The past two years have seen the modern workplace evolve at an unprecedented pace. As remote and hybrid work continue to put new demands on businesses, they’ll also herald in new internal communications trends in 2022.
Worldwide, organizations are facing a new normal. Driven by digital transformation and remote work, companies are rethinking how they connect and engage staff. And internal communications sits at the forefront of organizational efforts to adapt.
In this post, we’ll help you comb through this year’s top internal communications trends. We’ll also spotlight practical ways to implement these trends in your own business.
Pro tip: Use an all-in-one internal communications tool to stay on top of the latest internal comms trends in 2022. When you use an external marketing tool like Mailchimp for internal communications, you’ll stumble into roadblocks in email design and privacy. ContactMonkey helps you avoid these challenges.
16 Top Internal Communications Trends for 2022
It’s true that the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to introduce new challenges for businesses. But at the same time, it offers an opportunity for companies to redefine and improve their internal communications. Here are just a few internal communication trends to point you in the right direction.
1. Hybrid work communications
As businesses slowly move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, hybrid work models will begin to substitute remote work. Shopify, Apple, and PwC are just some of the big brands that plan to initiate or maintain a hybrid workplace.
For internal communicators, this will mean playing a balancing act. Leveraging digital technology to connect in-person and remote employees will become crucial. Some strategies that can help include:
- Increasing the frequency of company-wide newsletters to keep remote and hybrid teams in the loop—including return to work communications.
- Implementing more video-based team-building events.
- Using employee SMS to deliver urgent information to remote and deskless workers just as fast as to in-person employees.
Pro tip: Use ContactMonkey’s pre-made responsive email templates and custom branding options to send internal emails faster, more frequently, and at scale—all while ensuring brand consistency.
2. Strong leadership communications
As employees are inundated with information (and misinformation) in the age of social media, it’s important for business leaders to serve as reliable sources. That means being honest, authentic, and transparent across your leadership communications.
Whether the company is hitting its highest quarter, or going through a difficult time, leaders need to tell their employees like it is. They need to be figures of trust and guidance. Implementing more consistent and more personal communications is the best way to start. Some other ideas to consider include:
- Using mail merge in Outlook to personalize leadership emails by automatically adding individual employee names into the subject line and body text of emails.
- Leveraging video internal communications to add personalization through audio and visual elements.
- Avoiding corporate jargon and opting for more simple, straightforward, and down-to-earth language
Pro tip: use an HTML email template builder like ContactMonkey to embed video and audio elements into your leadership communications.
3. Emphasis on corporate social responsibility (CSR)
With so much going on in the news these days, it will ultimately be impossible for businesses to avoid speaking on pressing public issues. In fact, studies show that 86% of employees think that company leaders should speak out on societal problems and injustices. Foremost, this includes speaking up in your internal communications.
Leaders will not only need to step up transparency in their messaging, but they will also need to reflect on their company values. It will be important to tie in social issues to relevant organizational principles such as diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and equitable hiring. Here’s how leaders can breach these topics with their teams:
- Guided discussions during virtual town halls.
- Implementing employee coaching and training courses on relevant topics.
- Promoting resources that reflect corporate social responsibility initiatives.
4. Focus on employee wellness
According to McKinsey, only one in six employees say that they feel sufficiently supported by employers when it comes to mental health and wellness. In a period of rapid change and uncertainty, companies will need to make a bigger effort.
Offering and promoting more and better employee wellness resources will become a leading priority for internal communicators. At the same time, it will be the responsibility of communications teams to learn what supports employees truly need and connect them to the right resources. So what does this look like in practice?
- Conducting regular employee wellness surveys to find out what resources employees need in regards to their wellbeing.
- Encouraging employees to provide anonymous feedback on mental health/wellness struggles they may be facing.
- Encouraging leaders to send empathetic and transparent leadership communications during times of crisis.
