Nowadays, the importance of good internal communication cannot be understated. However, do you think Indian companies are catching on to this maxim fast enough?
Many Indian corporates are catching on to a new trend called ‘Employees First’. As the name suggests, it’s about engaging employees to ensure more delighted customers. As this change is a significant one, it will be a while before such a mindset takes firm root in businesses. With many Indian corporates growing in size and stature, internal communication is assuming greater importance with each passing day.
But the process is still underway and businesses are yet to become a regular topic of discussion in management meetings. With internal communication, brands can now align their communication with company objectives, keep employees informed, and engage with them frequently. In addition to reduced attrition rates, this will increase loyalty and advocacy too. So far, top management is only looking at internal communication to streamline operations, but not as a tool that solves business problems. What’s more, businesses have realized that internal communication is the best way to stay connected with employees as it provides them with an interactive platform like no other.
What do you think is the biggest challenge in internal communication today?
The challenges crop up when internal communication is not tied to the organization’s bigger picture or the targets that need to be achieved. Most other challenges are operational in nature and easy to resolve. Through effective internal communication, businesses can create a ‘pull’ by offering solutions that meet employee requirements.
Do you think emails are becoming obsolete for company communication in the face of integrated platforms such as Slack and HipChat? What are the trends you’re seeing right now?
The role of emails will undergo a significant change in the coming years. While it will continue to play a role in official transactional communication, its usage will get limited for engagement communication. Social media has changed the information consumption and sharing habits of the new generation, making people more open and ready to share information about themselves and their work. Every ‘like’ is an appreciation or recognition for them. Unfortunately, emails fail to serve that purpose.
Organizations are also becoming more informal in the way they are structured and how people communicate with each other. However, they do need to adopt tools that offer employees the flexibility to create groups, manage projects, and share information with ease. Integrated platforms, which allow seamless shift from one tool to another without any loss of information, is the need of future.
On a related note, Max Life’s eCube platform has been active since 2016. How has it improved your internal communication, and what have your employees’ reactions been to it?
eCube is not just our internal communication platform. It also hosts an extensive knowledge-management facility that improves our internal interactivity. And with more features being added over time, eCube will be the nerve center of our organization.
Our ambition is that eCube should become the singular source of information, interaction, and knowledge sharing for all our employees. Many of our business units have shown keen interest in promoting their communication campaigns, sales contests, policies, and promotions across the organization using eCube. Although there is a growing preference for this platform, it will be awhile before it becomes an integral part of every employee’s life.
The presence of smartphones in India is at an all-time high right now. How does this affect organizations?
No doubt technology integration is the ask of the employees – and our IT teams are working towards it. However, the risk of misplacing internal data and customer information need to be resolved adequately. While these data security issues are being addressed, mobile solutions can very well be used for employee engagement.
How do digital platforms encourage employee engagement?
Social media is the new social reality. In such a scenario, adopting digital tools for internal communication is important. Digital platforms provide an opportunity to interact with more people where geographical distance no longer remains relevant. In fact, digital platforms can help blur the lines between work and life, so that friends at work can continue to be friends beyond work.