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NEWS > Old Girl in Focus > How technology is shaping the future of internal communications

How technology is shaping the future of internal communications

Old Girl Genevieve Lebus, strategist at Ignis, takes a look at how the world of internal communications is evolving and explains why change should be embraced, rather than feared.
18 Jan 2024
Written by Genevieve Lebus
United Kingdom
Old Girl in Focus
Genevieve Lebus (OG 2009-2016)
Genevieve Lebus (OG 2009-2016)

Technological progress is exponential and changing the way we work, right before our eyes. The advantages for business are broad and showcase the opportunities available to this generation of the workforce to revolutionise business progress. For internal communications, the benefits run even deeper, despite some reluctance to embrace technology in an area of business anchored on human connection. In fact, a recent Institute of Internal Communications report showed only 44% of employees think their organisation’s communication is great, which is a case in point. There is space for technology to change the game. Delivering messaging that cuts through and resonates with the workforce. 

The argument for emerging technologies improving everyday corporate processes is established – greater productivity, flexibility, standardisation and so on. Within internal communications, technology takes this one step further, improving audience experience by helping deliver the right message in the right way. Before a campaign, AI predictive analytics can forecast staff engagement and suggest the best approach. Then, digital tools measure its performance and extract insights to help teams understand what is working best. Taking the guesswork out and increasing the likelihood of success. AI can also tailor content to resonate better with the audience, using personalisation to align messages with names, roles or interests. Hyper-relevance helps cut through corporate chatter, reduce information overload and keep employees focused on what matters.

However, internal communications is only effective if it reaches the right people. With hybrid and dispersed workforces becoming the norm, technology has an important role to play in improving accessibility. By making it easier to distribute information across channels, we can meet employees where they are. Giving them information they need on the devices that work best for them, whether they’re office-based, remote or out in the field. Two-way communication is also facilitated with digital collaboration tools like workplace chats, team intranets and shared documents. Inviting a wider range of employees into the conversation, providing real-time support and fostering feelings of inclusion. 

The power of technology in improving how, and what, we communicate is apparent. However, there are concerns that, for an area of business focused on developing meaningful relationships with employees, it would create disconnect. This is a valid consideration. An over-reliance on AI and other tools runs the risk of reducing the empathy, emotional intelligence and contextual nuances of human interaction, and neglecting traditional face-to-face interaction in favour of digital channels. It raises the need for a balanced, considered approach to ensure we enhance, not replace, what currently works.

Going forward, we will continue to embrace technology and all its opportunities, improving how we work and finding new, data-driven ways to connect with our audiences. As long as we don’t lose human authenticity along the way, the impact of this new wave of communication will ripple beyond keeping employees informed, improving inclusivity, engagement and synergy within organisations too. We look forward to seeing what technological developments are on the horizon, and how we can leverage them to do what we do best, even better.

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