The way we communicate everyday is changing. It is now easier than ever to get the right information in front of the right people. However, internal employee communication is not seeing the same technological advances. Employers are still relying on outdated communication methods. SocialChorus recently published a report focused on the technology gap in corporate communications.
Speaking about the study is Sonia Fiorenza, the vice president of content and engagement strategies for SocialChorus. She has a strong background in corporate communications at Gap, Amgen and SunAmerica and works directly with SocialChorus customers.
This text originally appeared on the SocialChorus site.
The most recent episode of ICology featured Sonia Fiorenza at SocialChorus regarding data from a recent survey of Communication and HR professionals. The data addressed several different challenges that communicators face but the data that was most overwhelming was around the use of technology in internal communications.
Sonia explained that SocialChorus conducted this survey to understand the challenges that internal communicators face. She knows from personal experience that often times internal comms needs to make a business case for any type of internal communication platform investment. Sometimes communicators have a hunch about how employees want to receive information but there needs to be data to back up those thoughts. Making assumptions in the world of internal comms about what employees want to hear and how they want to hear it can be damaging.
The data from the survey confirmed a lot of thoughts for Sonia and confirmed what she knew communicators were thinking and feeling. She commented that technology has completely changed how people interact with each other in their personal lives. Internal communication tools do not reflect the communication technology that is used everyday. In turn, internal communication teams have not overcome technology obstacles and are not meeting employees with how they want to be communicated with. Employees now have a much higher expectation when it comes to technology and communications.
Email was a brought up frequently during the survey. It was noted that email is the most frequently used method of communication. Sonia commented that email is what a lot of people in corporate America are comfortable with and used to. However the data also showed that ⅓ of employees do not have access to a computer and are out in the field. Email is missing a huge portion of the audience. Not to mention there is a new generation of millennials coming into the workforce who do not use email as a primary communication method.
Another growing problem for communicators that the survey touched on was engaging a remote workforce. Employees are not always in the office and organizations are increasingly becoming complex and distributed. The survey pointed out that this was a primary challenge for communicators. Sonia commented that employees who are on the front line don’t always have the tools they need to get the most accurate information from leadership and sometimes organization changes are not communicated quickly enough. The same technology that made it possible to have remote and on-the-go employees is the technology that organizations are lacking when it comes to communicating with employees. It was also noted that it is important as communicators to move past old assumptions when it comes to internal communication and look closer at how technology is shaping the way people communicate.