How to solve the most common internal comms problems
When one often thinks of internal comms, boring corporate documents come to mind. And the truth is that many companies still have this approach when delivering their internal information to their employees.
However, internal communication should be more than that. It should be a way of keeping employees informed, connected, and interested in everything company related. That is not always the case because, along the way, challenges often occur. Challenges that most internal communication departments face: keeping employees informed, creating engaging content, testing the effectiveness of the content, and much more.
Each of these problems, even though common, has a solution.
If you are interested in learning about internal communications best practices and how to solve some common internal comms problems, then the information from this article is for you.
Use of internal comms
There are different ways to word what internal communication is. Still, to put it simply, internal communication represents the exchange of messages and information within a company or organization. Furthermore, there are many solutions developed to serve as an enterprise contact center for internal teams.
This exchange occurs vertically and horizontally, and the information reaches everyone, from managers to stakeholders to regular employees. Moreover, the information can be delivered in different ways: electronically (newsletters, memoirs, videos), in print (magazines, flyers, brochures), and face-to-face, to name a few.
Internal communication improves knowledge and collaboration between departments, which leads to avoiding and solving internal problems quicker. It ensures that employees are informed, aligned, and working towards the same goal. Ultimately, it leads to increased productivity and profitability. Overall, internal communication is an essential part of any company.
The importance of internal communication
I already mentioned the different communication channels, so let’s look at the different purposes of internal communications. Besides these purposes, I will also mention the different types of publications you can create in Flipsnack that could help you.
Onboarding and orientation
Internal comms can be used for onboarding and orientation. To help the new employees transition smoothly to the new workplace. The process usually involves meeting colleagues and learning about the company’s policies, culture, and values. How can this be achieved? Through handbooks, videos, or on-the-spot training.
Why is it beneficial? By providing the necessary information and support from the beginning, employees will be more aligned with the company’s goals and more likely to stay with the organization. This seems to be an issue, as only 12% of employees consider that their organization excels at onboarding.
Training and development
Companies can also use internal communication for training and development. Since changes in a company occur constantly, training is a continuous process, especially in certain industries. Nowadays, Companies have internal departments to ensure employees are up-to-date and efficient. Training can be done through online courses or webinars, and retention can be tested through interactive quizzes, polls, and so on. Using a WordPress quiz plugin can be a valuable tool for creating engaging and informative quizzes that aid in assessing employee knowledge.
How does it help? By using internal comms for training and development, companies can ensure that their employees are ready for the job and always interested in learning and improving. In addition, keeping their employees trained will keep them engaged and interested in the job.
When a company goes through any changes, the internal communications department is responsible for sharing the news with employees. This includes updates on policies, new products or services, leadership changes, and other important information. But it can also include milestones or success stories.
Regardless of the types of messages delivered, the important thing is for these messages to be on point and aligned with the company’s overall tone. Corporate communications can be a good opportunity to maintain brand consistency, as you can use different branding options.
Periodical reports, whether we’re talking about annual reports, monthly or weekly, keep employees updated on their performance and progress toward organizational goals. There are also reports from visitor management systems to track and monitor visitors and employees entering your workplace. They also help identify trends and patterns in a company. Let’s say that an organization sets quarterly Objectives and Key Results, which they finalize without issues and in a shorter time than expected.
Since these OKRs should be challenging to achieve, the entire company can use the information from the periodical reports to set more realistic goals. Periodical reports can also help businesses make decisions, adjust goals, and increase employee accountability and efficiency.
Internal communication pain points
Now that we have mentioned the different areas internal communication plays an important role, it is time to look at various common pain points encountered in internal comms. However, rarely is there a problem that doesn’t have a solution, and we will see how any company can improve its internal communication. Besides the challenges, we will also include how you can solve them with Flipsnack. Making your publications interactive, seeing how well they perform, and restricting access, are just a few of the perks you get with Flipsnack.
Let’s take a closer look at them one by one.
1. No easy way to access
Any information you send to your employees is useless if they can’t access it easily. Unfortunately, this sometimes happens because of time constraints or the complicated information access process.
And the truth is that employees are not to blame for this one. Each employee has a busy schedule and higher priority tasks they need to complete, so they might need more time to access the provided information on time. Let’s say this is somewhat fine if the information is not urgent, but what if it is urgent and plays a crucial role in one’s job performance?
Think about a field agent who needs access to training documents which he should then use to train other people directly in stores. In such a situation, accessing the information on the go is imperative. The information should be displayed in an easy-to-understand and easy-to-access way.
