Internal communication is a vital part of any organization. In fact, productivity can increase by 20 to 25% in companies where employees are connected, and only 13% of employees describe themselves as “highly engaged.”
Whether it be an email, memo, or newsletter, internal communication helps keep employees connected and informed about company happenings. However, the sad truth is that many people don't read these communications because they are so poorly designed. Today we’ll focus on designing compelling internal communications that people actually want to read.
Chances are, you’re using the media mentioned above as communication tools because that’s what the company’s been doing for years. In the last couple of decades, however, the importance of internal communications and advocacy within organizations has grown a lot. Employees have social media accounts, both personal and professional.
And to make sure you’re getting the right message across, it's important that your visuals are compelling enough for people to want to read. That means using images and words together in a way that paints an interesting picture or story so readers don't feel like they're being lectured at. The best internal communications combine content with design elements. Good design is crucial because it helps capture attention and creates strong emotional connections between employees and their organizations.
Cierra Selby, an Internal Comms Expert and Digital Marketing Consultant, agrees. "Humans naturally process visuals much faster than they do language, so using visuals in internal communication is a powerful way to instruct, inform, and share complex information within a team, department, or across the entire organization."
Addressing visual designs in internal communications can be tricky if you're not confident about what resonated with people. So here are some quick tips on how to create appealing communications that people will want to consume from start to finish.
Keep it Simple and Hassle-free
Employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than read. Especially when it comes to training. That’s why investing some time into custom video presentations can mean the difference between putting a message out to employees and having them actually consume the content.
Charts and graphs are nice, but only if they’re well understood, labeled and get the point across. When you’re communicating numbers in company presentations, think less about the raw data, and more about what it means. There’s a story that goes along with the numbers, with about 65% of people being visual learners, graphs sound like an obvious choice.
However, when you can tell the story more clearly, your employees are more likely to understand it and retain the information. How much more likely? Apparently 22 times more likely according to a Stanford study.
Think about how the content will be accessed
Even if it’s just an email, consider the usability of your content. How is it meant to be accessed? Is it easy to find? More than likely, your internal communications will have to live in a variety of places if you want it to be helpful. For instance, it could be a mistake to assume that employees will save every important email that comes their way. You should also store important content on a company intranet or blog so that people can find what they need when they need it.
Chances are your company intranet is also outdated or rarely visited. Incentivize engagement by making it an important and fun site to visit. Usage metrics aren’t just for your corporate site, you can use them internally as well to see how your content is performing. Just like you wouldn’t waste time blindly creating marketing content that isn’t hitting engagement metrics, some analytics can give you a realistic view into whether or not your internal communications are serving their purpose.
Lead by Example
If your company’s top leaders aren’t engaging with or promoting content internally, it’s going to be very hard to get everyone else on board. Be thoughtful about including leaders in content and think about who the author or sender should be.
If there are opportunities in your internal communications systems to add comments or otherwise engage, leadership should be present. This tells everyone else at the company that this information is valuable and encourages others to consume and interact with it.
Don’t forget that people love to read about people, and they love to be recognized. Appreciated employees feel more delighted and are less likely to leave. And with two-thirds of tech industry workers believing they could find a better job in less than 60 days if they took the time to look, spending a little time on employee recognition in internal communications can pay off big time when it comes to retention.
Well-designed internal communications should reflect the branding and quality of the organization delivering it. That’s why you should invest in design not only for your prospects, but for your employees.
So where does Meaningful Gigs fit in with this? We're not just for creative, marketing, and product teams that want impactful design to attract and retain customers. We've helped enterprise teams design and build amazing internal communications presentations and platforms that capture attention. If you're curious about what we can do for you, schedule a quick, no-obligation intro call here.