3 tips to rethink your internal comms tech stack

Thinking of upgrading your employee communications tools? Here’s how to keep your tech transition on track—and employees happy about it.

Updating your internal comms tech stack

Yesterday’s town halls and bland emails don’t have what it takes to inspire today’s dispersed, discerning workforce.

If you want to win the battle against remote distractions—and unite your employees—it’s time to rethink your toolkit.

Kimberly Tate-Nuwar, senior director of communications at LexisNexis Risk Solutions group, recently shared guidance on these crucial topics in a Ragan Training session titled “The Hybrid Workplace Toolkit: Build Trust and Boost Dispersed Engagement.” Here are three prescient takeaways from her talk:

1. Put employees first (not tech).

“My big takeaway for those considering a tech transition is that transparency and trust must come first—not the tools,” says Tate-Nuwar.

“Right before the pandemic, we were making a shift from legacy tools to Office365 collaboration tools like Teams and SharePoint,” she explains. “We were also in the middle of a big rebranding, so we focused first on earning our employees’ trust in the transition.”

2. Take employees’ pulse.

“At the start of the pandemic, we had what was best in mind for our employees so they could take care of their families, communities and our customers. That started with clear and transparent communications,” Tate-Nuwar says.

This included daily pulse surveys asking employees about their preferences and frustrations.

“Surveys went on for a few weeks until there were no issues,” she says. “The feedback helped us tune the network with IT’s help—and built the trust that we were listening.”

The results were impressive.

“We did three separate engagement surveys last year to understand how people were feeling [about the tools], what they needed and where they wanted to go,” Tate-Nuwar shares. “Each time our employee net promoter scores rose from already phenomenal numbers. And communications were continually called out in the verbatims. In the final annual engagement survey, we achieved an 8% increase of the year prior.”

3. Don’t settle—dare to experiment.

“As an organization, we’ve never used tools like Slack, Yammer or Jive due to risk aversion,” says Tate-Nuwar. “But we have started looking at Sparrow, an omnichannel tool that works well with Office 365.”

Sparrow is an app that integrates conversation metrics across aggregated Microsoft applications such as SharePoint and Teams. “It lets you see everything in one place,” she says.

Other organizations are also looking at Microsoft Viva.

“It’s not yet available,” Tate-Nuwar says, “but might be a worthwhile tool to evaluate from an employee engagement perspective.”

Brian Pittman is the Dean of Ragan Training and a Ragan Communications event producer. For more information about Ragan Training, contact him at brianp@ragan.com.

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