Category All, Best Practices 4 Benefits of Integrating your Internal Communication Solution with HRIS Internal communication solutions and HRIS are fundamental assets for any enterprise with a large global workforce. The way leaders use these assets makes or breaks company success. June 10, 2022 By Ivo Jurcic Recent events have challenged companies and their HR and communication practices. According to Gallagher’s State of the Sector 2022 industry report, only 5% of surveyed organizations will keep their practices the same as in 2020. In other words, the vast majority of organizations will rethink and change their practices in HR and communications. Many companies leverage the advantages of integrating their internal communication solution with their HRIS. If you’re considering it as well, this article is for you. Here are the 4 key benefits of integrating your HRIS with your internal communications tool. Improved Internal Marketing Integrating your internal communication solution with HRIS can bring your internal marketing results to a new level. But first, let’s unpack the phrase Internal Marketing since its definition varies greatly in the industry. One research paper discussed several standpoints of internal marketing; according to some researchers, internal marketing is synonymous with human resources, and according to others, it denotes the use of marketing and communication practices for a company’s internal market, i.e. its employees. However, we can agree that internal marketing activities are connected to internal communications and HR, and include promoting company values, mission, objectives and services to employees. Unfortunately, many organizations are struggling to deliver a successful internal marketing strategy. For instance, research from Gallagher revealed that as many as 60% of companies don’t have a long-term strategy for internal marketing and internal communications. In addition, 12% of organizations do not measure the effectiveness of internal communications. Something has to change. Integrating your internal communications with HRIS gives your company a whole new perspective on what you can do to improve your internal marketing. A great internal communication solution gives your leadership a wealth of employee data that reveals the state of communication of your workforce. These fall into 3 categories: Communication in small groups reveals how individuals communicate in teams or during 1:1s Department-wide communication shows how departments are discussing tactical challenges and culture-centered topics (the alignment of company purpose, mission, values, etc.) Official corporate communication reflects the state of the communication in your company and reveals the efficiency of your internal marketing outreach When you merge your HRIS and your internal communication, your HR will have a crystal-clear perspective on who reads your internal marketing communications, what kind of content gets the most engagement, what kind of info do your employees consider relevant, and other valuable insights. One study about corporate email overload found that 62% of corporate emails are not important to employees. There seems to be a lack of understanding that integration of internal communications and HRIS can solve. A great example of such integration is the ability for managers to target specific employee audiences based on specific HR data and send them internal communication messages (or internal marketing initiatives). This way, your internal marketing won’t suffer from poor performance within your workforce. Increased Engagement with your Remote Workforce It’s hardly a surprise that enterprises across all industries are recruiting remote professionals into their ranks. In the US alone, the number of professionals working from home has grown by a jaw-dropping 172% in the last 15 years, according to an industry report from Global Workspace Analytics. In addition, 43% of office-based workers expect to work remotely to some extent. It’s safe to say that remote and hybrid-working employees are now an essential part of the employee ecosystem. In the UK, the share of home-based workers has also steadily risen over the years. According to data from Statista, there are over 5.4 million home-based workers, as of 2020. Source: Statista Remote employees rely on joint efforts of internal communications and HR to remain engaged at work. A report from Gatehouse found that “hard to reach employees” is still one of the biggest obstacles for Internal Communications when communicating with remote workers. When I went to the launch of the last State of the Sector report at Gatehouse in January, I was quite annoyed as it was the same issues on the list of Internal Communications barriers that I’ve seen for more than 10 years, and the priorities did not match the barriers which was equally frustrating. If you have these Internal Communications barriers and you’re not prioritizing how to overcome them, you’re just doing other stuff that is not helpful. Jenni Field, Founder of Redefining Communications Many companies still struggle with using internal communication solutions in a way that engages and energizes their remote workers. Organizations need to understand that there’s more to engaging your remote staff than sending emails and messages. To change stale communication practices, internal communications need to align with HR. The mentioned report from Gatehouse found that the second most popular positioning of internal communications is within HR, according to 22% of respondents. This means that Internal Communications are already integrating with HR. By extension, organizations should integrate internal communication solutions with their HRIS. This is a powerful combination because of 2 reasons: First of all, your internal communication solution is the source of communication analytics. They reveal how frequently your employees communicate, when are they most active, and what kind of communication engages them most. Second, internal communication solutions use employee listening features to understand the employee experience of your remote workers. When you combine these data pools with your HRIS, your internal communications can leverage the full power of your HR data. You’ll be able to understand the state of engagement from your remote workers and how to re-engage them in case they lapse. Let’s keep talking about understanding your workforce by integrating HRIS and internal communication solutions. Understand the State of Your Workforce Experienced leaders know the value of employee surveys and their role in understanding workforce morale and employee experience. After all, without seamless polling, companies can have a hard time soliciting honest feedback from their workers and getting the data they need to improve their employee experience. Usually, employee survey initiatives come from HR departments and the critically important data is collected seasonally. According to data from the Great Place to Work Institute, 90% of companies survey their employees once a year. This is not welcome news, considering how much can change in the span of a year. Consider how much your business environment has changed over the last couple of months and the impact of events on your employees. It’s not realistic to claim employee experience can be captured with only annual surveys. On the other hand, Quantum Workplace released a report about the correlation between employee engagement and poll frequency. They found that organizations that regularly poll their employees have the highest engagement level. Specifically, organizations that conduct polls on a monthly basis report 80% employee engagement. The mirror opposite is companies that only solicit employee feedback once per year, and report a low 39% engagement rate. Mature organizations use employee surveys as an opportunity to uncover possible areas for improvement and room for growth—use employee surveys to boost business success and push your organization to the top of its industry. Shane McFeely, Lead Researcher of Quantum Workspace, formerly of Gallup. Companies with a mature conception of employee experience have efficient polling practices; they’re able to survey their workforce quickly and frequently. It’s no wonder they have more engaged employees. Understanding your workforce through polls falls under the jurisdiction of HR departments that rely on HRIS. However, once your company-wide internal communications are integrated with HRIS, HR professionals can use the communications infrastructure of your company to regularly administer surveys to any group of employees. Polling stops being a tiresome, cross-department effort and becomes a streamlined practice. In addition, your HR professionals can leverage communication analytics to find the adequate communication tone and frequency of polling. Integration with Internal Communications gets the most of your HRIS One final benefit of integrating your internal communication solution with HRIS is the expansion of HRIS capabilities. HRIS, or Human Resource Information System, is loosely defined as software solutions that help HR professionals achieve employee productivity and wellbeing goals, and meet core HR needs. Once you integrate an innovative internal communication tool with HRIS, all of the activities above get a boost, which makes HRIS a much more valuable asset to your HR department. Imagine how a streamlined communication solution (and its respective comms analytics) could improve every one of these areas of use. For example, once you integrate your internal communication tool with HRIS, your HR can communicate with employees with no barriers throughout their onboarding and journey. They can then track engagement to see how they are performing after onboarding and how often they communicate with the rest of the team. HR professionals can also easily start initiatives to improve employee wellbeing and send them directly, without having to request additional data or info from other departments. Imagine how your HR department would benefit from a supercharged HRIS. Conclusion While some companies are still rethinking their HR practices after the pandemic turmoil, others are taking the lead and integrating their internal communication solution with their HRIS. The 4 key benefits that will win you over: Improved internal marketing Increased remote employee engagement Clear understanding of the state of your workforce with increased polling capabilities An upgrade of core HRIS functions We unpacked quite a lot in today’s blog posts. Reflect on what you’ve learned and consider integrating your communication tool with your HRIS. Until next time.