3 ways to invest in a stellar EX for IC teams (and why you should)

By Amanda Dodge
Employee Experience for IC Teams
The most forward-looking Internal Communication leaders know that creating an exceptional employee experience (EX) for their IC teams leads to the best possible outcomes — both for the organization and the employees themselves.  

Sophisticated leaders understand that employees who feel supported, connected and valued are positioned to deliver more exceptional work. They know that investing in a stellar EX leads to increased employee engagement, job satisfaction and productivity — metrics that drive overall IC effectiveness and, in turn, stronger organizational performance. Simpplr’s 2024 State of Internal Communications report notes that the most effective IC leaders “not only focus on improving the way information flows within the organization but also prioritize understanding and catering to employees’ capacity and needs.”

This has never been more important. Amid a sea of constant change, IC teams continue to do more with less.

“Our most recent research shows that optimism, employees’ emotional state at work and positive levels of work-life balance all increased for Internal Comms teams this year, and teams with higher scores on those dimensions were significantly more likely to deliver high performance,” said Jordan Katz, Chief Insights Officer at Simpplr. “Not only is focusing on employee experience an imperative, it truly has a measurable impact on your organizational performance as well.”

State of Internal Communications 2024 Report


Read on for three ways to improve EX for IC teams — an investment that promises returns for the entire organization.

3 ways to invest in a stellar EX for IC teams

Get your free copy of the 2024 State of Internal Communications report.

Give teams access to the resources they need to do their best work, including AI tools

Today’s employees expect a digital workplace experience on par with their experience outside of work. Consumer-grade technology interactions, like on social media or a shopping app, tend to be frictionless, personalized and engaging, with the information that matters most to consumers at their fingertips. The best IC team leaders understand this and make intentional investment into technology and resources that bring employees closer to those types of experiences.

The State of IC report found that highly effective (HE) Internal Communication teams are more likely to deliver custom content tailored to employees’ roles, workstreams and preferred channels.

Teams also reported that having access to AI tools mitigated the effects of shrinking budgets and headcount. Moreover, when organizations had employee experience platforms, like an intranet, they were more likely to be more successful in nearly all regards. This suggests they’re leveraging an intranet powered by artificial intelligence that enables them to personalize and target communications — reaching the right employees in the right channels at the right time.

According to the report:

“While less than half (48%) of respondents report having an intranet system, among those who do target their communications, 52% maximize targeting by creating specific comms for specific audiences. Those with an intranet are significantly more likely to target in this way — 61% vs. 44% for those without an intranet.”

EX for IC - bar chart and pie chart showing methods of communication with audiences and type of audiences

And it makes sense that IC teams with technology that enables them to make a more meaningful, measurable impact through targeted communications have a more optimistic outlook about their company.

“Those who segment and target their audience, ‘Targeters,’ rate their current state of IC higher than ‘Non-Targeters,’ those who treat their audience as a uniform block (60% vs. 53%). And Targeters are more likely to say the state of their IC has improved this year (48% vs. 41%).”

EX for IC - bar charts showing responses to questions about IC effectiveness

Related: How to use AI to personalize and target internal comms

Leader action: Identify opportunities for tech improvements

Take a closer look inside your team’s IC toolbox. A few questions to consider:

  • Are you using outdated technology that frustrates your team and hinders their effectiveness?
  • If you have an intranet, can you easily integrate more helpful tools and resources?
  • Does your intranet leverage AI to enable personalization and targeting, streamline content generation, surface stale content, and improve search results so your team can work more efficiently, with greater impact?
  • Are there other opportunities to lean into AI as a way to do more with less?
  • Is your team using too many tools, losing time switching back and forth between disparate apps?

“One of the most important things you can do is evaluate the technology,” says Carolyn Clark, VP of Employee Experience Strategy & Corporate Communications at Simpplr. “I recommend evaluating the tech stack for employees, understanding where things can be consolidated.”

Employee Experience for IC Teams - Microsoft work trends index stats

Simpplr solution: Unified EX platform with extensive AI capabilities

Our previous intranet platform was over 10 years old and really limited two-way communication and engagement. With Simpplr’s platform, features like audience targeting, rich analytics, notifications for “must read” content, a master event calendar, sites for every department and photo albums have allowed us to communicate more effectively, while simultaneously creating a much more engaging and positive user experience.” ~ Stephanie Strigenz, Sr. Corporate Communications Manager at TEAM Marketing

Simpplr’s comprehensive employee experience platform, powered by AI, includes a number of tools that can help your team be more effective and productive:

  • Smart personalization looks at each employee’s role and interests to continuously fine-tune their experience over time.
  • Writing Assistant enables internal communicators to generate solid first drafts for blogs, newsletters and emails in seconds.
  • Intelligent Search understands natural language and searches across multiple business systems to provide employees with smart answers.
  • The conversational AI Assistant connects to other systems to provide relevant, accurate answers and automate complex workflows for employees.

EX for IC - Simpplr AI-driven writing assistant

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Consistently recognize team members’ accomplishments

Acknowledging your team’s individual and collective accomplishments — and encouraging peer-to-peer recognition — can go a long way toward building happier, more motivated employees.

Consistent, authentic recognition makes employees feel appreciated and valued — and is a top motivator for better performance.

With 30% of internal communicators surveyed for the State of IC report saying their organization doesn’t value their work, it’s never been more important to let your team know that you do.

