Do you struggle to get engagement from your global internal communications? It can be a bit of a vicious cycle. You need to create content that engages international staff and to do that you need their contribution and input. But to get that input you need to provide global teams with content they will engage with, which brings us back to the first problem! If that sounds familiar or if you’re new to communicating with a global workforce, read on.
It’s certainly a challenge, but one that can be easily overcome by building relationships with your internal content creators, local market champions and linguists.
We’ve worked with a number of internal comms teams who’ve asked for our support to communicate key messages, boost engagement and start conversations with an internal workforce by translating and localising their communications. Our advice is to take a step back and develop a strategy for building relationships and engagement with international staff.
At Comtec, our translation and localisation team has helped many multinational clients increase global employee engagement by putting into practice the following suggestions:
7 tried and tested ideas for creating engaging multilingual internal communications
- Recruit local internal comms champions!
It really helps to have someone in each local market who can work with you to develop more engaging content. With their support and buy in they can also help you distribute internal comms easily, and solicit contributions from international teams and staff. Try to find someone in each market who you can build a relationship with and who understands your objectives.
- Understand cultural differences between different markets
Cultural differences can have a big impact on internal communications. There can be a disconnect between the corporate voice used in the UK and other markets, and there may also be significant differences between employees in one market and another. By understanding the cultural differences between each market you’ll find it easier to communicate effectively with different employees.
- Factor localisation into your internal comms
Localisation is the process of making your content more relevant and engaging for staff in different markets. It can involve translating text for staff into their native language, amending content (text and imagery) to take into account cultural preferences, and changing the tone of voice to engage staff more effectively.
- Use segmentation to get better results
Not all content is relevant or interesting to every employee within a global organisation. By using segmentation you can target staff with the most appropriate content based on their market, their role and even the platforms you use to share internal communications. For example, one of our clients produces a monthly digital newsletter for managerial staff in each global office; and a localised and abridged printed version for employees working on the factory floor in their overseas markets.
- Identify content with global appeal
To make it easier on your content creators and your workload, try to identify content with global appeal that doesn’t require extensive localisation for different markets. Your local internal comms champions can help you understand what content staff will engage with in their market and what aspects of it may need to be localised.
- Strike a balance between global and local topics
While global content is important for communicating corporate messages, values and culture, local topics are generally far more engaging to employees. Although the insights of the CEO are important, so too are the insights of a local sales manager to staff in that market. This content is also more likely to generate contributions from other members of staff, so strike the right balance between the two.
- Engage global staff with gamification
At Comtec we’ve seen first-hand some great examples of how multinational internal comms teams have increased engagement with gamification. Simple ideas like a monthly competition or quiz can generate contributions from a diverse workforce and help to make individual employees feel part of a global organisation. Of course, the gamification activities you use must have global appeal and be appropriate in all markets. Liaise with your local internal comms champions and localisation partner to ensure you’re engaging with everyone appropriately!
I hope that the above suggestions will help you develop a more effective global internal comms strategy. If you would like an informal chat about your global comms, please contact me. The Comtec team and I have extensive experience helping our multinational clients communicate more effectively.
If you currently handle your translation and localisation requirements in-house, you may find our guide exploring the benefits of outsourcing translations useful. Please download your copy below.