Could 2023 be your best year yet for employee communications? The right internal comms app will make all the difference (and allow you to show off photos of your super cute pet).
There are many parts to a good communication strategy. It needs to involve carefully crafted, well-branded content. It should also allow your entire workforce to contribute to the conversation (and share photos of their pets), which requires careful planning as well.
However, none of that will work if it’s not sitting on a powerful platform that’s designed to bring employees together through authentic and meaningful interactions.
There are many different platforms out there, and they all come with their own unique features – the one you choose will depend on the specific needs of your organization.
But there are some key features that you shouldn’t compromise on. Here are some of the must-haves to look for when you’re choosing your
new best friend internal comms app in 2023.
1. An intuitive and familiar interface
If you want your employees to actually use the platform you choose, you need to make sure it’s accessible and inviting. That means looking for solutions with an interface that’s pleasant and easy to navigate.
An environment that allows employees to hit the ground running means they don’t have to take time out of their busy schedules to learn the ins and outs of complicated programs. They can start engaging with their new app right away!
2. A mobile app
If you want to engage your deskless workers in particular, you need to meet them where they are – which means looking for solutions that are accessible on a smartphone. More than this, the solution you choose should be mobile-first, not just a website that’s technically accessible on a smartphone if you turn your phone on the side and wait for it to load.
But mobile-first is important for those working at a desk too. In an increasingly remote working world, keeping your employees truly connected and facilitating those conversations that happen so naturally in the office, but fizzle out when people are spread across locations, should be a top priority.
3. Push notifications
Of course, keeping your employees properly connected is hugely important for critical communications too. No matter the industry, chances are high that you’ll need to get an important message out to your entire staff at some point or another.
Embracing an app that allows you to set up push notifications means you can rest assured that any important information you send out will reach every single person in your organization, whether they’re using it on their desktop or their phone.
4. Surveys and polls
Surveys are a great way to discover how engaged your employees actually are and, as a result, whether you need to rethink your approach to internal comms and employee experience.
And you can use polls to get a quick snapshot of your employees’ opinions, for example when you’re looking to implement a new policy.
Something might seem like a great idea in head office, and it takes someone on the ground to point out an obvious problem. Besides, delivering a great employee experience means giving everyone a voice and ensuring they can actually use it to share their ideas.
It’s a no-brainer then: any communication platform you choose should make it easy for you to send out these surveys and polls, and for even your busiest employees to take part.
5. Open comms
The most effective communication doesn’t come from the top down. To really empower your teams, you need a solution that allows them to communicate with each other regardless of location, discuss problems, and even connect on a social level.
Opting for an app that embraces open communication will do wonders for your employee experience, and that’s something every company on the planet should be keeping front and center in 2023 and beyond.
Bonus points if your platform has social media-like functions like comments and emoji reactions, which all help to make things more fun and engaging. Take it from someone who expresses themself through the power of gifs on a daily basis – however annoying that might be for everyone around me ????.
6. A delighting scale
Our CMO Gidi is a big fan of what he calls the ‘delighting scale’. If you’re asking your employees to engage with a platform on a daily basis, they need to love it. It needs to be a safe environment that they can enjoy, feel inspired by, and actively participate in.
You probably operate on a delighting scale for your customers, so why not do the same for your teams? Even better, push your delighting scale to new heights and exceed your employees’ expectations.
Keep user experience and accessibility top of mind when you’re looking for your next internal comms compadre and you’ll be right on track for success.
7. A human focus
How you approach internal comms plays a big part in your employee experience. And to deliver a great employee experience, you need to focus on human and emotional connection.
Today’s workers have new priorities: they want more than tokenistic treats. They look for employers that will lead with compassion, empathy, and understanding. They want a workplace where they know they belong, can enjoy flexibility, and can approach colleagues at every business level.
An app that keeps your people at the heart of your internal comms, whether through promoting core values, sharing appreciation posts, or simply wishing a colleague ‘happy birthday’, is a game-changer.
8. A social feed and shared Spaces
Most people want to work at a company where they can have some fun and get to know their colleagues, even if they work from home or live in a different city or country. An employee app with a social feed is a great way to build an environment like this.
It gives employees the chance to upload photos of personal milestones, their pets, new baby pictures, and more – all things they’d probably see more often if they were working together in person.
With a social feed and individual Spaces, your comms team can also run engaging campaigns or set up groups where people can connect over their shared interests. Here at Workvivo, our most popular Spaces include Woofvivo, Watch & Listen, and Recipe Book.
No comment on how often I force my colleagues to look at photos of
officially the cutest dog in the world, seriously my Golden Retriever, Tupo.
A comms platform capable of integrations with third-party apps will be essential in 2023. Because we’ve shifted to a digital-first working world, employees need access to all kinds of technology in order to do their jobs, whether that’s organizing payroll or sharing a file with a coworker.
But tech stacks can easily get out of hand, and the chaos this brings can be damaging to the employee experience. Making people’s lives as easy as possible should be the goal, and a platform capable of app integrations will help you deliver what every worker really wants: a frictionless employee experience.
Everyone loves a podcast! My personal favorite right now is a wacky comedy called Valley Heat. Despite being a big horror movie fan, I’ve never felt much of an urge to jump on the true-crime podcast bandwagon.
But whatever your personal podcast preferences are, they’re absolutely worth exploring as a new way to communicate and engage with employees.
We’re all big music fans at Workvivo, so our own internal podcast invites employees to share three of their favorite songs with listeners. We get the opportunity to learn a bit more about the people we work with, both professionally and personally, which helps us build more meaningful and genuine connections.
11. Live video streams
If your teams are spread across multiple locations, the right internal comms tool will allow them to share experiences and events anyway.
If some of your teams attended an offsite that others couldn’t travel to, for example, they should be able to share the experience with their colleagues through a live stream at the touch of a button.
Live video can transform how you communicate with your people by making events like Town Halls more accessible, making real-time interactions possible, and improving leadership transparency.
12. Powerful workplace insights
If you want to get really good at internal comms, you’ll need to consistently review how your efforts are performing.
With the right internal comms app to hand, you should be able to analyze the content you share, whether it’s critical information or a thank-you post. Paying close attention to the kind of content that resonates with your staff, how they prefer to engage with it, and their thoughts and feedback on specific policies you communicate is really important to a great internal communications strategy.
Introducing Workvivo as your internal comms app
Workvivo is an employee communication platform with the power to bring your whole organization together. It helps your employees to communicate, share ideas, and better understand your organization’s core mission and values.
Employees from all parts of your organization can post updates, ask questions, and give shout-outs, and they’ll appear to other employees in a personalized news feed. Our employee recognition features can help you to build a culture of real-time, spontaneous peer-to-peer recognition. And you can easily send out polls and surveys that employees can respond to in just a few taps.
And did we mention? Our platform is fully accessible through our mobile app, which means it’s the perfect tool to engage every one of your workers – even those who don’t work behind a desk.
Want to learn more? Book a personalized demo to understand how Workvivo can help you supercharge your internal communications and set your organization up for success.