EX for IC - bar chart about IC survey

“Recognition is far more than saying thank-you,” stresses Miriam Connaughton, Simpplr’s Chief People & Experience Officer. “It is about expressing gratitude and appreciation in a way that touches the core of what someone contributes. It’s about acknowledging a person’s inherent value — as a co-worker and as a human being.”

A genuine thank-you from management can drive a nearly 70% increase in the likelihood that an employee will try even harder next time.

Leader action: Build recognition into your team’s culture

Appreciation, gratitude and recognition are more than simple gestures — they are a powerful set of tools to build and strengthen connections, enhance our sense of community, and infuse cultures with an overall sense of inclusion and well-being. Develop a strategy to consistently recognize your team and encourage them to celebrate each other. Some tips to consider:

  • Don’t wait for formal meetings (or worse, annual performance views) to recognize team members. Make acknowledging professional milestones and smaller wins part of your day-to-day activities.
  • Personalize recognition. Call out unique traits or talents that contribute to achievements.
  • Tailor how you deliver recognition to individual preferences. For example, a more introverted team member might prefer receiving gratitude during a 1:1 rather than a large team gathering.
  • Align recognition to company values. Encourage your team to share stories of how their peers have demonstrated core values.
  • Engage more with senior leadership — recognition from an exec to the team can go a long way. Teams that are more highly effective have built strong relationships with execs and have their buy-in. They also have a feedback loop on how they have impacted the org via their comms efforts.
  • Think beyond the workplace. Celebrate team members’ positive efforts in the community, personal milestones, etc.
  • Use an employee experience platform with built-in recognition and rewards capabilities to streamline the process, making it easy for employees to send kudos and celebrate their peers, without logging into another piece of software.

Simpplr solution: Rewards & Recognition

“Our intranet is an essential tool for recognizing our employees’ success at work, in our communities and as individuals.” ~ Lori Devoti, Sr. Internal Communications Specialist at Quartz Health Solutions

Simpplr’s integrated Rewards & Recognition unifies this pivotal element of EX into the platform. Employees can easily recognize their peers’ achievements, publicly celebrating efforts large and small via the platform’s feed — strengthening a culture of camaraderie. Deskless employees can give and get recognition via fully functional native mobile and tablet apps for Android and iOS devices as well as responsive web apps.

With customized rewards (coming soon), people leaders can show employees appreciation by rewarding their contributions with gift cards, unique items, or cool company swag. Plus, you can integrate badges into employee profiles to enhance the visibility of accomplishments, knowledge or performance — making it easy for others to identify their achievements.

EX for IC - Simpplr employee recognition post

Related: 12 examples of employee recognition programs

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Foster a sense of connectedness and belonging

The State of Internal Communications research makes clear that “constant change may be the new steady state of IC.” And while “the best performing IC departments live and thrive in dynamic environments,” those same environments can take a toll on team members’ well-being.

Burnout is a real problem for IC teams. Fostering a team culture of psychological safety, connectedness and belonging can help.

Employees who feel a sense of connection and belonging with each other and within their team and the organization tend to be more engaged and less stressed. When they feel safe expressing their feelings and opinions, they’re more likely to share honest feedback and ideas.

Almost all (94%) employees in one survey said it’s important to feel like they belong in their workplace.

Leader action: Look for ways to deepen connections and a sense of belonging

One of the most important things you can do to improve the employee experience for your team members is make them feel safe, connected and like they belong. Consider these ideas:

  • Embrace the value of psychological safety. Create a team culture where employees feel comfortable expressing themselves.
  • Keep a close pulse of team sentiment with routine check-ins. Be an active listener who follows up on questions and concerns. Use short pulse surveys to stay attuned to sentiment.
  • Facilitate regular team bonding activities.
  • Encourage team members to participate in employee resource groups, volunteer projects with peers, etc.
  • Leverage technology that levels the playing field for hearing and visually impaired employees, offers online communities for people with diverse interests and backgrounds to connect and collaborate, and enables real-time, two-way communication that makes all employees feel heard.

Employees gain a greater sense of connectedness and belonging when they see themselves reflected in the online employee experience, Miriam says.

Simpplr solution: One Digital HQ to connect employees

“Simpplr has elevated the way we communicate, engage and connect.” ~ Laura Marchiafava, Internal Communications Manager at RB Global

Simpplr puts everything employees need to deepen connections and enhance a sense of belonging in one Digital HQ, including:

  • A robust employee network to deepen collaboration and connection between employees with an interactive org chart that tells them who their colleagues are and what they do.
  • Multi-channel communication so employees receive messages instantly across mobile, desktop, chat, email and digital displays.
  • Support for multiple languages to bridge language gaps across a diverse workforce with translations for both the intranet application and user-generated content.

EX for IC - Simpplr intranet homepage

Related: Importance of diversity and inclusion in the digital workplace

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Invest in your team’s EX to improve outcomes

As an IC leader, your influence is pivotal to driving the employee experience for your team. By building tactics into your people management strategy that ensure team members have access to the tools and resources they need for success, consistently recognizing their achievements, and fostering a sense of connection and belonging, you can increase job satisfaction, performance and productivity. And that’s a win for the whole organization.

Request a demo to learn how Simpplr’s AI-powered employee experience platform goes beyond just an intranet. It will help you deliver beautiful, highly personalized, and targeted employee communications without any technical or design help. Simpplr is the only platform that unifies employee engagement, enablement and services, leveraging state-of-the-art AI models to deliver a seamless, cohesive and personalized employee experience.

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