- Launching mental health and wellness virtual events, webinars, and other visual resources that can truly engage employees in need.
Pro tip: use ContactMonkey to conduct employee wellness surveys straight from your employee newsletters. Our pulse surveys make it easy to conduct wellness check-ins quickly and consistently.
Use your email builder to embed a survey block into any employee email template. Choose your survey style and add anonymous comment options to collect more detailed feedback. Then, embed your email template directly into Outlook or Gmail and send it off. Employee responses will be accessible from your ContactMonkey dashboard.
5. Internal marketing
It goes without saying that today’s job market is a candidate’s market. In order to stay competitive and retain talent, businesses will need to provide an exceptional employee experience. Internal communicators will be at the forefront of this mission.
Approaching internal communications from a marketer’s perspective will be vital.
Communications teams will need to create a dedicated internal marketing strategy that includes programs, initiatives, and messages that engage employees with the internal brand. Some techniques that can help include:
- Encouraging the sharing of continuous employee feedback through employee experience surveys.
- Stepping up employee recognition ideas to make employees feel valued in the workplace.
- Conducting compensation and benefits surveys to ensure that employees are satisfied with their current packages.
- Offering more remote or hybrid work options for optimal workplace flexibility.
- Track and analyze employee experience survey results over time to see whether employee satisfaction is on an upwards trajectory.
Pro tip: use your HTML newsletter to create regular employee recognition features and interactive appreciation emails to your team.
While marketing your brand internally is vital, using external marketing tools like Mailchimp and Constant Contact is a big NO. A dedicated internal communications software offers an alternative to Constant Contact and Mailchimp—one that’s tailored to the unique needs of employees.
With ContactMonkey’s interactive newsletter templates, you can create dedicated sections for employee recognition. You’re also able to add survey options to gather employee experience feedback and stay on top of what employees want and need.
6. Data-based communications
Employee engagement statistics are vital. And in 2022, most successful businesses are already using data to improve their internal communications. And with so many tools for measuring employee engagement available on the market, there’s no excuse for overlooking this step.
With ContactMonkey’s internal communications tool, you can measure employee engagement and boost employee morale all from one place.
Using powerful internal email analytics, ContactMonkey gathers detailed employee engagement insights from every internal email you send out. And it’s not just open rates and click-through rates. ContactMonkey lets you see read times, most popular email clicks, and much more. Here are a few other ways you can leverage data-based communications in your organization:
- Use interactive newsletters to gather employee feedback on what sort of internal communications content staff enjoy the most.
- Leverage internal email tracking to conduct regular internal communications audits and assess overall internal comms performance.
- Develop an internal communications content calendar based on insights gathered from your email analytics.
- A/B test different internal communications templates, subject lines, and designs to see what sort of content employees engage with the most. Use email analytics to see how to improve employee engagement.
Curious to see what the experts have to say about today’s internal communications trends? Check out our list of the best internal communications books by the biggest names in IC.
7. Crisis communications planning
The COVID-19 pandemic was quickly followed by the Great Resignation. What does this tell us? That when a business doesn’t handle a crisis properly or can’t adapt to change, it risks losing valuable talent.
When rapid change happens, employee engagement and satisfaction are often overlooked. Companies move quickly without considering long-term consequences.
In order to ensure that your company remains resilient through periods of change or crises, it’s vital to prioritize effective internal communications. Foremost, this means having a crisis communications plan, and points of contact for various crisis scenarios—from health alerts and office closures to IT security risks and phishing awareness training. You’ll also need appropriate internal communications tools that can deliver information to employees efficiently and at scale.
Here are some strategies that can help you implement this long-lasting employee communications trend:
- Develop a crisis communications plan.
- Create pre-made internal email templates for various crisis scenarios. When it’s time to send information, you’ll only have to swap in new text.
- Ensure that you provide anonymous comment boxes across all of your crisis communications so employees can ask questions and clarify concerns.
