Socio-economic phenomena like Covid-19 and the resultant distributed workforce, “Quiet Quitting”, and “The Great Resignation” highlight the criticality of internal communications to boost employee engagement and Employee Experience (EX). As global HR analyst Josh Bersin recently observed, HR leaders have “ramped up the volume, frequency, and transparency of their communications.” Companies with engaged workforces outperform competitors by more than 200%. Conversely, in the USA alone, disengaged employees cost organisations around $450–550 billion each year from absenteeism, reduced productivity, backfilling roles and workplace accidents!
Engaged employees deliver a superior Customer Experience (CX). Recent Gallup research shows that great internal communications can increase your profits by around 23% by improving on-boarding and retention, acquisition through referrals, and loyalty and productivity through enhanced well-being. A comprehensive internal comms strategy delivered via a versatile and secure platform are the cornerstones of great employee engagement, so many businesses are turning to Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS). With CPaaS deployment rising 33% year-over-year during the pandemic, adopters will be delighted that the ROI of CPaaS goes beyond CX to boost engagement and Employee Experience (EX).
Refreshing Your Internal Comms Strategy
According to the Office of National Statistics, in February 2022, 84% of workers working from home (WFH) due to C-19 wanted to permanently adopt hybrid working, with only 8% wishing to go back to the office. Businesses are therefore faced with the challenge of engaging a highly distributed workforce who utilise a variety of devices and channels. In addition, the hybrid working trend has raised employees’ expectations. They want internal communications to be as seamless, multichannel and mobile-first as their personal B2C interactions. HubSpot’s 2022 Hybrid Work Report corroborates this as, of the 10,000 workers surveyed, 30% want their company to foster a stronger work culture by investing in engagement, and 28% by improving communication tools.
In addition to these developments, talent shortages in IT, Sales & Marketing, Operations, Manufacturing, and Customer Relations mean businesses need to go the extra mile to attract the best people. To put this into perspective, Korn Ferry estimates that by 2030 there’ll be a shortage of 85m tech workers, amounting to $8.5t of lost revenue per annum.
Competitive financial compensation isn’t enough. Companies must also demonstrate an inclusive and engaged culture. “How has your culture been impacted by Covid?” has become a key question candidates ask in interview. Organisations that can demonstrate how their innovative, agile internal communications strategy is continuously improving their culture, are far more attractive to top talent than businesses with a disconnected workforce.
To remain relevant, HR, C-suite, managers, teammates, and Crisis and Change leaders need to implement real time, two-way, highly targeted internal communications with employees and potential hires, on their chosen channel, with bulk, group and personalised messaging at scale.
Successful internal communications also depend upon actionable insights from employee feedback and segmented, real time engagement metrics, analytics and reporting, all of which a good CPaaS provides as standard.
5 Mobile Internal Comms Strategies
Below are 5 ways an innovative internal mobile communications strategy can forge genuine connections between your business and your employees to overcome the challenges outlined above.
1. Superior On-boarding
Research shows that excellent on-boarding improves employee retention by 82% and productivity by 70% and yet, according a recent Gallup poll, only 12% of businesses are doing it well. Whilst referrals are a fast, cost effective hiring method, with great retention, 20% of new hires are unlikely to refer due to a lousy on-boarding experience.
98% of text messages are opened compared to 20% of emails, so use CPaaS to elevate the EX by sending SMS welcome messages, forming a WhatsApp Group to introduce new hires, or securely sharing on-boarding and training documentation. A faster, more intimate on-boarding creates a sociable atmosphere, helping new employees feel included and laying the foundation for great Employee Lifetime Value (ELTV).
2. Increase Employee Retention
Worryingly, a 2022 Gallup survey shows 60% of people are emotionally detached at work and 19% are actively miserable. This tallies with Microsoft’s research showing that 41% of employees are considering leaving their job. The fallout potential is huge as 63% of businesses say retaining employees is harder than hiring, and customer service (24.5%) and reduced productivity (21.1%) are the two main areas negatively impacted. Given that creating a highly engaged workforce can improve retention by up to 54%, it’s clear utilising CPaaS to boost internal comms, as well as CX,, will increase your ROI.
Employees who feel appreciated are likely to stay. A few years ago, E.On implemented a “recognition scheme” that increased the number of employees who felt valued by 13% by its second year. You can emulate and update this idea by sending personalised mobile messages of thanks to high-performing staff via CPaaS.
Wellness, Loyalty, and Referral Programs reduce employee churn. A campaign of timely text notifications about participation will elevate engagement, improve program uptake and help employees maximise these benefits, enhancing the EX.
3. Enhance Employee Efficiency
Whilst collaboration tools are vital, the uptick in Slack, Zoom, Teams, and email, usage can backfire causing information overload and slashing efficiency. As a 2021 Harvard Business Review study shows “Time spent on email, IM, phone, and video calls — has risen 50% or more over the past decade to consume 85%…of most people’s work weeks.” To combat this, when you design your CPaaS internal communications strategy, ensure you streamline the EX by designating a preferred channel for each type of comms, with one automatic backup channel if people don’t open the initial message.
4. Staying Calm in a Crisis
Company or industry news like security threats or a stock market crash, which can impact your brand or business operations, should come from the company and not the rumour mill. Information needs to be delivered at high speed on the right channel. When responding to these types of events, employees often work out of hours and off-site, so timely mobile communications are critical to minimise risk. CPaaS enables streamlined, always-on internal comms, allowing the business to lead the narrative in times of crisis and during high impact positive change like M&A activity.
Transparency and trust are a two-way street, so CPaaS’ bidirectional, real time comms capabilities are ideal as employees can ask questions and feel heard as well as informed. CEOs and Management led “ask me anything” sessions over instant messenger are a great way to keep people calm and prevent problems escalating.
5. Achieving Engagement Beyond Internal Comms
CPaaS also boosts engagement and EX by enabling non-coders to customise aspects of applications like permissions and access and create mini comms strategies like auto-responses.
This frees IT to deploy the complex elements of CPaaS business-wide. CPaaS’s suite of APIs and SDKs mean even a small, busy IT department with limited resources can enhance their communication apps.
Employee engagement is clearly a crucial success factor. The statistics show that engagement, EX and ELTV metrics are as important as CX and CLTV. To meet the demands of the business, customers and employees, CPaaS offers the flexibility of both a ready-to-use and highly customisable solution. It’s no wonder that the global CPaaS market is predicted to reach $USD 21.7 billion by 2025, as businesses seeking to lead the way adopt this versatile technology.