Updated: Jan 20
We asked ChatGPT for the 5 main internal communications trends for 2023. Although it doesn't feel qualified to answer I think the response is pretty decent. I've added some thoughts on the back of the bots' response.
"It's difficult to predict exactly what the trends in internal communications will be for 2023, as they can be influenced by a variety of factors such as technology developments, changing work environments, and shifting employee expectations.
However, here are five potential trends that could shape internal communications in the coming years:
Increased use of remote communication tools: With the shift to remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it's likely that organizations will continue to rely on digital communication tools to connect with their employees. This could include video conferencing platforms, project management software, and virtual team-building activities.
Greater emphasis on employee engagement: As the importance of employee engagement becomes more widely recognized, organizations may focus on creating more opportunities for employees to feel connected and involved in company decision-making and culture. This could include things like regular check-ins with managers, opportunities for feedback and input, and employee recognition programs.
Personalization and customization: With the proliferation of data and analytics, it may be possible for organizations to tailor their communication strategies to the individual needs and preferences of their employees. This could involve using data to segment employees by location, role, or other factors, and then tailoring messages and content accordingly.
Greater use of multimedia content: To keep employees engaged and informed, organizations may increasingly use a variety of multimedia content such as videos, podcasts, and infographics to communicate important information and messages.
More use of artificial intelligence and automation: As AI and automation become more prevalent, it's possible that they could be used to improve internal communication processes, such as by automating certain tasks or using chatbots to answer frequently asked questions. However, it's important for organizations to ensure that these technologies are used in a way that is transparent and doesn't diminish the human element of communication."
I would put the emphasis of the first trend very differently. I don't believe the success of remote or hybrid lies in the tools. Tools are abundant. It's the people and the teams that need to start organising themselves in ways that are more in line with the hybrid situation. There needs to be more emphasis on coordination and bonding. You need to make the time together count and do team things when you are together. We see to many people in calls all day when they are in the office. So number 1 should be to give employees, teams, and managers the methods, training, and tools to be able to structure their work so it fits hybrid or remote work.
Number 2: I fully agree that employee engagement is an important focus point. It is slipping fast the past few years. Leaders and communications departments need to innovate the way they communicate and make communication more inclusive. The focus should shift from talking to people to talking with people. Internal social networks are the perfect tool to do so. Having trend number 1 in order will also contribute to improving engagement.
I don't have much to add to numbers 3-5.
A trend that was overlooked is that communication departments should be transitioning from the ones talking about change to agents of change. There are many communication instruments, especially the more 'inclusive' variants that can drive change. Comms people should claim that seat instead of waiting to be told to communicate about an 'implemented change'.
Finally, a trend we are seeing is that internal comms is getting more important. The younger generation is expecting more value in their employee journey. It is no longer acceptable to have a kick ass external brand but the internal branding being non existent. Divisions, departments, and functions will need to invest more in clarifying how they contribute to the organisation. Not so much to sell themselves to the rest of the organisation, but more so to drive engagement in the unit and to create a sense of pride.