8. Virtual team-building
Implementing and promoting virtual events has already been an internal communications trend throughout the pandemic. We expect it to continue throughout 2022 as hybrid work begins to substitute remote work policies.
As many employees keep working from home, internal communicators will need to connect in-person staff and remote personnel. Among other things, this will require planning consistent and well-curated virtual events for employees. Some ideas include:
- Scheduling a regular virtual game night.
- Setting up virtual escape rooms.
- Conducting employee pulse surveys to see what other virtual events and ideas they would like to see.
Pro tip: use an all-in-one internal communications tool to promote and manage events all in one place. ContactMonkey let’s you create, send, and organize event invites all from your internal newsletter. And the less steps your employees have to complete in order to RSVP, the more likely they are to do so.
9. Interactive communications
In 2022, static emails simply won’t do. Employers who want to engage their staff and build interdepartmental dialogue across remote teams will need to add interactive elements to their internal communications.
For starters, as employers stay on top of remote employee engagement, implementing interactive communications in the form of employee surveys will be crucial. One way to go about this is by creating newsletters that can both share and collect information. Learning how to use internal communications software can help internal communicators accomplish this in a few ways:
- Enabling internal communicators to add embedded pulse surveys into any employee newsletter.
- Opening new feedback channels by allowing users to incorporate anonymous comment boxes into employee emails. This facilitates the gathering of honest, and authentic employee insights.
- Allowing employees to engage with company news, colleague success stories, and other updates using emoji reactions, thumbs up/down, and star ratings.
10. Prioritizing employee sentiment
As employee experience begins to play a paramount role in business success, employee sentiment will have a larger impact on company decisions. For internal communicators, this will mean fostering a culture of feedback in the office and normalizing upward feedback from employees to managers.
As only 21% of companies currently conduct employee sentiment surveys, internal communications professionals will need to help organizations step up their game. Some ways to tap into and leverage employee sentiment include:
- Launching virtual employee focus groups to gather employee feedback on a range of business topics.
- Conducting employee satisfaction surveys on a regular basis.
- Gathering consistent anonymous feedback on management, benefits and compensation, leadership, and any other priority topics in your business.
- Launch Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) surveys to allow employees to rate their engagement levels using a numerical scale:
11. Authenticity and transparency
With today’s constant influx of information, employees are more adjusted to combing through the facts and tuning out the noise. They’re also more likely to recognize authenticity versus fluff when it comes to business communications. In fact, the fastest way to get employees to disengage from your internal communications is by sending out cold, superficial messages full of corporate communications jargon.
Needless to say, authentic and transparent messaging will be a huge internal communications trend in 2022 and beyond. To foster meaningful and strong relationships with staff, you must use simple, clear, and compelling language across your communications. At the same time, it’s important to use effective internal storytelling and add personalization. Here are some innovative internal communication ideas to bring this internal communication trend to life:
- Embed video communications from your leadership team into your internal company newsletter. Whether it’s discussing your quarterly achievements or detailing company challenges, adding audio and visual elements will add an element of authenticity.
- Launch virtual town halls at least once a month where all employees can engage with company managers face-to-face, ask questions, and share feedback.
- Ditch corporate jargon across your internal communications and opt for clarity through plain, simple language.
12. Humour in internal communications
Collectively, we’ve all been through a lot these past few years. A little comedic relief across your internal communications helps employees take their minds off of things. Not to mention, it provides a much-needed break from the corporate communications rhetoric that many employees expect from their internal communications. Needless to say, if you want to build more authentic bonds with staff and captivate their attention, incorporating humor into your internal comms is a must.
Some ways to incorporate humour into your internal communications include:
- Adding GIFs into Outlook emails or your company-wide newsletters.
- Hiring a virtual comedy crew to host your next virtual town hall.
- Hosting a virtual open mic night or improv session as a virtual team-building event.
- Creating fun employee survey questions to learn more about your staff. Then, quizzing the rest of your team to see how well they know their colleagues.
