Research on the future of internal communication

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by Rik

Research on the future of internal communication

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Every year, all the Dutch communication professionals meet on C-Day. Obviously Plek also attended. We had a booth, but more importantly: a sold out workshop on the future of internal communication. We asked the attendees if they're ready for the future. Read on to discover the results of our research and our vision of the future. And take the test yourself! 

(Internal) communication

Organizational boundaries are fading: we see more and more partnerships, joint ventures and chain partners. Teams do not only consist of employees but also of freelancers, volunteers or even clients. This means that internal and external communications are merging. But are organizations ready for this fusion of communications? We asked the professionals:

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Employees only get to communicate with the outside world in a slight majority of the cases. Most communication professionals don't know their own company's rules for information security. So obviously they're unable to explain these rules to colleagues.

But the tools aren't helping either. External parties are only allowed to access the intranet or communication platform in 40% of the cases. Plek on the other hand was built to easily grant external parties secure and restricted access to information in specific groups, such as a project or team. Some clients, such as Heineken, even allow the public to see specific parts of their Plek. 

Communication's new role

On the classic old-fashioned intranet, the communication professional was a gatekeeper and editor of news and organizational updates. Those days are behind us now. But are communication specialists ready for their new role as facilitator and community manager? We checked:

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Even though the majority of the professionals does train colleagues to communicate better, only one out of seven measures the results. Not knowing what or how to measure is often the issue. To solve this problem, Plek offers an extensive dashboard with statistics on for example adoption, organic networks and popular topics. A community manager can use it to establish KPIs to monitor and stimulate the desired behavior.

Plek also focuses on a good onboarding of new employees. Our research shows that less than 25% of the respondents has adopted an organization-wide approach to onboarding.

Tools portfolio

It is important to choose the right communication tools. It is difficult too... Especially because different departments want to have a say. And every department has its own interests to defend: Communication, ICT, management. Forcing everyone to use one system often provokes employees to start using tools like WhatsApp. So how does your tools portfolio look, is what we asked our respondents:

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Only one out of three participating organizations offers employees a good alternative for consumer tools such as WhatsApp. This results in great risks for information security, unstable user management and fragmentation of company communication. One of our clients, KPMG, proved that there is a solution for this: employees replaced WhatsApp with Plek chat, but Plek is used side by side with SharePoint for document management.

We were most surprised by the fact that less than half of the organizations managed to arrange for mobile access to internal communication. Similarly, only half of the organizations uses Single Sign-On, a great way to easily switch between secured applications. But how are you supposed to communicate if you can't always access your communication tool? Plek puts user-friendliness first, and boasts iPhone, iPad and Android apps as well as different forms of Single Sign-On.

About the research

Our respondents scored an average 4,2 out of 10 on our 'scale of future-readiness'. They work in sectors such as education, care, housing, transport, utilities and municipalities. The highest score was a 7 and there were multiple ones...

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Curious about your own score? Fill out our questionnaire. We will get in touch to prepare you for the future of (internal) communication!