Today, enhancing the engagement of employees is critical to a company’s near and long-term successes and helps to retain the best talent. But as social media prevails, employees can act as their company’s spokespeople and have an impact on its reputation. This is why companies today focus on investing in better internal communications channels through which employees can gain a proper understanding of corporate visions and business activities.
However, it is challenging to properly communicate the messages to its employees, especially at a global company with employees located in different countries across the world with different cultural backgrounds. Generation differences—including differing levels of IT or media literacy—are additional challenges that a global company faces.
What is the most effective approach to communicating messages from the global headquarters to employees across the global network, and to drive internal communications and collaborations among employees beyond countries, departments and generations?
Based on our experience in Japan, there are three key elements that global companies should consider:
1. Implementing an Integrated Communications Platform
Implementing an integrated communications platform across global offices is important for promoting efficient interactions among employees. Another benefit of having an integrated platform is the ability to communicate corporate messages consistently and promptly from management to geographically-dispersed offices as well as remote and field-based workforces. It allows the company vision to resonate with employees in different countries, which boosts employees’ motivation.
Fujitsu, a multinational information technology equipment and services company, has established an integrated communications platform globally through which its 160,000 employees are able to communicate in real time. The integrated platform allows employees to efficiently connect with each other and activates interactions among employees more than traditional digital communications tools like emails. Efficient and faster communications enable employees to make decisions and tackle issues faster.
2. Adopting Visual Communications
Global companies have increasingly recognized that a video is an essential tool in internal communications, particularly in delivering top management’s messages. Rich visual and video contents resonate more strongly with employees across regions and departments and facilitate more human connections across cultures and generations.
Shiseido, a worldwide cosmetics and skin care products company, launched an integrated global platform for internal communications, aiming to unite employees inside and outside Japan as “One Shiseido.” On the platform, the company actively utilizes videos to convey the enthusiasm of top executives to the employees, which directly helps to build trust with top management.
3. Utilization of Enterprise SNS
Enterprise SNS has been adopted by a growing number of companies as an effective tool to drive active communication among employees across locations and departments due to its easy interactivity. It encourages employees’ participation in discussions and collaborations across the world, departments and generations.
Citizen, an electronics company known for its watch brand, struggled with sharing information and technological expertise among the employees before introducing enterprise SNS. The employees often spent much time finding who has what information. Enterprise SNS has reduced communication time and efforts significantly among the employees and improved efficiency information sharing.
Organizations that implement an integrated communications platform, adopt visual communications and utilize enterprise SNS will be able to improve employee engagement. In turn, high levels of employee engagement will increase business agility and competitiveness in today’s fast-moving global marketplace.