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Internal comms doesn’t work. Here’s how to change that

By Asif Rehmani
Updated December 3, 2020


Internal communications are not working. That’s the conclusion we can draw from countless surveys on the effectiveness of business comms strategies.  

Research reveals that: 

  • 30% of employees never read internal emails.  
  • Only 6% of employees click on links in company emails.  
  • Three quarters of staff feel they are missing out on company news.  

Now, if you are in charge of internal communications at your organization, these kinds of statistics can be discouraging to read. The positive news is that it is totally possible to turn these numbers around with an internal communications strategy that responds to the way people work today. Many IC strategies rely on email and announcements on the intranet. But, this approach just doesn’t match up with how people consume information today.  

Let’s look at why internal communications is struggling – then look at how it can be refreshed for the 2020’s.  

Video: Get more attention for important staff messages 

Why your coworkers are not reading internal comms  

Imagine receiving an email with this subject line: Change to EMEA customer data policy collection.  

It hardly makes you want to open the message, right?  

And this is the crux of the problem. In a world where people are bombarded with information, internal comms which fail to capture people’s attention risk not being read.  

Key challenges for internal comms in 2020 include: 

  • Email overload 

Did you know, the average office worker receives 121 emails per day! Unless your internal comms are incredibly urgent and engaging, it is likely that many employees either won’t read them or will only scan them quickly.  

  • Intranet graveyard 

Some company intranets are well organized and managed. Unfortunately, the majority end up being cluttered places where company content simply never gets read. In fact, only 13% of employees say they visit their organization’s intranet on a daily basis – which means that if you are posting content there, most employees simply won’t see it. 

  • Not appropriate to where people spend their days 

Employees today have many different places to spend their workday – and this will vary by generation or business function. Some may primarily work in Outlook (baby boomers and Gen X). Others may spend the day on your CRM (sales and marketing). Many will be most productive in Teams (millennials and Gen Z). This means that, unless your content is displayed in all these locations, a significant proportion of staff will miss company news.  

White Paper: How Digital Workplaces Can Ensure Regulatory Compliance 

3 steps to refresh internal comms for the 2020’s 

Internal communications have changed dramatically over the past decade. No longer are business announcements made with posters in communal areas or company-wide emailsIn the 2020’s, internal communications need to reflect the generational diversity of the workforce, the fact that people are short on time, overwhelmed with information and, increasingly, working from home.   

Here are three ways to refresh internal communications: 

  1. Review your current strategy 

Start with the data (if you do not have this at hand, conduct a company-wide survey). Find out what proportion of communications are consumed, by whom and whether they understand it. Once you have a baseline figure of how much internal communications are being seen, you can then build a strategy to improve this by choosing new comms methods and setting KPI’s.  

  1. Publish announcements in multiple locations 

As noted above, different employees spend their working days in different locations. If only a handful of staff ever log onto the intranet, announcing key news there will be ineffective. Find ways to send company-wide announcements that will reach all employees by publishing in multiple places at once. At the same time, try and segment your user profiles so certain messages only reach people who need to see them 

  1. Make reading some comms obligatory 

Certain company information – such as new policies or legal issues – need to be seen and understood by everyone. A simple email or intranet news announcement will not suffice in this scenario. Try using announcement pop-ups, videos or banners which appear on the user’s browser and make them consume the information in full. You can even ask them to answer questions to prove they have understood the information.  

Read more: Our guide to compliance training 

VisualSP for comms and compliance 

VisualSP provides IC teams with a suite of powerful tools that help you get your messages to all staff. Using banners and pop-ups, you can share crucial content in your SharePoint intranet, in Microsoft Teams and across cloud apps in Office 365Our rich content media mean you can enhance internal comms with text, video, photos or how-to guides – and also include question boxes/surveys to test staff understanding of your messaging.  

And that’s just part of the package. VisualSP also lets you offer your teams in-context microtraining and highly effective learning tools.  

If you are looking to refresh your organization’s internal comms strategy for the 2020’s, read about our solutions or contact VisualSP today for a no-obligation demo 

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