Gone are the days people spent their entire careers with one company, rising through the ranks and staying until they retire. Workers’ expectations and demands have changed dramatically, and companies that respond and adapt along with the changing landscape are the ones who will succeed. Employee engagement is vital to every company’s success, and one of the top ways to improve employee engagement is to facilitate internal communication.

Sounds good, right?  But what does it actually mean for companies in 2018? Here are four things you need to know to improve employee engagement this year.

1. Top companies leverage technology to replicate consumer experiences

Invest in technology that engages workers and makes their lives easier.

Last year, OCBC Bank released a mobile app strictly for its employees. Dubbed “HR In Your Pocket,” it provides a one-stop shop for employees to submit PTO requests, track benefits and peruse internal job postings. There’s even a chatbot to answer commonly asked HR questions. This solution requires a serious commitment of time and money to develop and deploy, but it provides the kind of experience we’ve all come to expect when interacting with large organizations and brands.

If you can’t build a custom app this year, you can start with apps such as Workplace by Facebook and Hootsuite Amplify that encourage employee interaction. Slack and Yammer allow employee chatter outside of email, and platforms like Jostle and Communifire offer social-based intranets. You can also create short videos containing information your employees need to know or even incorporate Facebook Live into your internal communications.

2. Great employers create engaging, high-quality employee content

Your employees are people, just like your customers. Great employers understand what their employees value, what needs they have and create engaging, high quality content tailored to them.

If you’re not sure where to start, talk to your marketing department — they may already be developing great content as part of their marketing efforts. Also, if you use e-mail marketing software for internal communications, dig into the analytics to learn more about what emails get opened, by whom, what links they click on, etc.

3. Successful companies are improving the remote working experience

When you make a concerted effort to include your remote/deskless employees in your internal communications, you also include them in the greater company culture — something remote workers are craving.

Leverage mobile communication solutions such as apps, SMS messaging, push notification tools and social media to engage your dispersed workers and make them part of the conversation. Slack and Yammer also keep remote workers involved by engaging them in more casual and social conversations.

4. Diverse, inclusive workplaces are more successful

Finally, there will be an even greater focus on diversity and inclusion in 2018. Research from McKinsey found that companies with more ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to perform better than their competitors, and those with greater gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to perform better than their competitors.

Weave diversity into everything you do, such as when onboarding new employees or communicating with customers or clients. Train leaders in the importance of inclusive leadership so that employees feel included and valued. One of the best ways to find out where you might be lacking is to ask your employees via an anonymous survey. Not only is diversity good for business, it is the right thing to do.

Want to talk about your internal communications challenges? Email us or call 317-631-6400.