A successful internal communications (IC) strategy works with many of the same principles as successful consumer campaigns. The key is understanding what you want to say, who you want to say it to and then working out the best way to deliver the message.
With this in mind I believe this year we are going to see massive growth in the use of mobile platforms as an internal communications tool in South Africa.
Many of New Media’s clients have very diverse workforces with varied means of accessing information. Some are in offices, others work on factory floors or remotely and others spend their days in their cars. The answer to connecting with a remote or deskless workforce, particularly in South Africa, is the mobile phone. We are seeing many organisations shifting their IC away from intranet or other closed digital environments, to mobile-friendly platforms.
Sophisticated mobile platforms
South Africans are, despite high data costs, early adopters of new tech and very used to accessing info on mobile devices. We are a very sophisticated mobile market. So, the trend towards mobile-first strategies will definitely continue and all the clients we work with are seeing an increase in engagement on mobile platforms.
When it comes to creating engaging internal communications content that works effectively on mobile, I expect to see more local companies licensing global IC platforms such as Facebook’s Workplace and Social Chorus to drive two-way engagement that give staff a voice within the organisation through social listening.
Mobile-friendly tools have the ability to increase engagement with the company and give staff a voice to report what is happening outside of the office environment.
Feeling heard helps employees remain connected to their colleagues, and mobile communication can meaningfully connect team members that may not have otherwise interacted.
The challenge, particularly in South Africa’s economically diverse work space, is creating digital content that can work across a diverse range of devices. This is critical to ensuring that all employees buy into the tools. In some instances, companies are facilitating this by providing company smartphones and data to help employees stay connected.
Effective connections across the workforce can help foster a culture of belonging, which of course encourages ownership of a company’s success. Mobile is a consummate connector and perpetuating the level of engagement possible using this tool leads to motivation, which leads to good performance – the ultimate positive outcome of any IC strategy.
Brendan Cooper is head of internal communications at New Media. He is a copywriter, content strategist and social media strategist.