2020 Vision: This Year's Top Internal Communications Trends

Updated: Jan 29

According to a study by Towers Watson, organizations with effective change and communication programs are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers. Staying on top of what's working and what's not can help you better plan for your 2020 internal communications strategy, and guide your company's messaging, culture and voice. Read on to find out more about this year's key trends.

Mobile-first communications will become increasingly important.

According to Deloitte's Human Capital Trends report, there are more than seven billion mobile devices in the world, and more than 40 percent of all Internet traffic is driven by these devices. Additionally, PwC reports that 59 percent of employees said that state-of-the-art technology was important to them when choosing which company to work for. Ease of accessibility is key to reaching a broad workforce – especially employees who are tech-savvy, work remotely, or travel frequently, but it's also important to ensure consistency of content across all channels. When planning your 2020 internal communications strategy, create a framework to ensure all your communications platforms – including mobile, desktop, and digital signage – align and support each other and feature your company's authentic voice.

Culture and values reign supreme.

When it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent, your company's values can be its greatest asset or biggest liability. According to a study by LinkedIn, 86 percent of millennials would consider taking a pay cut to work at a company whose mission and values align with their own, and 70 percent of employees across all age brackets would not work at a company with a bad workplace culture. So how do you communicate your company's values in an authentic manner? Start by including core values in your internal communications strategy, and share policies and communications around diversity and inclusion, transparency and accountability, and community investment plans across multiple channels throughout the year. You should also highlight any people-investment opportunities, including learning and development training, team events, work-life balance, and benefits that will help your employees make a positive value judgement about your company as an employer of choice.

Visual storytelling will play a major role.

Picture this: more and more companies are utilizing infographics, videos, employee photos, digital signage, slides and interactive newsletters in their internal communications - and to great success. Visual storytelling is a powerful tool for IC teams: it provides a break from traditional, longform company memos and helps ensure employees retain key information. According to a report published by HubSpot, people will only retain 10 percent of text-only information three days after it's presented to them. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, the ability to retain the information surges to 65 percent. Incorporating visuals into your 2020 internal communications strategy is key to its success and for painting a positive picture of your company.

Onboarding takes a front-row seat.

After years of taking a back seat to glossier recruiting initiatives, companies are now recognizing the importance of the employee experience during the onboarding process. And for good reason: research by Glassdoor found that organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82 percent, and productivity by more than 70 percent. In 2020, trend-savvy IC teams will be partnering with HR to reevaluate and transform the employee experience from day one. Stodgy, longform HR policies will be revamped with user-friendly messaging and visual storytelling, and new hire kits will feature an authentic voice and key information about company values. Many companies will also embrace a paperless process with interactive digital tools and candid, personal video messages from company leaders.