWEEN INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS ACTIVITY AND THE OVERALL BUSINESS STRATEGY
  41. 41. A STRATEGIC FUNCTION04 41 Savers do what they are told to do and what is expected of them. Investors are different. They continually invest in themselves, looking for new opportunities to develop themselves at work. 4. HELP CREATE INVESTORS, INSTEAD OF SAVERS Source: Jane sparrow, 2016
  42. 42. A STRATEGIC FUNCTION04 42 This is to ensure everyone is clear on - and driven by - theirs, and the common purpose. Internal Communications NEEDS TO have A seat at the strategic table.
  44. 44. THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE05 44 MANY Organisations ARE IMPROVING THEIR CUSTOMER experience, BY USING AN employee-centric APPROACH. Tempkin group, 2015
  45. 45. THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE05 45 1. The ongoing war for talent 2. Millennial mind-set 3. Employees want a ‘consumer-like’ experience at work. 4. Relationship between customer experience and employee experience. 5. Employee Engagement linked to productivity A requirement, largely being driven by five key trends: Source: IBM Institute for Business Value.
  46. 46. THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE05 46 Key components of the Employee Experience: Physical Environment Tools & Technologies Connections & relationships Source: Jeanne Meister, Forbes 2017
  47. 47. THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE05 47 A good way of approaching the three key components of the employee experience, is to map the employee journey: to ongoing engagement and communication to retirement, resignation or termination Organisations should understand all the steps an employee goes through on their journey. From recruitment and onboarding
  48. 48. THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE05 48 1. The areas that need to be addressed to improve the Employee Experience. 2. The touch-points through which organisations should ensure the companies brand values and attributes are being experienced and brought to life. Mapping the employee journey will identify:
  49. 49. THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE05 49 Ultimately the design of the employee experience must result in a personalised experience for each and every employee. Source: IBM Institute for Business Value.
  50. 50. DIGITAL CULTURE 06
  51. 51. DIGITAL CULTURE06 51 SIMPLY JUST SWITCHING ON NEW TECHNOLOGY DOESN T CUT IT.' ' ' The right culture and employee behaviour must be in place beforehand to support new digital tools. Therefore change management programs and a focus on digital literacy are key for successful adoption of new digital tools. Source: Paul Miller - Digital Workplace Group
  52. 52. DIGITAL CULTURE06 52 LEADERSHIP BECOMING FAR MORE DIGITAL Leaders will not only use digital channels more heavily as a way to help lead. But their use of digital – leading by example – will be a way of increasing adoption of digital tools throughout an organisation. Source: Deloitte - Building your digital DNA.
  53. 53. DIGITAL CULTURE06 53 Long, lengthy emails that sit within long, messy email chains are not how employees want to communicate with one another. Employees want to communicate in the same way as they do in the consumer world. Instant messaging is also better suited to the mobile way in which employees are working. INSTANT MESSAGING Source: Business 2 Community, 2016
  54. 54. DIGITAL CULTURE06 54 INTELLIGENT INSTANT MESSAGING ‘Intelligent Bots’ are what will eventually do a lot of the instant messaging on behalf of employees. Bots will be equipped with Artificial Intelligence to know what information employees are after and where to get it from. They will become your intelligent digital colleague, and your link to the entire digital workplace.
  55. 55. DIGITAL CULTURE06 55 INTRANETS HAVE BECOME THE FRONT DOOR TO THE WIDER DIGITAL WORKPLACE. No longer are Intranets merely a dumping ground for latest company news and links. Intranets will continue to be important and will further evolve to the needs of a mobile, remote workforce. Source: James Robertson, 2017
  56. 56. DIGITAL CULTURE06 56 AUGMENTED REALITY The obvious success of Pokemon Go in the consumer world, highlights the huge potential Augmented Reality technology – when gamified – has when incorporated within the workplace. The integration of the real world with a virtual one provides opportunities for how employees not only perform their role, but how they learn and develop, and work with others.
  57. 57. DIGITAL CULTURE06 57 VIRTUAL REALITY Facebook’s purchase of Oculus Rift, shows that Zuckerberg is betting big on VR being a dominant communications channel. You’ll see this technology being used more and more in the workplace. Learning, team based working scenarios and team communications are all things that can be done in a completely immersive and truly engaging way.
  58. 58. CONCLUSION We hope you found our internal communication trends helpful. You can keep up to date with all of our internal communications thinking at our blog ( To make sure you never miss a thing you can follow us on Twitter @rima_design And linkedIn It would be great to know what you thought about the trends we’ve covered. And of course, if you’d like any further info or help on any of the topics covered then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re a 30 year old independent design agency who specialise in internal communications. We work with a number of large corporate clients and for a couple of them we are also responsible for their in-house design function. To find out a bit more about us then simply take a look at our website or get in touch. About us… | Tel: +44 (0) 207 902 1310 THANKS!
