A virtual workforce is likely here to stay—maybe not en masse but in some hybrid form.

A survey of Fortune 500 CEOs revealed that 26% of them believe at least some of their newly virtual employees will remain that way forever. Additionally, a Gartner research study found that out of 2,500 employees, more than two-thirds of them want to work remotely for a part of the work week—and more than half said they would love to permanently work from home. 

This new work environment means that internal communications is now more important and relevant than ever. 

As business leaders anticipate the future of the workplace, they will be prioritizing the role of internal communications and how this function needs to adapt. Internal communicators have an opportunity to position the function strategically as a necessary element to defining connections, communication and, ultimately, culture in an organization.

You’ll need a strategy that outlines communication goals, establishes an ongoing cadence, incorporates company mission and vision and, finally, defines and measures success with metrics like intranet visits, downloads, social shares, etc. Metrics may pay dividends in obtaining further investments for additional  internal communication tools.  

If you want to immediately make an impact on your new hybrid workforce, consider these three communication must-dos:  

1. Maintain transparency.

Be open, authentic and accountable—from the top down. Video is a great way to showcase transparency by leaders, especially with a dispersed and remote workforce. Videos shouldn’t be overly produced—professional, yet credible and natural. At Westcomm, we use high-quality recording equipment as well as video recordings via Teams or Zoom (or even a smartphone!) to help leaders deliver company updates.  

2. Invest in your intranet. 

As more organizations allow hybrid working arrangements, the intranet is growing in importance. Intranets act as a central repository for employees. Plus, they provide a consistent way to connect people—regardless of location. Dedicated spaces on the intranet—for senior leaders, news updates, employee idea-sharing, etc.—provide go-to spots for employees to get information and stay engaged. In addition, a place to post questions and get responses in a timely manner helps with engagement, understanding and job commitment.  

3. Consider new channels.

While traditional internal communication methods should still be leveraged, employees today want communications on the go and all in one place. More companies are using internal mobile apps for accessing and sharing information companywide. Additionally, digital platforms like SocialChorus, Workplace and Yourco are becoming more popular because they allow companies to deliver communications to employees the way they prefer—email, text, etc. Plus, they use features like groups, chats, rooms and more to connect and engage people.  

Get organized now and advocate for investments and improvements to your company’s internal communication efforts. 

A well-defined strategy will allow you to build in technology and obtain tools that will keep your employees engaged. You want to be able to flex and adapt while your workforce does the same. If you want to brainstorm ideas, we’re happy to connect with you and share ideas.  

Reach out at helloindy@westcomm.com or follow us @westcomm on LinkedIn for more insights.

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