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The Future of Internal Comms: 
A Manager’s 2021 Guide

As companies shift to hybrid work, internal strategy needs to shift to visual communication. That means, more videos. Learn how to harness videos for announcements, events, change management, and beyond.

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Internal Comms in the Era of Video & Visual Content

As you’re kickstarting 2021, now is the perfect time to rethink the strategic role of your internal communications team. Depending on your company size and priorities, a strong internal communications strategy focuses on the following initiatives:

• Driving employee awareness of company news
• Deepening company alignment at all levels 
• Strengthening company loyalty and engagement
• Creating a culture of open communication 
• Maintaining calmness in times of change or crisis

But as you know, the challenge facing internal communication teams isn’t coming up with new initiatives. Rather, it’s being able to execute and package these initiatives into fresh, exciting, and bite-sized communication experiences that employees will pay attention to and interact with.
Whether delivered in a physical or virtual setting, making sure your onboarding, training, and engagement efforts are visually engaging will determine how “successful,” “forward thinking,” or “tech-savvy” your team is perceived in the eyes of employees and leadership.

Whether delivered in a physical or virtual setting, making sure your internal communication experiences are visually engaging will determine how “successful,” “forward thinking,” or “tech-savvy” your team is perceived in the eyes of employees and leadership.

Instead of relying on text-heavy messages, endless emails, old school PowerPoints, and intranet posts that go unread, we propose a new approach — one that leans on visual communication that engages employees on a deeper level.

In fact, 65% of your workforce are visual learners. That’s because our brains are wired for visual information, which is decoded 60,000 times faster than written text. Not to mention, written information in the form of PDF manuals, emails, and presentations, fails to provide valuable context or convey important emotions like trust and empathy.

Designed for internal communications team leaders and senior managers, this guide provides actionable tips to help your team package every initiative into a visual experience that effectively informs, engages, and inspires everyone in the company.

Definition: Visual communication refers to the transfer of ideas and information through visual media such as video, animation, images, and GIFs.

Putting Visual Communication into Action

01. ONBOARDING

Deliver meaningful visual learning experiences that spark employee productivity from day one.

02. TRAINING

Breathe new life into your training by transforming text-heavy materials into enjoyable video learning.

03. ALIGNMENT

Reduce information fatigue using attractive and simple videos that gets everyone on the same page.

04. ENPOWERMENT

Give employees a reason to stick around with videos and visual content that motivates and drives engagement.

05. REPORTING

Visualize your program data and results in a visual way that inspires employees and gets leadership buy-in.

ONBOARDING

A positive onboarding experience can make all the difference between an employee who feels lost and one who confidently integrates into the company. How can your team repackage lifeless onboarding PowerPoints and training manuals into visual experiences?

Employee Introductions
Establishing social bonds with new colleagues can be daunting. Break the ice and welcome newcomers with personalized "About Me" videos that introduce them to the team and give a glimpse into their lives. Share the video via email or use Slack/Microsoft Teams to keep employees in the loop from different departments and geographic locations.

 
Pro Tip: Encourage all new hires to create short videos that introduce themselves to the company. Powtoon’s video templates are extremely easy to customize, allowing employees to add their image, map their experience on a timeline, and share who they are in a visually engaging way. Upload these videos to an internal library or wiki site for coworkers to access.

Company Overview
Trying to visualize what a company does, its history, solutions, or values, is no easy task. Using animated or infographic videos, your team can successfully present the must-knows and good-to-knows, while incorporating the look and feel of your brand. Here's a brilliant example of how Amazon's turned their 14 leadership principles into an engaging animated video:

 

“Powtoon is being really useful for us! It helps us improve internal communication. Dynamic videos bring us closer to employees and help us engage them. In addition, training on the platform is really easy thanks to the webinars offered by the team. Without a doubt, a great tool that we will continue using in the company!”

Janire Fernández Esteban, People Solutions at Bridgestone

FAQs
Think about all those questions new employees have in the first 30 days. They can be technical or even culture-related questions. The questions will never stop, but your team can save a whole lot of time by recording FAQ videos in the form of "video messages". Once created, upload the videos to the company's Google Drive, intranet, or whichever knowledge base you rely on.