On top of that, documents require constant modifications, and sending a document with each change you make can be difficult. Both to create and to access.
How can Flipsnack solve this problem?
Digital flipbooks can help with both problems: ensuring the information is easily accessible and the content is structured efficiently and easily updatable on the same link.
When creating an internal comms document, or any other type, you need to guarantee that the content is responsive on any device. That it offers the same quality, experience, and functionality whether accessed from a mobile device or PC.
With digital flipbooks, this is exactly what you get. Flipbooks, unlike PDFs, for example, are responsive on any device, so regardless of the device you use, you have access to the same level of quality.
Easy access to information is not enough; it must also be properly structured. For example, when employees open an internal document, they should be able to locate the information they need quickly. Combine the difficulty of accessing the document with a poorly made structure, and the results can have serious negative impacts.
And it is not an isolated case, as many companies struggle with this challenge.
Take Estée Lauder, for example. Although they had all their internal materials available, finding specific information was daunting for their employees.
Estée Lauder started using Flipsnack, and by doing so, the company perfected its employee training process. They created a digital training manual containing all the essential information a training agent needed. Since digital flipbooks can be shared as links, all their field agents bookmarked the link on their devices and had access to the information even when remote. And all the changes they made were on the same link. One document and access to information with one click.
Then they solved the second problem by dividing the document into chapters so the information could be accessed directly from the table of contents. The solution proved fruitful, as making the training manuals more accessible directly impacted their sales.
2. Lack of interactivity
In the previous chapter, I mentioned the importance of making the information easily available to your employees. However, the content they will read is just as important once they access the information.
Internal communication is crucial to any company as it keeps employees engaged and informed. The keyword here is engaged, but many companies still rely on traditional methods of communication.
They use memos, emails, or PDF files to convey information. However, reading plain text on a white background can be uninteresting and uninspiring. Static content doesn’t engage the reader in any way.
This leads to two common scenarios: employees ignore the shared documents, or they read them, but 2 minutes later, they cannot recall anything they have read. Wasted time and effort for both the organization and the employees.
How can Flipsnack solve this problem?
This is where digital flipbooks come in. Unlike static documents, digital flipbooks can include many interactive features. In digital flipbooks, you can include links, audio and video files, lead forms, charts, slideshows, embeds, and more.
This makes communication more enjoyable and engaging and helps the audience retain information more easily. Let’s take the case of Estée Lauder again. Instead of creating a simple text document, they created the document with the intention of improving retention. They added instructional videos, audio files, and other multimedia elements to help their employees learn the products better.
Flipsnack is built for interaction. It can easily deal with external videos, iFrames, mp3s, and more. It’s just brilliant. I love using it, and our teams are amazed by the level of interaction.– Korben Niblett, Director, Education & Content Development for Retail Engagement at Estée Lauder
That is only part of it. However, you can also use interactive elements to explain concepts that are more difficult to understand through simple text. In addition, external links can provide access to additional content, and internal links can be used to navigate the documents easier.
Interactivity has many uses beyond education, including motivation and communication. For example, to add interest to your monthly presentation, you could include a brief video from one of the executives or present the objectives in a similar format. It’s worth noting that a recent survey found only 23% of companies believe their employees are fully aligned with company goals.
To summarize, interactivity is crucial in internal communication as it creates engaging and unique experiences that genuinely connect with employees.
3. No option to test retention
The training process of an employee is only one part of the puzzle. Testing retention, and ensuring that the employee learns effectively, is the other. It can help with your internal comms strategy. But often, the process is one-directional: the employee gets a piece of information and is expected to learn and apply said information.
Feedback is missing in this scenario and is an essential part of learning. Feedback ensures the employee has received, consumed, and understood the information. It can also help with testing retention and knowledge and reinforcing learning. However, when testing retention, one usually sees the half-empty side of the glass; testing, verifying, and checking whether an employee does their job.
That is not the case, as feedback benefits both involved and should be seen as a collaborative process. It is in the company’s interest to ensure that the information is easily accessible and in the employee’s interest to learn it and be as efficient as possible.
How can Flipsnack solve this problem?
I mentioned in the previous chapter the importance of interactivity regarding retention and that engaging content helps with it. The benefit of using animated flipbooks is that you can gather real-time feedback, parse the gathered info using data annotation software, and easily keep your readers engaged through polls or quizzes.
Using the two in your internal documents turns passive learning into active learning. Right or wrong answers, open answers, and different types of questions to get the desired feedback.
The right or wrong quiz is used to test knowledge and should be used for educational purposes for the reasons I already mentioned. The open-answer quiz collects data from the readers based on your needs. You might want to find out what they think about the overall process or the document they read.
