3 April 2023

How can Internal Communications teams harness the power of personalisation in 2023?

Personalisation ideas to improve engagement and boost retention

Internal communications are the lifeblood of every organisation – at least, of every savvy, engaging and high performing organisation.

Information is shared up, down and across your employee network, to support progress towards your company goals. The way you do it is fundamental to performance, and can make or break future success.

We continue to think about employees as internal consumers. It’s employees who have the biggest impact on customer experience, who connect the strategic dots and drive progress.

How then can we make sure internal communications support them, and do justice to the critical role they play?

“Hyper-personalisation” is the practice of tailoring content or marketing on an individual level – far beyond adding a first name to the top of an email. It’s an exciting opportunity to explore, and a top trend for 2023 as internal communication teams think about the personalisation possibilities across their employee audiences.

More and more, colleagues are coming to expect a consumer-grade experience at work, and internal communications are an important building block of that experience.

There’s a lot we can learn from the world of consumer CRM and marketing teams, as well as experts in highly individualised experiences like Amazon and Netflix.

So, what should IC teams across the globe be thinking about?

Perfect personalisation

In utopia, IC teams would have access to the advanced technologies and bigger budgets of their consumer-facing counterparts. In reality, the ability to personalise communications on an individual level is limited. This creates an opportunity: an opportunity for IC teams to think differently and invent creative solutions to the personalisation challenge.

Getting started

What should IC teams be thinking about and exploring to supercharge their personalisation strategies?
  1. Understand your data, find the gaps

Explore the data you have access to through your intranet and any other employee profiles you can get your hands on. The opportunities for personalisation could include generationally focussed groups, regions or people with active interests.

What do you wish you knew about your employees? It could be their interests. Do they love to know about new starters? Are they curious about certain benefits? Is understanding a particular business area or function more important to some than others? Or maybe it’s more about their career goals, personal ambitions or passion projects. Whatever it is, think about how you can collect and capture this information with campaigns, custom fields, profiling. When you know what you want to know, it’s easier to get hold of it!

  1. Go opportunity hunting

How intimately connected are you with your channels? To find  personalisation opportunities that really harness the power of each one, get to know them better. Enlist expertise from your colleagues in tech, IT and transformation. Make it your mission to understand the personalisation potential of your intranet portal, your company messaging platform and all your other channels.

Investigate what other users of specific software are doing, dig for inspiration, and spend some time innovating new solutions. For example, did you know Microsoft Teams has a ‘Company Communicator’ app that could help you get direct messages to specific groups? Have you thought about how connecting AI with your intranet could boost employee insights?

  1. Connect with comms colleagues

Your external communications experts, marketing, have been thriving on data analysis, insights generation and hyper-personalisation for years. How can you help each other? If you can get up close and personal with your consumer-centric colleagues, you can learn from and explore ideas with people who have been familiar with personalisation for a long time already.

  1. Do it differently

We’re excited to explore the potential for personalisation with our clients in 2023, and know it’s a high priority for internal communication leaders.

Let’s explore just one avenue together, for starters: employee mailing lists.

We only pay attention to things that interest us, so what’s the point in bombarding individuals with comms they simply don’t care about? What if we gave people the choice? Instead of sending everything to everyone, we empower colleagues to sign up to mailing lists or use a personal preference centre (very ‘consumer brand’).

People are more likely to engage in content knowing that they chose to receive it, and IC teams’ hard work will be rewarded with an engaged audience that really cares. Divide up all your comms topics, decide what’s mandatory for everyone, and create a loud and proud campaign for the rest asking people to opt in to mailing lists and curate their own newsfeeds…

Imagine the possibilities

Ultimately, investing in data CRM-style can open the doors of possibility for hyper-personalisation in employee communications.

Imagine being able to remedy performance problems with hyper-personalisation. The opportunity to group users into a particular segment based on whether they’re a flight risk (and upping the ante on engagement), or their attendance is poor (increasing visibility of wellbeing and performance-based content).

In short, personalisation has incredible potential in internal communications. Teams can use it to craft pillar of the employee experience that’s truly responsive: improving and maintaining engagement, and even reducing absenteeism or boosting retention.

50% of companies feel they can increase interaction within email by increasing personalisation. [Source: Experian].

Shall we get personal?

Our McCann Synergy team are passionate and innovative internal communication experts, and we’d love to help you explore what personalisation could do for your employee communications. Who knows what potential we’ll unlock, together. Get in touch today.


Bethany Mullett, Senior Strategist

Bethany Mullett, Senior Strategist

Bethany is passionate about enabling high performance cultures where people can thrive, with a background in leading employee engagement and cultural transformation for global businesses, and a current obsession with hybrid working!

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