Unlocking the power of employee digital channels: A guide to omnichannel communication 

December 13, 2023 by

In a world awash with digital information, the art of effective employee communication has evolved into a complex web of channels, each vying for attention. One report that has been a guiding light for internal communications professionals within DWG over the last decade is Digital channel matrix: Creating employee-focused employee communications.

In 2023, we decided to update this report for members to reflect the ever-evolving landscape of digital workplaces. It provides insights into the omnichannel approaches to employee-focused internal communications and offers a glimpse into the future of internal communications, for example by using AI.

In this blog, research author, Nicole Carter, outlines some of the key themes she covered in the full report. 

Navigating the digital channel matrix 

The recent surge in digital tools, accelerated by the pandemic, has reshaped the communication landscape. Platforms like Microsoft Teams, Slack and Jira have become integral parts of the digital workplace, presenting a wider choice for internal communicators. The challenge now extends beyond understanding these channels; it’s about using them effectively. 

This report goes beyond the basics, adding new tools into the mix and exploring how digital workplace teams are reinventing their communication ecosystems through case studies showcasing real-world applications. 

Balancing tradition and innovation 

While the spotlight is on digital channels, the report underlines the continued importance of traditional communication methods. Face-to-face interactions, town halls and other non-digital approaches still play a crucial role, particularly in sensitive situations and for frontline workers, although this is changing rapidly through the use of mobile apps. 

Decoding employee needs 

In an era where information overwhelms, the focus shifts to a user-centric communication approach. Employees seek less but more relevant content tailored to their needs. The report advocates for empathy in addressing information overload, encouraging communicators to explore creative solutions that cut through the clutter and deliver meaningful content. 

Channel considerations in the digital age 

It also addresses the unique challenges posed by today’s busy and diverse workforce. With 82% of employees emphasizing the importance of being seen as individuals, not just workers, communicators must tailor their strategies to meet these evolving needs. It uses DWG’s Digital Communications Channels benchmark, which helps teams create a roadmap of tools to engage and inform audiences effectively, as a guide in this respect. 

Creating the perfect channel mix 

In the era of information overload, the key lies in finding the right balance between push and pull mechanisms. Employees should have the power to customize their news feeds, subscribing to content that resonates with them. Communicators are encouraged to focus on context-appropriate content, understanding how employees interact with information based on factors like time, location and mindset. 

It’s not just about using individual channels but understanding how they reference each other, which ones play supporting roles, and the strategic sequencing of messages. A video, for instance, becomes a powerful supplement when embedded in an intranet article, linked to from an email announcement and shared on social channels. 

In conclusion, DWG’s refreshed Digital channel matrix: Omnichannel approaches to employee-focused internal communications report, with a new case study from Comcast, is a practical guide for communicators to navigate the intricate web of digital, and traditional, channels. Experimentation, as well as adaptation to the ever-changing landscape, will promote effective and engaging employee communication. 

Download the research excerpt

Categorised in: Communications, Content management, Digital communications

Nicole Carter

Leading on consultancy projects focusing on intranet governance and strategy for DWG, Nicole Carter is a freelance consultant, researcher and editor specializing in intranets and digital workplaces, employee adoption of new corporate systems, smart working and business change. She has a track record of delivering user-focused intranets and systems which make it easier for people to do their jobs. After leading on the successful delivery of the new Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s intranet, she helped the Scottish Government rationalize its 50,000 pages of verbose content into something useful. This new digital workplace core led to supporting the business and cultural change behind the rollout of a case management system to over 14,000 employees. With a background in smart working, project management, business change, stakeholder engagement and product design, Nicole enjoys the challenge of helping people to actually do something rather than just talk about it.

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