We check our phones 85 times each day. Start with this when improving internal communications.

We check our mobile phones and social channels eighty five times each day.* Assuming we are awake for fifteen hours per day, that equates to us engaging with our phones approximately every ten minutes. There have been numerous studies into our mobile phone habits and what lies behind our insatiable appetite for consuming, creating and sharing information about our everyday lives, but there is no doubting that the technology and platforms have made us better able to process information and be more collaborative and productive. Equally, we are bombarded with online communications with such frequency – we now send 2.4 million emails per second** - that we have learnt to instantly filter out the irrelevant.

It’s clear that we are more engaged than ever before with our technology, platforms and each other. And this has presented HR and Internal Communications professionals with the best opportunity to date, to use these tools to increase employee engagement. Savvy professionals are now using internal communication software to build the brand of their organisation and improve recruitment, engagement and retention.

With the rise of social media, collaborations tools and instant messaging have found themselves embedded within internal communications software, alongside traditional features such as news and events hubs and communities or interest groups. This has helped increase collaboration across the organisation but is largely down to employees themselves adopting the tools.

The most exciting opportunity now centres around understanding the workforce and surfacing more relevant information to them. Gathering data and insight on workforce demographics, interests and priorities from multiple sources (the HR database, online communities, upcoming events, even weather forecasts) and then using marketing tactics to segment and provide tailored communications is becoming commonplace. For companies that run their internal communications and employee engagement scheme from a single integrated platform the proposition becomes even more compelling and easier to execute and see results.

Take for instance, Employee Discounts. We are approaching the holiday season and so wouldn’t it be great to promote the latest retail discounts or even segment the workforce and share specific discounts with particular demographics? Or fast forward to January and promote through your internal communications, gymflex and holiday trading spliced into a New Year message from the CEO? Or study the communities and groups that establish on the platform and align relevant benefits specifically for the group members?

Having a workforce that checks into your internal communications software eighty five times each day probably isn’t a great measure of success, but imagine the impact on employee engagement if you uplifted the consuming, creating and sharing of information just a fraction of that and used the data collected to boost your engagement metrics in 2017?

Sally Duckworth, CEO, You at Work

*Nottingham Trent University

*Radicati Group 2015