Pro Tip: Make it a best practice for employees to drop questions into a dedicated Slack channel or group chat. At the end of each week, your team can quickly record a video message with Powtoon, addressing these questions in a much more contextualized way. All video messages should be uploaded to your (growing) library of team resources.

TRAINING

93% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers (LinkedIn, 2018). Training and development matters. Discover how your Internal Comms team can harness videos and visual content to help employees and middle managers build knowledge and skills in the short and long term.

Invitation to Training
All trainers have one goal in common: to increase attendance rates. Use short, animated videos to get employees and remote learners psyched for your next training session.

 

“Powtoon has elevated our learning and development resources from antiquated training binders to lively and engaging content that speaks to our audience. Foot Locker, Inc.’s retail team now receives vibrant and fully branded micro-learning videos that capture our organization’s spirit and celebration of sneaker and youth culture around the globe.”

Jennifer Baker, Senior Manager, Retail Learning and Development at Footlocker

Tutorials
Creating successful tutorials provides an incredible opportunity to help new and existing employees gain soft skills, understand company policies, and comply with best practices. Opt for animated or whiteboard training videos to get teams excited about their future in the company.

 
Pro Tip: Next time your team introduces a new video tutorial, get them to add a star ranking option at the end for employee feedback. The more insights they glean, the easier it will be to optimize your training programs and reach employees’ career objectives.

Product Walkthroughs
Have new software that your team needs to learn or train others on? Screen and webcam recordings allow for a comprehensive walkthrough of any product along with a voiceover narration.

 

Training Completion Certificates
lnstead of boring printouts or documents, have your team award employees and trainees with an official attendance certificate video that they can share on social media. No matter how old you are, it always feels good to be rewarded for your efforts.

 

‘’Powtoon is a great visual communication platform and has enabled us to create fun inspiring videos without the need for being an expert in video editing! The results have led to a more knowledgeable and engaged workforce within our department.”

Nina Nicolas, Information Systems Manager at Veolia

ALIGNMENT

Keeping everyone on the same page can be challenging, especially when employees are distributed in different locations and timezones. How can your team maintain frequent and open communication with them?

Change Management
Implementing change, both big and small, in an organization can be scary. Make the transformation a breeze by using videos to forecast and plan the execution of this change. Support your employees by creating videos about feedback communities, updates, and exciting announcements of what you've got planned in store. Lastly, use these videos to offer employees top tips to ensure they have the best experience with these new developments and that the best is yet to come.

 

Video Newsletters
Keep your employees informed and aligned on the latest company updates with an engaging video newsletter. Share company milestones, department updates, big wins, important reminders, a message from the CEO, and more. Share far and wide to employees across departments.

 

Project Kickoff's & Updates
Is your team planning something new? Easily break down a project, action plan, and timeframes with explainer videos that are quick for employees to digest. Highlight key initiatives, timelines, and action items – and update on progress week by week. 

 

“The banking sector is constantly evolving. We need to regularly inform our financial advisors about new operations and rules which are not always easy to explain. Powtoon helps us make difficult subjects easier to understand. In the end, it contributes to the satisfaction of our customers and enables us to facilitate and reinvent communication within our company.”

Marie-Laure Neuts-Cousin, Communication Project Manager at Caisse-Epargne

Meeting Summary and Follow-Ups
Meetings and video calls can be draining, especially when your company has numerous distributed teams. Using video messages or explainer videos, your team can clearly relay and contextualize action items, deadlines, and key milestones that they want employees to remember. Drop the video into an email, group channel, or your existing LMS/LXP platform where employees can easily refer to it.

 
Pro Tip: Powtoon offers speed controls so your team can watch your video summaries on double speed, in their own free time. Now that’s productive!

All-Hands Meetings
Engage employees at the next department or all-hands meeting with a memorable video presentation and supporting visuals that boost engagement. This is the most productive way to guide employees through upcoming revenue goals, company projects, and product updates. Don’t forget to shout out all the hard workers that made it happen.