Regardless of the subject, getting feedback from your readers is essential, as it allows you to grow as a company. In addition, it allows you to see how effective your learning materials are and helps your employees grow. As mentioned before, the feedback process should be back and forth between the employee and the company, and by using quizzes, this is precisely what happens.
4. Lack of statistics
Like in any other domain or industry, statistics also play an important role in internal comms. The reason for that is the valuable insights into how employees interact with internal documents.
Based on the feedback obtained from analytics, companies can make data-driven decisions, thus ensuring the quality is constantly improving. In addition, statistics improve communication and ensure the messages are understood and used as intended.
However, in many cases, the feedback is missing, and even though the work isn’t done in vain, there surely are some missed opportunities. In addition, a lack of feedback will make it difficult for companies to establish whether the information they send is effective.
How can Flipsnack solve this problem?
When using Flipsnack, you no longer have to guess whether your employees have read the internal documents you have sent. Instead, you can use clearly defined statistics to determine your publications’ effectiveness. For example, statistics can help you determine the engagement level of your internal communication efforts.
From the included Flipsnack statistics, impressions and views matter the most for your internal communication goals, average time spent on the publication, and engagement.
Impressions and views represent the number of times employees have accessed and interacted with your flipbooks. Impressions count when someone has opened a document through an embed or the flipbook URL. Views count when an interaction occurs: page flip, click, or when the reader has spent more than five seconds on the page. The average time spent is self-implied: the amount of time the reader has spent on the document.
With engagement statistics, you can see how much readers have interacted with your publications. For example, what interactive elements did they click on, on what page were they, and how many times they clicked each element? These statistics show you exactly what content your employees are interested in and what information to include in the next digital newsletter.
You can look at individual flipbooks or page-level statistics for more in-depth analysis. For additional information, you can include Google Analytics in your Flipsnack account.
Keyword Studios used Flipsnack for their internal communication needs. First, they created engaging interactive documents to make them more appealing to employees. They then kept track of the data, analyzed what mattered the most to its situation, and made changes based on the collected information. The strategy proved successful, as they quickly obtained 4500 visits and 10000 impressions on their documents.
5. Limited privacy options
The previous paragraphs talked about the importance of connecting with the audience, and this paragraph focuses on the importance of ensuring that the internal documents fall exclusively in the hands of the right people.
Ensuring you can safely share your documents online is important. However, that is easier said than done, and some of the more common problems internal comms face include the following:
- Unauthorized access – when documents are accessed by people who should not be able to do so. Maybe these documents are easily accessible online somehow, or your workers lack relevant security tools, thus increasing the risk of cyber hacking. And that’s why employees must download VPN for extra encryption and official data protection in conjunction with using an ad blocker to minimize potential vulnerabilities posed by malicious ads and scripts.
- Data leaks – when employees share private documents with someone outside the company. This could happen either by forwarding or printing the publications.
- Lack of control – when documents are sent via traditional means, which do not enforce security measures. Think of a PDF shared through email. It can be forwarded to anyone who can access it without a password.
- No security measures – when the company does not ensure a way to protect its documents. No password, no strict control of the audience, and so on.
There is a solution for these issues, however.
How can Flipsnack solve this problem?
Using Flipsnack, you can take different security options, all to keep your documents safe and private. Depending on your company’s security needs, these are the actions you can take.
You can publish your documents as unlisted without being indexed by search engines. This will ensure that no one can find them online. The only way to access them is through a link. If you are worried that someone might gain access to the link, you can password-protect them. Additionally, you can share them with specific people via email or with readers from your workspace.
For extra security, you can share documents exclusively through an SSO system, assign user roles and permissions, and decide who can access the documents. Again, there are different solutions to different problems.
Keywords Studios, which I mentioned earlier, relied on the password-protect option to protect its documents.
Flipsnack has been a great tool for our HR Team’s communication needs. Their range of wonderful security options for our documents was the #1 selling point!Alisha VanTiem, Sr. Benefits Administrator
What makes an effective internal communications department?
To summarize all the information from the article, there are different ways an internal comms department can ensure their job is effective. It starts with the documents they create: newsletters, employee handbooks, and training manuals, to name a few. And it goes all the way to the solutions they can provide to make these documents more efficient: interactivity, ease of access, and security.
Internal documents do not have to be a slog to read through. They can be exciting, informative, and motivational if created with the right tool. Sure, you might face multiple internal comms challenges on the way, but Flipsnack can be the best solution for them.