Research reveals how and when firms should communicate with staff to maximise employee engagement

A company’s people are key communicators, both internally and externally, so it is important to help them share information easily and in the right format. The more personal and interactive the content employees share, the more likely other employees are to have increased product and company knowledge and a better work experience. This is supported by the latest State of Frontline Employee Communications report from platform company Speakap, which found that private messages, comments and photos/videos are amongst the types of content that resonate best with workers.

Key findings

  • News, updates and events are most popular on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Late evenings are the least effective times for posting events and news.
  • With over 100 news items posted daily, news gets employees’ attention.
  • Private messages are the most popular type of content.

Most common types of enterprise social updates worldwide, Q4 2018

Total likes of type of enterprise social post, worldwide, Q4 2018

Daily news consumption, worldwide, Q4 2018

Most frequent enterprise social posts by times of day, worldwide, Q4 2018

Most frequent enterprise social posts by days of week, worldwide, Q4 2018

One of the stand-out findings is the importance of personalising messages. Patrick van der Mijl, co-founder and chief product officer at Speakap, says: “Employees want and need more direct, personalised and relevant communications with their colleagues, teams and managers. And rightfully so. Rather than mass spamming messages to all staff, it’s far more effective to send messages to the most relevant people at the right times and in the right places.

“If messages are too vague or are not filtered to target and reach the most relevant users, it can lead to clutter, confusion, less productivity and even poor performance.”

It is not all about broadcasting information, it is important for employers to listen too. Van der Mijl explains: “If they don’t listen to, observe and optimise the ways they communicate with employees based on their existing behaviours and preferences, they could lose out on a valuable opportunity to connect, motivate and retain their employees.”

Van der Mijl concludes that engaging employees is not an easy endeavour, but as it is so valuable to a business, it must be focused on and if possible, measured: “When it comes to building a company's morale and success, engagement is a complex and elusive goal which is often seen as the benchmark. It’s traditionally been tough to pinpoint a true definition (there are so many out there). That’s made it even more difficult to properly measure employee engagement and set specific KPIs for it. Therefore, the right infrastructure needs to be put in place, with senior management leading from the front in actively recognizing employees’ good work/performance with praise, sharing relevant information and making members of staff feel like they’re part of the team. This is particularly true for industries such as retail, leisure, hospitality and manufacturing.”

Methodology

The information contained in the report is based on internal data collected from hundreds of thousands of users who use the Speakap desktop platform and mobile apps (iOS and Android) for internal communications worldwide in Q4 2018.