How to Use Internal Webinars to Improve Communication and Engagement
Webinars have become one of the popular methods to host events. Their ability to reach an audience at scale without the limitations of a physical venue and the convenience of having people attend without travel are clear benefits.
Most webinars are created with a business purpose in mind: to convert webinar viewers into customers. But webinars don’t have to be limited to external-facing events. They also have potential as internal communication and employee engagement tools.
Here are the reasons why organizations should consider implementing internal webinars.
Why Does Internal Communication Matter?
Internal webinars can be effective training tools and provide an avenue to enhance internal communication and information exchange in the organization. They can include members at all levels, from the C-suite all the way down the ladder, and can be a critical element of organizational success.
Done correctly, internal communication can be a great way to improve employee engagement, resolve conflicts and reduce misunderstandings that can sometimes occur. That's not to mention that proper communication can be used to recognize employees for their work and build the appreciation of their colleagues. Keeping employees in sync helps them reach their full potential, which has a positive impact on the company.
In fact, good internal communication is a competitive advantage for the company, said Darren Nix, founder of Austin-based Steadily, a provider of insurance for landlords. “Strong internal communication is invaluable, as it reduces redundancy, builds strong company culture, and aligns expectations,” he said.
Good internal communication is even more important when it comes to remote work. “Internal communications have always been of great value to companies to streamline business processes and effectively manage employees and teams, but the importance of streamlined communications increased for companies new to remote work,” said Maggie Kelleher, director of business development at VAI, a Ronkonkoma, N.Y.-based provider of enterprise resource planning software.
The Benefits of Internal Webinars
Internal webinars can be effective internal communication options, but what specific benefits can companies expect to see?
Build Teams and Strengthen Relationships
“One important aspect of having internal webinars is that it reminds employees that they are part of a collaborative team working on the same goals,” said Ouriel Lemmel, CEO of New York-based WinIt, an app used to dispute parking and traffic violations. While messages via email or Slack can help get the message across, they don’t always portray the same team atmosphere as having everyone in an internal event where they can communicate with each other and ask questions while receiving the same message.
Unify Communications and Messaging
Just like events where everyone has access to a keynote speaker, internal webinars help companies keep everyone on the same page by ensuring that the correct information is transmitted to everyone at the same time. Also, the Q&A option of many webinars enables employees to ask questions and have them answered right away.
“With an internal webinar, you can be confident that everyone has heard the same information in the same manner which helps increase transparency and clarity in the company,” Lemmel said.
Provide Updates and Increase Transparency
Internal webinars are a great way to share product updates, training and key corporate messages and news. “Internal webinars are also a way to build company culture and promote transparency across the business,” Kelleher said. Departments can keep employees informed and provide transparency about business goals and progress.
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Best Practices for Internal Webinars
If you’ve chosen internal webinars as a means of communication within the organization, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:
Focus on Relevancy
Ask how the webinar is applicable to the audience, especially if that audience is an internal one. Clearly identify the end goal and what you want to teach your audience.
“Once you have answered these questions you will be able to define the purpose of the webinar, give it a theme and create an agenda,” said Nix.
Webinars can be a major undertaking, but rather than try to present to the entire company at the first go, start with one department or even a smaller team for practice.
“By performing in front of people they know and are comfortable with, speakers can become masters and implement these skills into larger speaking engagements,” Kelleher said.
Engage the Audience
Just like at a live event, you need to keep employees engaged. Internal webinars offer an opportunity to promote positive company culture.
“Another internal webinar best practice to engage audience members is to break employees into breakout rooms to discuss the topic of the webinar, answer questions or simply to introduce people to one another,” Kelleher said.
In addition, you can use webinars as an opportunity to give special mention to exceptional employees and make them feel appreciated.