By 2020, the global workforce will be dominated by millennials and generation X, both representing 35 percent of the global labour pool. Gen Z comes in a nice second with 24 percent. In addition to that, the way we communicate with each other has probably never taken a bigger turn than it has in the last decade. These developments cause new internal communication trends: the future’s here, and it’s eliminating traditional forms of employee communication.
These are the trends in internal communication we predict for 2020:
1. Get mobile
In the US, from 2012 to 2018 the total daily amount of time spent on mobile devices by adults increased by a whopping 115 minutes. This includes Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z – the final two generations both being digital natives. On average, we’re spending 203 minutes a day on our phone, compared to 88 in 2012. In 2019, for the first time in history, we spent more time on the internet than watching TV. Mobile and tablet traffic have passed desktop traffic since October 2016.
Numbers don’t lie: we love being mobile. This means, if you want your employees to be aware of the information you want to share with them, send it directly to their smartphones. This way, it’s accessible from anywhere at any time. To maximize results, however, provide your non-mobile employees (yes, they still exist!) with other methods of communication like digital signage or a corporate screensaver. Publish the same message via different channels to make sure it reaches everyone.
2. Instantly inform
With the amount of information that’s coming at us every day, we don’t want to have to spend time searching for the right information. Our brain can only remember four tasks at a time; add one more and we start forgetting. As a result, simply trying to remember all information and tasks during a day just isn’t an option. However, your employees can’t afford spending hours a day ransacking clutters of information just to find the five-sentence note they were looking for, either. Therefore, instantly informing is the way to go. In this case, instantly informing your employees means helping your staff by directing them to the right information without any delay.
Provide clear and smooth access to shared spaces to collaborate and share files in. Make use of a space like the intranet that everyone can easily access. Then, to instantly inform your employees, make the information ‘find them’ instead of the other way around. This can be done via digital signage, or even better, via interactive corporate screensavers. When all they have to do to get to the right information is click their mouse, your employees will be able to make the most of their time at the office.
3. No more infobesity
Instantly informing doesn’t mean sending out as much information as you can. As we head into 2020, a lot of employees still feel increasingly distracted by the continuous flow of information at work and at home. During a working day, this continuous flow, including e-mails and phone calls, is distracting your employees from focussing on their jobs. In 2019, this case of infobesity isn’t new, but it’s still a problem 44% of US employees worry about.
To avoid letting your employees’ good health and productivity suffer from infobesity, consider reducing the amount of information you shoot into your organization by tailoring it to your employees’ needs (and cutting irrelevant info!). Try creating a simplified experience by targeting your information, using several channels to segment your messages. Make sure the information that makes the cut consists of small chunks your personnel can choose to read more about when they desire: bite-size is the right size.
4. Increased focus on data
If you don’t measure, you don’t matter. Speaking of infobesity: technology has significantly contributed to the ability of collecting data on just about anything. Some organizations are now collecting data just because they can, but other organizations depend on big data to determine their business strategies. However, big data is only useful if you can turn it into valuable results. If you can’t turn big data in to actionable results, it only contributes to the information overload that’s causing a dip in workplace productivity. Yet, if you have succeeded in turning big data in to valuable results, employees can still struggle to remember and recall the right information.
Your business can significantly benefit from your employees recalling information more effectively – the right information can cause an improvement in employee productivity and increased quality of work. To maximize the value of your data scientists’ work in your organization, help your employees remember and recall the actionable results you drew from your big data. For example, connect PowerBI to your digital signage screens to zoom in on your business processes and present real time data to your employees. Showcase data across your workforce, visualize them and direct your employees straight to them: display them on several channels throughout your organization. Making your data easier to find and showing your staff how interesting actionable data is, will improve their productivity and increase their quality of work.
5. Visualize, interact, entertain
As the amount of millennials in the workplace grows, the world of internal communications changes; millennials are adventurous. The old means of sharing company news are the exact opposite: a weekly newsletter and long, boring articles or e-mails aren’t the adventure or entertainment millennials are looking for. On top of that, they’re far from the means millennials usually use to consume information: via their smartphones (get mobile!). But not only millennials, gen X and gen Z like to be entertained; even Baby Boomers are increasingly using the internet and social media for entertainment.
So, what’s enticing about social media …? It’s visual and interactive. If you want your employees to engage in your internal communication, make it visual and interactive (and entertaining, if possible). Use visual storytelling, GIFs or photos. Provide possibilities for interaction, like an option to comment on your newsflashes. Share infographics, videos or games with your employees: make it dynamic!
Whatever internal communication trends will take over internal communication in 2020, we’re sure one trend has stuck and will stick throughout the years: good internal communication can do wonders for employee engagement. Good internal communication begins with good software. So, contact us for a free demo to start the New Year off right!