What does 2017 hold for internal comms?

December 28, 2016

The festivities are in full swing and 2017 is just around the corner. As the year comes to an end, it’s safe to say that 2016 has been an eventful year, from Brexit to Trump.

But what internal comms challenges can we expect in the year ahead?

Generation Z
Move over, millennials. Companies employing those aged 21 and under in 2017 are looking at the next generation: Gen Z.
The first generation to have truly grown up surrounded by technology, they’re likely to be more tech-orientated – meaning even more focus will be needed on social media and other digital platforms.
They’re also more likely to job hop in search for their perfect career.

Research shows that 83 per cent of today’s students believe three years or less is the appropriate amount of time to spend at their first job, and over a quarter believe you should stay at your first job for a year or less.
Internal comms teams will need to tweak their comms to encourage talent retention, focusing on development and training options so the new workforce will have a reason to stick around.

This year, Uber lost the right to call its drivers self-employed, bringing a huge amount of change to the company.
Now with 40,000 employees instead of partners, Uber is going to need to consider how it treats its employees.

Whether drivers preferred being self-employed and resent the change, or have dealt with years of resentment up until the decision, this big change means drivers are going to be disengaged.
And it’s not just Uber that’s going to need to change its practices – research by Citizens Advice suggests that 460,000 people could be falsely classified as self-employed, meaning companies like Deliveroo, Hermes and Handy could all be next to come under the firing line in 2017.

As a result of the Affordable Care Act, it’s predicted that the use of freelancers is going to dramatically increase – one study suggested that 74 per cent of companies will contract with more freelancers and 60 per cent plan to hire more freelancers than full-time employees.

This undoubtedly brings challenges for internal comms. A lack of benefits, job security and regular office presence brings difficulties engaging a large proportion of the workforce.
Companies affected by this change will undoubtedly need to tweak their internal comms.
There may be challenges around onboarding, and a high proportion of freelancers mean that if the internal magazine regularly plugs benefits, a new set of platforms should be established.

** Get 2017 off to a flyer with our breakfast briefing session on Jan 16. We’ve rounded up three leading IC authorities to tell us exactly how they engage their diverse audience. For more details, click here…**