March 29, 2017

How to Modernize Internal Communications: Technology Required

A sponsored post by Jenna Soule, Corporate Communications Manager at RBA

As a proud Gen Xer, I remember clearly the days before the Internet. During my first “real job” in communications after college, I can recall spending hours typing and distributing interoffice memos to schedule meetings or to share important news with the employees. WiFi wasn’t a thing, and to be “at work” meant you needed to be in the office. But times have certainly changed. Now, the majority of today’s workforce is comprised of millennials—and, in a few short years, Gen Z will take over. What do these younger generations mean for internal communications?

For starters, the reality is that we don’t work like we did a decade ago. Physical work environments are being replaced because we all want to work in the same way we live… digitally, from anywhere and on any device.

In this new digital reality, workers will increasingly have new requirements:

  • A multi-channel approach. Like external marketing efforts, internal communications and marketing activities span various platforms. From intranet portals to collaboration solutions like Slack, or the recently-launched Microsoft Teams and internal social media tools like Yammer, we’re now working in an era of the “digital workplace.” Keep the employee in mind and tailor your internal communications message to each channel.
  • Access to internal communications on any device. It’s still surprising to me that mobile centricity is not the focus within some organizations. To reach your employees, make sure your internal communications are accessible on any company-sanctioned device. Many workers are digital natives who work seamlessly between devices and channels. In fact, millennials, on average, use three screens and Gen Zers use five (a smartphone, TV, laptop, desktop and iPad), according to a report from Sparks & Honey.
  • Remote access. Work no longer takes place at one physical location. It can happen at the airport, at home, at the lake and in the office. Your internal communications will need to be accessible in any and all of these locations.
  • Work-life balance. Gone are the days of 9 to 5. Flexible work hours enabled through technology are bringing advantages to employees by allowing them to optimize their work schedules and work-life balance. Overall, 44 percent of remote workers have a more positive attitude and 53 percent report reduced stress adding to great quality-of-life, per a Connect Solutions study.

In a 2016 Microsoft study, 93 percent of millennials cited modern and up-to-date technology as one of the most important aspects of a workplace. With so many modern internal communications tools, it can be hard to keep up. And, it can be equally as challenging trying to get employees to incorporate these new ways to connect and collaborate into their daily work.

That’s why RBA, a Wayzata-based digital and technology consultancy, is partnering with IABC Minnesota for a Lunch & Learn on How to Modernize Internal Communications on May 2. The interactive luncheon will feature a panel of business communicators from Cargill, Mortenson Construction and Tennant who will share insights based on their recent experiences and will provide lessons learned along with invaluable tips for transforming internal communications.

If you’re interested in learning more about this topic of digital workplace tools and trends, join us on May 2. And, for more insights on this topic, please sign up to be the first to receive RBA’s forthcoming e-book at