How organisations can improve employee engagement, especially in times of remote working
Technological advancements have transformed the communication landscape almost beyond recognition in recent years. In the consumer market, there has been an unprecedented shift from traditional channels such as print and TV advertising to online advertising and social media. This shift is increasingly visible in the B2B market too. However, compared to external communication, internal communication has continued to use the more traditional resources like online videos, emails, newsletters, physical gatherings etc.
In a recent survey of 400+ internal communication professionals by SocialChorus, 75% of the respondents indicated that they are spending more time and money on employee engagement than they were two years ago. The survey also revealed that over half of the communication professionals (51%) said employee alignment with organisational and strategic changes and prevention of misinformation is leadership’s top priority.
Compared with external communication, internal communication (IC) has so far remained relatively traditional when it comes to allocated and utilised resources. However, there are clear signs of a step in the right direction, with a growing number of IC professionals now using new channels such as internal social networking tools and webinars. This blog zooms in on webinars and outlines how and why they are an invaluable instrument for any organisation striving for better or more employee engagement.
Just how effective are webinars?
Webinars offer several undisputed communication benefits. In a Content Marketing Institute study on the effectiveness of B2B tactics, webinars are rated in the top 10. Much of this is due to the sustained increase in average viewing time for a live webinar, which currently stands at 58 minutes (based on 2019 statistics). Needless to say, this is in stark contrast to the general trend towards ever-faster communication tailored to an ever-shorter attention span! Another key to the success of webinars is their high level of interaction. Chat functionalities allow viewers to submit questions – and for them to be answered – during the live broadcast, while polls, quizzes and other calls-to-action can all be used to maximise people’s engagement with what they are watching on screen. Webinars allow organisations to directly reach and communicate with all employees and therefore avoid misinformation and rumours.
Why are webinars relevant for internal communication?
The ultimate goal of internal communication is to support the company’s success by ensuring that employees understand the strategic objectives and work together to achieve them. Engagement is key in this process – yet it is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve, especially as more and more organisations are embracing remote working. This is where webinars come in!
In GTW’s Trends in B2B Content Engagement study, webinars scored 25% for engagement, coming second only to videos as most engaging content (while newsletters scored just 13%). Additionally, according to Forrester Research, a video is 1,800 times more powerful than a document, email or online article. This change (and the new reality of remote working) has huge consequences for the way in which organisations communicate internally. If you want your message – whether it is an internal update or employee training – to hit the target, webinars are clearly the way forward.
Webinars for internal communication are currently the fastest growing of all of our market segments. For example, Deutsche Telekom is currently using Company Webcast’s “Next Generation” livestreaming and webcast technology – including an integrated peer-to-peer distribution facility. This enables Deutsche Telekom to reach 20,000 employees, including those who are not working at the core locations/offices.
In another example, rather than using written communications (newsletters and intranet announcements), ENGIE has used a Company Webcast webinar to inform its 400-strong workforce spread throughout the Netherlands about pensions. ENGIE discovered that creating a more personal and interactive experience helped their employees to understand the complex information and actually spurred them to take the action required (i.e. logging on to a pensions website and indicating their choices).
The channel of the future
Due to their interactive nature in combination with today’s advanced technology, webinars are an excellent way for you to not only inform employees, but also to respond to their questions and gather their feedback. Understanding your people will result in them understanding you, which will in turn boost your business success. It is not surprising that the webinar has been chosen as the ‘channel of the future’ for internal communication.