Covid-19 and the need for Effective Communication
The far-reaching impact of Covid-19 was also extended to further years which is why International and Multinational Companies had to search up techniques to “think digitally.” However, as the world has progressed the user experience in 2019 is very different from the one today where people demand better resources. This is because of the improvement in services and innovative technology and communication trends. Some of the trends that are set to shape 2022 will show how employee communication can be deployed more productively to meet the challenges that companies face in 2022.
Top Communication Trends
1) Genuine and empathetic understanding of what each employee needs
According to Abhinav Kumar, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer – Global Markets, Tata Consultancy Services believes that although the pandemic allowed the opportunity to redefine internal communication for companies and therefore increase worker wellbeing, this backfired. A Microsoft survey of 30,000 workers in 31 countries, indicated that 41% are considering leaving their jobs due to their experience in the pandemic. Therefore, companies need to improve their leadership approaches by not creating more channels to overload the already overburdened employees but to fulfill their particular needs at the right time with communication trends.
2) Managing a Hybrid workforce
Shel Holtz, Sr. Director of Internal Communications at Webcor conjectures that several trends such as Employee Experience and recognition are emerging due to the pressing demand for retaining employees, especially the high-functioning ones. In organizations communicating effectively with a workforce where some employees prefer working from home while others opt for the office environment is essential for boosting overall business. Thus, a revitalization of communication strategies is required so that new employee profiles, new sets of objectives, and greater variety in the channels are used to reach and engage with workers. Employee well being is of great concern as well. Just stating that a company has a great “Employee Assistance Program” is not enough, focusing on the mental health or psychological safety of workers should be a priority amidst self-isolation during Covid-19. Furthermore, listening to employee concerns, especially in times of uncertainty when most of them find themselves disadvantaged due to economic constraints, before announcing the Company’s return-to-work policies is of prominence. Selecting from a range of channels and establishing a matrix are equally important to determine which channel needs to be employed by each internal audience and each category of communication.
3) A feeling of belonging and flexibility
Tchicaya Ellis Robertson, Ph.D., Talent Research Lead, Accenture also believed in the supremacy of communication in 2022 whether it be for dealing with employees in a hybrid or remote environment. Communication is at the heart of each discussion be it flexibility, inclusion or location. As the lead of Accenture’s Better to Belong research, Tchicaya spoke on the topic of inclusion and belonging here. Through this research, organizations could give full attention to nurture belonging amongst people. To discard the feeling of displacement, 10 fundamental levers to inculcate a sense of acceptance and partnership were highlighted. Transparent and empathetic communication was on the top of the list. Thus, one of the four essential people skills to propel human potential was communication. When tech companies or business setups build trust amongst their workers, the leaders will have the necessary means to drive a change in the organizational climate of today. All the 10 levers that the research identified: Empowerment, Communication, Diversity, Customer-Centricity, Skilling, Dependence, Governance, Technology, Self-Efficacy, and having a growth mindset are drivers of human potential. To deal with problems of 2022 relating to the topic of belonging and estrangement, meaningful communication is the way to go.
4) Employee activism and sense of higher purpose
Bill Quirke, Consultant and Author unveils that in the pre-pandemic days, the aspirations for internal communication and convenience by which leaders took any action regardless of it being morally right, was aligned. However, it is evident through history that during a crisis like a global pandemic, internal communication which should be recognized as significant may not be deemed so as leadership moves onto business as usual. Nevertheless, internal communicators have to be well-equipped and prepared to meet any challenges as “business as usual” may operate more complicatedly this time around. Individuals need to evaluate what they expect from work and the shifting relationship between employer and employee. The organizations involved have a wide range of audience such as those working remotely from home or those driving delivery vans to drop orders timely. The pandemic thus made people realize the significance of consensus, communal agreement and higher purpose of people’s jobs. Employee activism inculcates own values for the company’s social interests. A sense of community may seem at risk here when working independently from local coffee shops or in shared spaces, in hybrid office environments, or virtual working harms the already established traditional loyalties to the employers. In a way there is a harm in companies clawing back any missed profits from clients, raising prices of products, reducing the level of services or goods that customers receive. So mixed messages, confusion and hypocrisy are on the rise. The basic purpose of internal communication is to help leaders thoroughly understand the changing dynamics in their organization, to clarify and communicate reader’s thinking, to detail out the expectations for services that the customers want to serve as a peaceful mediator when any conflict arises between the priorities and views.
5) New rules of Employee experience and communication in 2022
Victoria Dew, Founder & CEO, Dewpoint Communications examines the innovative approaches that companies are implementing currently. This was done through interviewing business leaders from different industrial sectors of different sizes and geographies and variable number of employees. Now companies are shifting to the trend of communication “with” employees rather than “to” employees. Due to this two-way dialogue there is innovation, co-creation and cross-functional collaboration. Moreover, engagement and activation by managers is top-most strategy as they influence teams and cohorts and contextualize or personally tailor organization-wide messaging and overall information. Many organizations are struggling with communicating and engaging with managers who are both the audience and influencer. In summation, the final agreement was that figuring out this piece of information would boost employee experience the most. The employee communication skills also need to be rethought radically. After the introduction of life-on-video-call several companies shared that they were seriously thinking to invest in communications which extended beyond the written word. Recognizing TL;DR culture, new roles being added to EX and internal communications teams include video producers, editors, graphic designers, copywriters, and events managers. Through this trend an emphasis is laid on meeting employees where they are, creating relevant, compelling “sticky” content on request essentially and not using the privilege of demanding the employees’ attention to corporate messaging.