Pro tip: use ContactMonkey’s HTML employee newsletters to add humour to your internal communications using embedded GIFs, and playful employee surveys.
13. Using visuals
In the age of bite-sized news and listicles, visual aids are becoming an increasingly important employee communications trend.
Visuals are not just important when it comes to catching our attention and appealing to our emotions. They also help us engage with and retain information better. When it comes to employees, visuals also help out where staff aren’t likely to read through long documents in full. For instance, many employees rather watch a video or look through an infographic than scour through a lengthy workplace safety guide.
Some ways to incorporate visuals into your internal communications include:
- Embedding infographics into your employee newsletter to support explanations or guides.
- Adding videos from your company leadership or instructional videos into employee newsletters.
- Using images and animated GIFs in emails to draw attention to certain sections or messages in your newsletter.
- Insert email tables to communicate large amounts of information in a limited space.
Pro tip: use ContactMonkey’s email builder to synchronize a range of visual content — from videos and to GIFs— inside a single internal newsletter.
14. Social media internal communications
While social media has long been used as a key communication platform in external marketing, it has recently gained momentum on the internal marketing stage as well. Why? Because social media allows internal communications teams to engage with employees on a wider scale.
Not to mention, incorporating social media into internal communications creates harmony between internal brand promotion and external marketing. Here are a few ways to leverage this internal communications trend:
- Recognizing employee achievements on the company Instagram page with a regular social feature.
- Posting a new employee welcome message or staff promotion on the company LinkedIn.
- Spotlighting company culture and life inside the organization through images posted to the company’s social communication channels.
15. Immediate, real-time internal communication
In an ever more fast-paced, digitally-driven world, internal communications will need to become more immediate. In light of this, 2022 will be a year that sees instant employee messaging and SMS play a bigger role in how businesses communicate with staff.
Teams with remote staff operating from different time zones, deskless employees, and frontline workers will find employee SMS particularly valuable. A few ways you can act on this internal communication trend include:
- Incorporating a reliable employee SMS tool into your internal communications workflow.
- Scheduling employee communications to send messages at a more regular cadence.
- Promoting and normalizing asynchronous communication so that staff feel comfortable communicating on an as-needed basis.
16. Prioritizing Diversity and Inclusion
In the 21st century workplace, diversity and inclusion (D&I) will need to take centre stage in every business. And your internal communications will play a central role in promoting D&I efforts and initiatives.
Workplace diversity and inclusion involves welcoming, nurturing, and strengthening the presence of different cultures, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations in the workplace.
To ensure that diversity and inclusion thrives across your organization, you’ll need to focus on creating inclusive internal communications. In addition, you’ll need to promote available resources and training that can help employees understand diversity and inclusion standards in your company.
Here are some ways to go about this:
- Send out diversity and inclusion survey questions to check how staff feel about your D&I efforts.
- Launch diversity and inclusion webinars or training sessions with knowledgeable speakers.
- Creating an official diversity and inclusion policy document and sharing it in your employee newsletter.
- Launching quarterly diversity and inclusion employee focus groups for inclusive discussions on improving D&I efforts.
Make Your Internal Communications Future-Proof With ContactMonkey
The pandemic has redefined the role and significance of internal communications for business. But this presents as many opportunities as it does challenges.
The complexity of the new work environment means delivering information in more flexible ways will be a priority. At the same time, engaging remote and hybrid teams will continue to be an important challenge. Being mindful of employee wellness will need to be part of a holistic approach to improving digital employee experience in a changing workplace. Equipped with reliable technology, internal communications professionals can leverage the latest trends to develop a futureproof internal communications strategy and internal communications buyer’s guide.
ContactMonkey’s all-in-one internal communications software can help you try out new internal communications trends, see what works, and ditch what doesn’t. To see how our solution can support a futureproof internal communications strategy, book your free demo today.