Effective internal communication not only makes for productive, engaged and happy employees, but also for an agile organisation, good corporate culture and optimal external communication. A digital workspace brings together everything you need – including the intranet – in one place, making it the hub of your internal communications. Our expert tips will help your digital workspace to easily and effectively improve your internal communication.
Intranet versus digital workspace
A lot of internal communication takes place digitally these days. Witness for example the popularity of tools such as Microsoft Teams, Yammer and Slack. Because organisations often still need to find their own way in this and technology is changing rapidly, there are great opportunities for improvement and optimisation. Especially if you include the integration of internal communication tools within the digital workspace.
Now you may think: “A digital workspace for internal communication? We have the intranet, right?” That is correct. But a modern digital workspace such as Workspace 365 brings everything together in one environment: applications, information, documents, processes, tasks and also parts of the intranet. This makes the digital workspace the platform for mutual information exchange and you can use it as a starting point for improving your internal communication.
Tips to improve internal communication
The following tips will ensure that employees are better informed, can work together more easily and encounter fewer frustrations, thanks to the digital workspace.
Which tools are your weapons of choice?
Microsoft Teams, Yammer, Slack: there are many excellent tools available for internal communication these days. It is important to start by thinking carefully about the tools you want to use. Do some research on whether the current tools match the wishes and goals of the teams and team members, and adjust your landscape for communication applications if necessary.
The same communication tools for everyone
A Finance department that uses Teams for instant messaging and HR using Slack? Branch A using Google Meet for video calls and branch B using Zoom? If that’s the case, it makes internal communication awkward and information disappears into silos. Make sure people all have, and use, the same communication tools. Reduce the number of tools to a minimum. Separate platforms for instant messaging and video calling, for example, are not necessary if you use Microsoft Teams.
Communication channels immediately visible
It is an evolutionary law: the usage of a means of communication decreases as soon as other means appear that require less time to use. If you extend this law to the digital workspace then you have to make sure that communication channels are immediately and clearly visible on the dashboard so that it takes as little effort as possible to use them.
For Workspace 365, you can envisage for example, a Yammer live tile and a prominent place for the communications centre.
Make sure information is clear
Communication is more than just messages that go from person to person or from person to group. It is also about sharing information through other channels. Like document management, which becomes easy via a digital workspace: files such as documents and photos can be easily collected, tracked, sorted and stored.
Workspace 365’s document application – which can integrate SharePoint, OneDrive and the network drive into a single document management system – makes searching for documents speedy and simple thanks to its global search feature.
The right channel for the message
Nowadays, there are so many communication channels that you have to think carefully: what information do we send via which channel? It is not ideal to send everything through one channel, because then everything ends up in one pile and information is hard to find. First of all, investigate what types of information there are, how they are currently shared and what employees think about this.
Yammer for example, could be used for crowdsourcing ideas. Emails for important company information. And in Workspace 365, the message centre could be used for shorter news items such as event announcements or housekeeping notices.
The right message for each target group
The problem today is not too little, but too much information. With all the IT technologies available, we are being bombarded with so much information that it can lead to information stress.
The solution: because not all information is interesting and useful to everyone, you should ensure that only relevant information is communicated to groups of people. This can be done by setting up user groups or Yammer groups, for example.
Good to note: in the sea of information flows, companies often forget to communicate a particular message, namely the bigger picture of the company. Things like major new orders, innovations or management changes. Communicating about these aspects increases engagement and strengthens corporate culture.
Use the power of video calling
The power of video needs no further explanation. You can also use it to make a big impact in your internal communication. You can integrate videos directly into the dashboard of the digital workspace, like informative videos about the company and business processes.
Information about best practices, for example, is more likely to be remembered in video form. Thanks to videos on the dashboard, remote employees in particular can become more involved in the company and get to know the organisation better.
Since the start of the pandemic, video calling has become an integral part of business life. Video-calling tools such as Microsoft Teams are easily integrated into the digital workspace, so that the threshold for video-calling becomes lower. It also makes it easier to video-call with the team for 15 minutes every day, which is of great added value because communication via instant messaging has proven to be much less in-depth than video calling.
Strengthen the social dimension
Internal communication is, of course, there to facilitate working well together and being productive. It also serves a social purpose: it ensures mutual cohesion within the company and general involvement, among other things.
A social intranet can be integrated into the digital workspace. Employees can form virtual communities and share and like posts, for instance. Encourage them to contribute to the intranet. This creates meaningful conversations that strengthen relationships and lay the foundation for improving business goals.
The success of your internal communication depends on many factors, such as the number of people participating, the performance of your company and technological changes. That is why a periodic evaluation is necessary.
Via Microsoft Forms, an online survey tool that is part of Office 365, you can easily integrate a survey into the digital workspace. This allows you to discover what is going well and what is not. Not a superfluous luxury: after years of predominantly remote working, most companies still do not know what works best; a survey among employees helps to choose the optimal strategy for internal communication.
An additional benefit of collecting feedback is that it can help improve company culture and diversity. According to research by Salesforce, employees who feel they are heard are 4.6 times more likely to be motivated and feel they are doing their best work.
Another feedback tip: put a physical mailbox in a quiet area where people can anonymously post their ideas for internal communication. Many people do not show their true colours in online surveys because they doubt the complete anonymity, while they may have good ideas and it is important that they feel heard.
Workspace 365 as facilitator of internal communication
Workspace 365 is a digital workspace that integrates everything into one environment, from applications, documents and information to processes and tasks. You can also integrate the existing intranet or parts of it. Social intranet elements that improve internal communication include a messaging function and Yammer.
With Workspace 365, information for employees is brought together clearly and is easy to search. It makes working together easier and faster. For example, Micro Apps allows tasks to be handled within the workspace and the Activity feed allows notifications to be integrated and tasks to be completed from the feed.
In addition, Workspace 365 is a so-called adaptive workspace: the workspace adapts to the person’s profile including role, location, device and network.