6) Help employees find meaning in work
Katie Macaulay, Managing Director of AB and host of The Internal Comms Podcast made it very clear that 4% of the US workforce resigned in September, 2021. Microsoft’s Work Trend Index, more than 40% of the global workforce is considering leaving their employer within a year thus retaining employees is the major goal in 2022. This can be achieved by helping employees find significance in their day-to-day work regarding how it adds to the bigger purpose of serving the company’s goals. For self-actualization we need to showcase how employees are presenting their true selves at work or fulfilling their potential. For Global purposes elaborate on the contributions that the organization will be making to society. This will aid in letting employees understand how they should care for and commit to their employer services.
7) Integrating different channels
Reviving the focus on the right combination of channels is necessary for effective communication trends in 2022. For instance if we consider WhatsApp, a recent survey from MobileSquared estimates that 2.19 billion people were using WhatsApp at the end of 2020, which is forecast to reach 3.14 billion at the end of 2025. People do not rely on WhatsApp alone, meaning there is no one prefer channel. 31% chose to contact a company via live chat vs 28% via phone. Learning about the way that customers want to interact with brands speaks volumes about choosing the best communication strategy. This even enables communication from one channel to another. The Power of Speech will dominate 2022. Therefore, amongst the younger generation more customers will rely on voice recognition technologies to search up products or request information. Adding a voice option to your communication channel will strengthen relationships with customers.
8) Rapid rise in monetization of 5G
This very ground breaking mobile technology is offering a faster and more efficient telecommunications space. This facility even provides 100 times higher connection speeds as compared to the previous generations. The monetization of this channel will ramp up and the 5G technology is expect to reach approximately 3 billion subscriptions by 2025. The advent of this 5G technology has contributed immensely to smarter homes and cities, driverless cars and smarter factories. All these possibilities for a modern world of electronics seems feasible now. The communication and digital service providers must prepare beforehand for these developments before they arrive.
9) Rich Interactive Communication
With collaborative two-way communication within brands, the Rich Communication Services (RCS) are perhaps the breakthroughs in the evolution of mobile messaging. This even endorses a mobile app’s rich functionality within an SMS inbox. This authorizes brands to add logo, brand name, videos, images, and carousels to messages for faster conversion between every interaction. Although the uptake has been slower than expect, there is calculated to be a 100% increase from 2019.
This is in line with MobileSquared prediction that by 2025, 176 networks will have launched person-to-person (P2P) RCS services over their own RCS messaging platforms. Google and Apple should also adopt these rich channels by launching their very own business messaging channels so that customers can initiate smooth conversations with businesses through the basic entry points like Google Maps and Google Search. To evaluate the benefits that these newer channels have on customer engagement and communication in 2022 is very significant.
10) Digital Communication via SMS
SMS is presume as the all-rounder medium for communication strategies in 2022 and will maintain the same stance with obviously very menial changes. Mobilesquared’s Global A2P SMS Databook Report states that by the end of 2020, there were 5.2 billion unique SMS users, which is expect to increase to 6.03 billion by 2025. SMS is successful as a digital communication form due to the fact that nine out of every ten people open their text messages and more than half read the message within a matter of seconds. The mobile carriers and businesses are give the margin for revenue generating opportunities through the rising evolution of SMS technologies. Thus, businesses need to cater to the interests of their targeted audience by keeping SMS campaigns engaging and creative so that the consumers don’t reject or withdraw from the texts which are not catchy.
11) A smooth and safe experience
Creating a trustworthy environment is essential for operating businesses and for client satisfaction to promote their safety and overall integrity of the company. Such as swapping of SIMS have led to an increase in cyber crimes with people wrongfully transferring existing phone numbers to the new SIM. Hence, establishing fresh security standards is the need of the day for better communication trends in 2022. Mobile Identity particularly is the verification of a person’ identity through the session data in the person’s mobile service provider for authentication.
This proceeds through checking the IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) number connected to the SIM card. If there is no problem, the authentication runs unobstructed in the background. However, if the IMSI number has changed, this suspicious activity will cause the user to be contact by the service provider. Customer needs are evolving with time and more people are involve in online marketing, social media entrepreneurship, social networking etc. Making an effort for safe and improved customer experience without any hindrances will have you retain your loyal clients for longer.
In conclusion, communication trends in 2022 require calculated planning such as sending the right message at the right time on the right platform while serving as a safe and confidential solution for all users. Consequently, businesses should employ blended channels to get their messages through, determine whether users prefer conversation over WhatsApp, Instagram or Google and that rich, joint messaging is becoming pertinent in today’s world communication trends.