  59. 59. REFERENCES 59 Deloitte. Building your digital DNA - Deloitte/br/Documents/technology/deloitte-uk-building-your-digital-dna.pdf CMS Wire. How Intranet Home Pages Anchor the Digital Workplace - http://www. workplace/ Business 2 Community. Tech in the Office: How Instant Messaging Improves Productivity - messaging-improves-productivity-01420976#S0M1MpJjs6Rh4657.99 Business 2 Community. My 10 Digital Workplace Predictions for 2017 - http:// for-2017/ Forbes. The Employee Experience Is The Future Of Work: 10 HR Trends For 2017 - experience-is-the-future-of-work-10-hr-trends-for-2017/#507623322214 Temkin Group. Report: Employee Engagement Benchmark Study - https:// study-2015/ Financial Post. Can you grow your business by putting employees first? - http:// employees-first Sloan Management Review. Using Artificial Intelligence to set information free - management-and-set-information-free/ Mckinsey & Company. Where machines could replace humans—and where they can’t (yet) - insights/where-machines-could-replace-humans-and-where-they-cant-yet 6Q. Everything You Need to Know About Employee Pulse Surveys - https:// HR Trend Institute. Trends in Employee Recognition - https://hrtrendinstitute. com/2016/12/12/trends-employee-recognition/ LinkedIn Rob Peters. 3 Reasons To End Performance Reviews Today - https://www. Harvard Business Review. Your Employees Want the Negative Feedback You Hate to Give - you-hate-to-give Harvard Business Review. Can Your Employees Really Speak Freely? - https://hbr. org/2016/01/can-your-employees-really-speak-freely Fortune. IBM Is Blowing Up Its Annual Performance Review- http://fortune. com/2016/02/01/ibm-employee-performance-reviews/ Icology. The State of Employee Feedback Systems - blog/2016/8/17/the-state-of-employee-feedback-systems AllThingsIC. Ten new trends in communication - trendsintranet/ Venture Beat. How A.I. is revolutionizing today’s workplace - http://venturebeat. com/2016/10/04/how-a-i-is-revolutionizing-todays-workplace/ HBR. How Artificial Intelligence Will Redefine Management - https://hbr. org/2016/11/how-artificial-intelligence-will-redefine-management Thomas H. Davenport. 7 Ways to Introduce AI into Your Organization- https://hbr. org/2016/10/7-ways-to-introduce-ai-into-your-organization
  60. 60. REFERENCES 60 Fast Company. Can These AI-Powered Tools Help You Perfect Your Next Presentation?- these-ai-powered-tools-help-you-perfect-your-next-presentation? INC. Reid Hoffman: A.I. Is going to change everything about managing teams - html Venture Beat. launches enterprise bot converter to tear down walled gardens - converter-to-tear-down-walled-gardens/ NPR. Yay, It's Time For My Performance Review! (Said No One Ever) - http://www.npr. org/2016/09/28/495795876/yay-its-time-for-my-performance-review-said-no-one- ever HBR. The Benefits of Peer-to-Peer Praise at Work - benefits-of-peer-to-peer-praise-at-work Enplug. 16 Internal Communications Best Practices for 2016- https://blog.enplug. com/16-internal-communications-best-practices-for-2016 Science Daily. Companies must adapt internal communication as demographics change, study finds - releases/2016/02/160209161806.htm MLS Group The 2016 Employee Communications Landscape - http://www. aspx StaffBase. Why an internal communications strategy is important for companies - important-for-companies The Grossman Group. 5 Benefits of Having a Strong Internal Communications Strategy - having-a-strong-internal-communications-strategy TheIC Space. Developing an internal communications strategy - https:// communications/developing-an-internal-communications-strategy/ HBR. Design Your Employee Experience as Thoughtfully as You Design Your Customer Experience - as-thoughtfully-as-you-design-your-customer-experience Forbes. The Employee Experience Is The Future Of Work: 10 HR Trends For 2017 - experience-is-the-future-of-work-10-hr-trends-for-2017/#31f32d722214 IBM. Designing employee experience: How a unifying approach can enhance engagement and productivity - s?subtype=XB&infotype=PM&htmlfid=GBE03735USEN&attachment=GBE03735U SEN.PDF Fjord. Why great customer experiences start with employee experience design - start-with-employee-experience-design/ Sutherland Labs. Designing Employee Experiences (EX): The next wave of workplace innovation - experiences/ Gallup. State of the American Manager - state-american-manager.aspx Deloitte . The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey Winning over the next generation of leaders - About-Deloitte/gx-millenial-survey-2016-exec-summary.pdf