 
Pro Tip: With Powtoon’s fully-editable project management templates, all your team needs to do is add their messages, swap images, and personalize with branded characters to align with their brand! All that’s left is to present far and wide to visually guide your employees through your latest updates, goals, and projects. And don’t forget to shout out all the hard workers that made it happen.

Department QBR
Another year has come and gone — and it’s time to show all your department has accomplished! Present a Quarterly Roadmap video to let everyone know your exciting plans for the upcoming quarter in the most visual and understandable way. 

 

EMPOWERMENT

Employee empowerment goes beyond “employee happiness”. It’s about building long-term emotional commitment towards your company. Engaged employees yield higher productivity, lower absenteeism, and better customer service. So how can your team effectively show appreciation, recognize hard work, and give employees a boost of motivation?

Morning Inspiration
Looking to get your team or other teams more energized? Presenting a short video at the beginning of each week with action items, to-do’s, and inspirational quotes can help set the stage for exceptional work and give employees a dose of perspective and motivation for the future.

 

Employee Recognition
The best way to motivate employees is by recognizing their talents and contributions, especially when they’re working remotely. Announce your company’s high achieving employee, team or department. No matter if you or a VP presents this shout out, it’s sending a clear message about your core values.

 

Company Culture, Diversity & Inclusion
As Gen-Z and Millennial employees continue to become a more significant part of your workforce, promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is no longer a need, it’s a must. Using videos with diverse characters moving on screen allows your team to confidently bridge generational gaps, visualize the concept of “allyship,” and get everyone onboard with your company values.

 

Annoucements
Having an office party? Releasing a new product? Planning a team building activity? Is it that time of year for staff development? Encourage your team to announce all of your big company changes and celebrate the success of your people with a video like this one:

 

Virtual Events
Get your team to successfully host a webinar or virtual event with a super engaging video. Educate audiences using webinar best practices and supporting animation that visually guide them through the challenges, facts, and takeaways of your topic at hand.

 

“Powtoon brings our staff training videos to another level. As our workforce is forced to learn new programs and platforms to face the demand of the virtual world, we turn to Powtoon to train the team, helping staff stay relevant and thrive in our virtual communication initiatives.”

Luz Hinojosa, Education Project Manager at Texas Association of Countries

Hackathons
Nothing fosters innovation, collaboration, and fun like a team or department-wide hackathon! Allow your employees to choose from explainer videos, pitch decks, and product introductions to show off a new concept or to get the ball rolling on a cool initiative.

 

“Powtoon makes hackathons easier for everyone involved. In out yearly global hackathon, out teams used Powtoon to grate short videos to pitch their innovative ideas to our pane; of judges in a visually and engaging way. Powtoon added lots of energy to our hackathon”

Valerie Katz Sztybel, Innovation Manager at NICE

REPORTING

Your team invests valuable time, energy, and resources into all kinds of company events and employee engagement activities. But how can you help them show off their results and accomplishments in a visual, digestible, and inspiring way?

Monthly Reports
Use video infographics to present the results of your latest program, campaign, or initiative. The structure is simple: introduce your project, state your goals, and reveal whether the results matched expectations. Check out the example below:

 

Quick, Fun Facts
List, delight, and present your most important info, engagement metrics, and project stats with a quick facts video. Instead of drowning people in a tidal wave of information, using this whiteboard style video can make it easy to present a list of stats, actions, or facts in a way that your employees will bring your engagement to the next level.

 

“My experience with Powtoon for Business was always excellent! The tool allows you to navigate and create videos in an easy, fast and super intuitive way. I highly recommend it for creating new materials.”

Victoria Olthoff, Training Analyst, Change Management at Accenture

Project Summaries
Ensure your research findings are presented in a clear and unforgettable way with a research summary video that’s sure to engage. This is the perfect way to make your team stand out from other departments in the company.

 
Pro Tip: Preparing a visual report can be time-consuming. Using Powtoon, you can efficiently customize and update your video reports on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.

Cut through the noise with
visual communication

With Powtoon your team can create professional videos and visual content that are
fun to consume and align perfectly to your brand. Distribute videos across any
channel where employees are already on.

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