10 Questions to Ask When Selecting an Internal Communications Solution

Ten questions that will help you determine the right employee comms platform for your organisation in 2020 and beyond.

Does your internal communications strategy need a refresh as you enter the New Year? Here are ten questions that will help you determine the right solution for your organisation in 2020 and beyond.

So, you’re tasked with improving internal communications at your organisation. You’re well aware that what you’re doing — email, company intranet, printed magazines or something else — isn’t working to improve engagement or provide effective communication to teams, but where do you go from here?

Determine how you can redefine your strategy for the better with your answers to these questions.

#1: What internal communications tools are out there?

In this digital world, we have a variety of options (at a variety of price points) beyond email from chat software, to cloud technology and even custom platforms.

Employee communications platforms are one cost-effective solution that leverages technology and implements some of the newest best practices, including making communication circular by inviting employee participation.

#2: What are your marching orders?

What is the overarching company strategic direction and vision? How does internal communications and your role fit in? Have you been asked to find better ways to promote your organisation’s values, and then to ensure communication helps deliver on those promises?

For example, if increasing team safety and compliance is an organisational initiative, are you able to transmit and deliver urgent safety information? Is part of your role to highlight individual contributors in fun and inspiring ways? Are you responsible for ensuring all communication is on-brand?

Make a list of all the internal communications responsibilities that dovetail from the broader organisation vision and goals.

#3: What types of communication do you need to put out there?

Again, make a list. It might look something like this:

  • CEO’s blog
  • Company and industry news
  • Employee recognition
  • Urgent news
  • Policy updates
  • Employee training
  • Safety information
  • Team-specific communication

#4: What devices do your users have access to?

Is your workforce diverse and desk-less? While some team members may have computer and email access, you may have quite a few whose only device for receiving company information is their smartphone.

What does that tell you? You need a solution that takes advantage of the “smart” in smartphone. The ideal smartphone-ready solution, such as an app, will allow for dynamic displays of multimedia content, push notifications, and other rapid, interactive communication.

#5: Who will your users be and how will they be engaged?

If the answer to the first part of this question is, “All of our staff, naturally,” then you’re likely interested in a solution that is inclusive and readily accessed by all, whatever device they are using and wherever they are.

And yet, an inclusive solution doesn’t mean you’ll want to blast every team member with every message. The best technology solutions these days take a page out of the marketing playbook, offering the ability to segment and target messages to the right audience for maximum engagement.

#6: What types of content do you want to generate, and where will that content come from?

If you’re unsure of the answer to this one, that’s OK. Being in the process of selecting a new communications solution means learning about the different types of content that are available to you in today’s digital landscape. Everything from video to polls to highly personalised content to company resource documents can be brought together in one comprehensive solution such as an employee app.

As well, when you’re accustomed to the communications team being the only responsible party for publishing content, it’s eye opening to realise that content collaboration can come from every corner of your office and even every location around the globe.

User-generated content is a great way to promote the work of individual teams, allow team members to raise awareness of what’s important to them, and to even recognise their peers.

#7: What do team members want?

If you’ve conducted a workplace survey recently, you may have some good insight into the particular pain points at your organisation. Even concerns raised that seem to have nothing to do with internal communication can be good fodder for retooling your communications strategy, since strong communications raise morale and engagement.

Some examples: If lack of recognition is an issue for employees, look for a tool that offers innovative ways to recognise employees, such as a peer-to-peer recognition functionality. If employees are feeling left out of company decision making, look for a tool that encourages comments and other feedback to the CEO and management.

#8: How big is your team, and do you have access to someone with technical expertise?

One challenge with technology tools is the reliance on that person or team — internal or external — who can help you build, implement, administer, and even troubleshoot your tech tool of choice.

If you have a small team without these technical resources, you may be interested in a platform-based solution that anyone can easily maintain. Our employee communications apps run on an easy-to-use content management system (CMS), empowering anyone with access to publish content and view analytics. 

#9: Is security important?

Let’s face it: Your employees are likely tech savvy, and if you’re not providing them with sophisticated technology solutions for communication, then they are probably communicating using popular apps like Whatsapp.

The trouble with employees taking matters of internal communications into their own hands is that many of these solutions — and therefore the employee conversations that are happening on them — aren’t secure. Look for a solution that prioritises the latest in security and compliance.

#10: Do you want to stay innovative?

If you’re considering a new technology tool, then the answer to this question is probably yes. Look for solutions that continually add new features, so you can keep engaging your workforce.

In line with staying innovative is the ability to see metrics about content and user trends. Having your data dialed in allows you to really know what your employees need and want, not just from internal communication, but from their very occupation and the business that employs them.

This knowledge brings great value to what you do every day in your role, and when you share it with others internally, can help the entire organisation improve.

Next steps…

Set up a conversation with us to talk about these important questions and your answers, and to learn whether an employee communications app would be the best choice for you. We’re happy to guide you in your selection of the right tools, as well as through implementation and beyond.