For marketers, digital personalization has been a must for driving more engagement from leads, prospects, and customers.
Internal communications professionals, however, have yet to get to the same level and provide more personalized workplace experiences to every employee.
Even though internal communication has been slower to embrace digital personalization strategies, as new technologies arrive, the gap is narrowing.
In this blog, we will talk about the importance of digital personalization and explain how HR and IC professionals can leverage technology to optimize their digital personalization initiatives.
What Is Digital Personalization
In essence, digital personalization is the process of offering end users (customers, prospects, web visitors, or employees) tailored and personalized content and experiences across various digital channels.
McKinsey research found that companies that excel at personalization generate 40% more revenue from those activities than average players.
When it comes to external communications, the research shows that 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions, and 76% get frustrated when this doesn’t happen. Since many of us are used to a high level of personalization in our digital lives, the same percentage might be true for internal communications.
The main goal of digital personalization is to deliver experiences that speak directly to the end users. Such experiences need to be delivered to the right user at the right time and offer something valuable that the users want to consume and engage with.
Deliver personalized digital experience to every employee with Haiilo!
About Digital Personalization In Internal Communications
Digital personalization in the workplace is still not as popular as it is in marketing and brand communications. However, modern employees expect the same level of personalization in the workplace as they experience in their personal lives.
In a study of more than 300 communications and HR professionals––71% said employees don’t read or engage with company emails or content, and one of the major reasons is lack of personalization and relevancy.
So internal communications professionals are tasked with boosting employee engagement by creating more relevant and personalized internal company content relevant to employees’ locations, job functions, languages, and their interests and preferences.
Their job is no longer to just put together monthly company-wide internal newsletters or send generic company updates to every employee via email. This approach usually results in low readership, lack of organizational alignment, and poor knowledge management.
Instead consider the following factors when evaluating digital personalization in internal communications:
1. Content type
Do you know what type of content your employees prefer to consume? Is it articles, videos, podcasts, or informative infographics?
Every employee has different preferences, especially in multigenerational and geographically distributed large companies. While it’s not realistic to deliver a different type of content to every employee, you can make efforts to understand preferred content formats among various departments, employee groups, or employee personas.
Serving the right content format in front of the right reader is an absolute prerequisite for improving digital personalization in the workplace.
Do you know when your employees consume company content? Is it before they start working on their daily tasks? Is it at the end of their working day, or do they use their lunch break to read the updates?
Having such insights can help you serve the content in front of the right audience at the time when they are most likely to see it and engage with it.
For some internal communications campaigns, timeliness is critical for greater readership and engagement. This is particularly important for safety and change-management-related communications.
Do your employees use email to read company-generated content? Or do they completely ignore email and depend on Slack and MS Teams for workplace communications? Do they rely on your company’s intranet to find out the latest news and updates about the company?
Using and managing multichannel communication is one of the most important steps in improving the overall digital personalization in internal comms.
If you don’t deliver content and messages via employees’ preferred channels, the information is very likely to get lost or unintentionally ignored.
Who is the creator of your internal company’s content? Whose content do employees prefer to consume?
According to research, employee-generated content can be much more efficient and trustworthy than brand content.
Here are two statistics that prove the power of employee-generated content:
- Salesforce found that 92% of consumers trust online content from friends, colleagues, and family above all other forms of brand messages.
- Edelman’s trust barometer research found that company experts are trusted 66% of the time.
9 Ways to Deliver Hyper-Personalized Digital Experience to Your Employees
Now let’s take a deep dive into how you can provide a personalized digital experience to your employees.
1. Ask employees for input
The safest way to learn how to improve digital personalization in the workplace is to ask your employees. This can be as simple as distributing a company-wide survey with questions related to the four content characteristics explained in the previous section.
Here is an example of a survey to help you get started:
- What type of content do you prefer to consume:
- Live presentations
- Other. Please specify.
- What time of the day do you reserve for consuming company-generated content?
- Mornings, before I start working on my daily tasks
- Mid-day or during my lunch break
- End of my working day
- Other. Please specify.
- What company channels do you prefer for consuming company-related content?
- Instant messaging platforms (Slack, Microsoft Teams)
- Other. Please specify.
- What kind of content do you find most interesting/valuable?
2. Measure employees’ engagement with existing content
Ideally, your company’s intranet should come with a built-in tracking mechanism to measure the level of engagement with various content types and formats.
