Three major internal communication trends for 2016 according to IBM

Hester Gras



As we head into 2016, it’s interesting to have a look at what this year could bring for internal communications. We had a chance to interview IBM’s Brand & Communications Manager Eveline de Buyzer to get her view on upcoming trends. In an earlier post, she shared some thoughts on the internal communications challenges and opportunities IBM faced in 2015. In this post, she talks about 3 major internal communication trends for 2016.

What are the leading trends for internal communications in 2016 at IBM?

1. Cut down on information overload

Today, people are exposed to so much information every day that they cannot read or process each piece of information effectively. Dealing with this overload also plays a big role in the workplace, since employees are exposed to many different types of information. The same applies for IBM. As IBM we are a large company with a lot of information we share with our employees. In our effort to manage information overload we, as an example, will shorten messages in our digital (internal) newsletter to the length of Twitter-messages. When employees think the content is relevant for them they can open the link and read the complete article.

2. Reach employees with the right message, through the right channel on their preferred device

The question of what channels and interactions are needed to reach the right employee with the right message will become even more important this year. At IBM, we offer our employees the opportunity to gain company information through all kinds of devices. We introduced ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD), which means that employees can receive company news on the device they prefer.

3. Two-way street

Internal communication is not only about sharing information. It is about listening, sharing, interacting and transferring knowledge. This all is necessary to support the employee to be able to perform at their best. An example of how we listen and interact is the IBM engagement survey. This survey provides us with feedback from all employees worldwide. Based on this data we define and redefine projects to make them more efficient.

What would the ideal internal communication scenario for IBM look like in 3-5 years?

The ideal internal communication scenario for IBM translates into sending the right content at the right time through the right device. Our goal is for every IBM employee to receive information that is best suited to his or her preferences and role within the company. This information is offered to employees through their preferred channel and can be read when it’s most convenient. I’m confident that we’ll accomplish this goal in 3-5 years, but the sooner the better! Of course I will be constantly watching on how new technology can support us in optimizing the communication with our workforce.

You can read the previous interview with IBM here. Interested in more about internal communications or mobile trends? Subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll keep you up-to-date!

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