‘Noise, noise, and more noise’ - That’s the biggest headache facing Internal Communication (IC) experts today according to delegates at the IABC World Conference (International Association of Business Communicators), June 2016, New Orleans.
SnapComms interviewed several IC experts to hear first-hand about their biggest challenge, and the ubiquitous problem of employees not listening, aka information overload.
Sarah Perry, CEO at SnapComms, summarises their comments: “Key company messages are getting drowned out. There’s so much other content competing for employees’ time. It’s become almost impossible to discern what’s worth reading, and what’s not.
“There are so many channels for employees to navigate through – such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and enterprise collaboration tools – that getting the right message in front of the right people at the right time is now the crux of IC. Information overload has reached crisis point.”
Sarah adds, “There seems to be a genuine appetite amongst internal communicators to try something bold, something new, particularly in the space of employer-to-employee communications: it’s time to think differently.”
The conference, which attracts more than 1,200 internal communication specialists from around the world, is dubbed the internal communications industry event of the year.
In addition to key challenges, SnapComms asked delegates which topics they’re communicating in the year ahead, and tips for getting employee attention. Topics varied: these ranged from cyber/information security; reputation building; employee engagement; and customer service excellence. Interestingly, their tips for getting employee attention remained along similar lines: ‘anything that is disruptive, unexpected and innovative’.
Attention-grabbing tools such as employee desktop alerts and scrolling screen ticker messages fulfilled this role, bypassing email completely. For permanent employee behavioral change, an IC ‘campaign’ solution is effective, particularly if there is a specific topic that needs addressing. A drip fed campaign comprises a bundle of multi-format messages followed by a validation asset confirming employee acknowledgement.