Employee Expectations Drive Changes in Internal Communications

February 17, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic and the “Great Resignation” have altered employee expectations in many ways, and companies are reevaluating internal communications practices in response. Read below for some of the trends that, when expertly handled, are helping businesses keep employees engaged.

Zoom Fatigue Drives Realignment of Meetings

Video call exhaustion, or “Zoom fatigue,” has become a serious challenge. Many professionals regularly find themselves sitting in front of a computer screen for hours at time, in meeting after meeting. In addition to creating “brain drain,” these meetings occupy valuable work time and create additional stress when assignments can’t be completed.

While video meetings are essential for a successful remote or hybrid workforce, not every meeting needs a camera. Many companies are going back to the basics of phone calls and email to limit distractions when possible. Others are instituting “no meeting” days or implementing time blocks to ensure it’s not all video, all the time. 

Instant Communications is Happening – With or Without Employers

With employees constantly messaging, texting, and sharing snippets of updates, watercooler talk and misinformation can spread like wildfire. When there’s news to share, it’s important to distribute quickly and widely. To help control the message and ensure fast response times, companies are shifting to informal forms of distribution, including e-blasts, Teams/Slack announcements, and even social media. Moreover, instant access for follow-up questions and organized discussion is expected from employees.

Transparency is a Must to Keep Employees Loyal

Now more than ever, employees want to work for a company they can trust to be upfront and transparent with business communications. In the big picture, this means sharing how the company is doing and strategies for the future. At a smaller scale, it requires clear dialogue from direct supervisors about expectations and performance. It’s also important to encourage feedback between all levels, rather than just from the top down. Finally, employees want clear and easily digestible communication, so employers must keep it simple and avoid gatekeeping any relevant information.

Personalized Messaging Resonates More

Formal, corporate lingo has its time and place. But today’s employees expect and appreciate a relatable voice as we all face these challenging times together. Making internal communication personal and casual fosters an intimate connection between employee and employer. Companies are weaving employees’ personal stories into communications. Highlighting the people behind the brand with anecdotes about work success, as well as personal hobbies and achievements, can help provide a sense of community-driven culture.

The impact and value of having effective communication that reaches its employees fast with messages that matter is indisputable. Internal communications will continue to play a crucial role in a post-pandemic workspace for years to come.

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