If you’ve ever asked yourself, “I need to organise an online event for my employees, which channel should I use?” you’re probably approaching things from the wrong angle.
Too often businesses focus on the channels they use to share messaging with their teams, rather than the experiences that they want their people to have.
When it comes to inspiring action, achieving business goals or driving change, it’s the experience that you create that will get you there – not the channel.
For example, perhaps learning and development is a big focus in your organisation right now. You want to make sure that the internal communications experiences you create lend themselves to the behavioural outcomes you want to see. These experiences will encourage your people to apply for promotions, sign up for a new course or share best practice and knowledge with their peers. With those outcomes front of mind, we can then think about where the best place would be to create those moments of inspiration, connection or action.
A news channel can support our learning development, storytelling and conversations.
A discussion forum would allow people to recommend, peer to peer, the courses and learning experiences they’ve had.
Another example? Perhaps your business has opened a new store overseas, and you want people in all your sites to get excited about it. You may want to help your people understand why that location was chosen, and how that decision fits in with the overall business strategy.
With that in mind, it might be worth creating a more interactive and immersive experience to help your people see for themselves. You might consider a virtual world where people could wander into the store, look around and interact with the fittings, facilities and products, to help them understand why this location is such an important part of your business’ growth strategy.
In both examples we’re looking at the goals and the outcomes of behavioural change. The channel supports the experience we want our people to have, and therefore their understanding in whatever messaging we’ll be sharing with them.
We find time and time again that the most innovative internal communications teams know the difference between a channel and an experience – and in investing in those experiences.
Of course, we’re not always given the agency of choice. It might be that you have incumbent platforms in your internal communication suite that you have to work with. But still, understanding the experience and what you want your people to do will still inform which channels you choose – and whether you need to tailor or tweak them to provide your employees with the best possible experience.
This kind of thinking might also help you establish a business case for a new platform or channel that will help support your internal communications goals and objectives. The fact you’ve thought about the experience, and what you want your people to do as a result, can be a very compelling case for budget and resource.
Now is the time to evaluate your internal communications, digital strategy and the kind of experiences you want your people to have, so you can invest in them in the future.