Social intranets such as Haiilo give you data and insights about employees’ preferred content types and other behavioral commonalities among various employee groups.
Such insights allow internal communications professionals to learn from previous initiatives and make more informed and data-driven decisions for improvement.
For example, if you find that developers mostly engage with employee-generated articles, it becomes much easier to produce and distribute high-quality content for that audience.
Furthermore, you may find that your mobile and frontline workers may prefer podcasts because of the convenience and ability to listen on the go.
Based on the insights, you can easily create employee groups (a.k.a. employee personas) with similar characteristics and preferences. This will help you provide more personalized workplace experiences to each group.
3. Create personalized news feeds
Most company’s intranets still deliver generic company-wide content to every employee, and this is one of the major reasons for the low intranet adoption rate.
Modern solutions, on the other hand, are designed to serve as a personalized, digital home for every employee.
The same way employees’ favorite social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok deliver unique, personalized experiences, so should your company’s intranet.
Personalized news feeds with relevant, authentic, and targeted communications can go a long way in improving the overall employee experience in the workplace.
Modern social intranets have built-in algorithms that track and understand employees’ preferences and interests. They use the algorithm to serve personalized news feeds relevant to the end users, resulting in much higher engagement and adoption rates.
4. Deliver personalized internal campaigns
As an HR or internal communications professional you probably organize frequent internal campaigns.
However, not all the campaigns may be relevant to every employee in your organization. For example, you may want to implement a company newsletter about how to improve your customers’ experience through better support and professional services. This type of internal communication may not be relevant to non-customer-facing teams.
Unfortunately, many internal communications professionals are struggling to segment their internal audiences and deliver hyper-personalized content to every employee. Such a lack of digital personalization often leads to employees neglecting future internal comms efforts.
Therefore, opting for solutions that offer an advanced targeting feature that allows you to select groups based on their department, location, the level of seniorit and much more as well as individual users is key in ensuring high engagement rates with your internal campaigns.
5. Distribute content via the right channels
As mentioned earlier, most enterprise organizations use various communication channels to communicate with their employees, and most employees prefer certain workplace communication channels.
So to improve digital personalization in the workplace, it is critical to deliver personalized content via employees’ preferred communications channels.
According to Gartner research, the average desk worker uses 11 applications to complete their tasks, up from just six in 2019. Despite the expanded toolset, nearly half of employees say they struggle to find the information they need to complete work. More than one-third missed important updates due to the multitude of apps and the volume of data flowing through them.
Luckily, advanced internal communications platforms allow HR and comms professionals to easily distribute content via any workplace channel to segmented audiences.
6. Schedule content based on employees’ time zones
If you are a large enterprise with employees distributed across the globe, it is important that you consider their time zones when delivering content.
Furthermore, you can make the experience more personalized by posting the company’s content during peak readership times.
If your company’s internal communications platform tracks employee engagement based on working days and hours, use these insights to deliver the content when they are more likely to see it and engage with it.
7. Use employees’ native languages
Manually creating content in various languages is not scalable and requires a lot of time and resources.
Yet, one of the most important aspects of digital personalization in internal communications is creating and distributing content in employees’ native languages.
Luckily, many vendors on the market offer multi-language capabilities and integrations with AI-translators to help you keep digital personalization at high levels.
8. Let employees subscribe to the topics of their choice
Digital personalization is also about allowing employees to have better control over what type of content they want to receive. This is also a great way to reduce information overload in the workplace.
Studies say that on average every person sees up to 10,000 ad impressions every single day. This madness shouldn’t be transferred to the internal comms. Let your employees decide which information they need. They know best.
9. Leverage the power of AI
Generative AI has been widely accepted among marketers worldwide. Even though IC professionals have yet to get to the same level, the applications and benefits of AI in internal communications are inevitable.
One of the most interesting applications is providing personalized responses to employees’ inquiries instead of generating links to many different resources.
For example, Haiilo’s search functionality can find content relevant to employees’ search queries across multiple workplace applications. Using AI capabilities, it can deliver responses to employees’ questions instead of generating links to resources. Haiilo AVA integrates with your intranet and finds the most relevant answer to your search. This is a great way to make your company’s content more personalized, useful, and easier to consume.
Try out AVA yourself!
Download our Employee Engagement Report and learn what drives and motivates modern employees!