How GIFs Help Build Company Culture and Improve Internal Communications

by Federica Rustico

12 min read
Last Updated: May 26, 2023

You don’t need me to tell you that GIFs have become a popular form of communication in the digital era. But did you know they are especially beneficial in internal communications and company culture building? That’s right, using GIFs in internal communications can help break down barriers and create a more relaxed and fun work environment. And who doesn’t like that? Today, we'll go over how GIFs can help you build a positive company culture and how to use GIFs in internal communications. Let’s get this party started!

Building Company Culture

Everyone keeps talking about company culture, but what is it, exactly? Put it simply, your company's culture is its personality and character. You may think that employees don’t care but the reality is that your company's common values, beliefs, actions, and attitudes define it and impact how employees engage with one another and with consumers. Establishing a strong company culture is critical for any business, regardless of size or industry. It sets the tone for how employees feel about their work and can make or break their job satisfaction. Yup, it’s not all about salary!

How GIFs Can Help Build Company Culture and Communication

Just like in any relationship, a good company culture is defined by open communication, mutual respect, and a positive work environment. Poor business culture, on the other hand, can lead to high turnover rates, low employee morale, and a hostile work environment. That means more money out the window each time you have to hire someone to replace a co-worker!

Building a great corporate culture might be difficult, but it is well worth the effort. With the pandemic forcing many businesses to migrate to remote work, creating a pleasant and inclusive company culture has never been more important. Remote work can make it difficult to retain a sense of community and collaboration, which is why establishing a strong business culture is critical for keeping remote teams engaged and motivated. But where should you start?

To establish a strong culture, you must first define your organization's basic values and mission. Once you've determined what's most important to your business, you can start implementing tactics that support those values. These could include regular team-building exercises, staff recognition programs, or opportunities for professional growth.

It is crucial to highlight that company culture is not limited to major corporations. Small firms and startups can gain just as much from developing a strong company culture. In fact, small enterprises may have an edge in this area because they can typically create a more intimate and collaborative work environment.

A positive business culture can also aid with talent retention and attractiveness. Workers are more inclined to stay with a company that has a pleasant work environment and culture. Furthermore, firms with a solid reputation for company culture are more likely to attract top personnel.

Ultimately, developing a great corporate culture requires time and work, but it is an investment that will pay off in the long run. In today's remote work world, creating a positive business culture is more crucial than ever. It can help your team stay connected, inspired, and engaged even if they are separated. Hence, take the time to define your company's values and mission, and then devise a strategy to support them. Your employees and company will thank you!

How GIFs Can Help Build Company Culture and Communication

You may have guessed it already but did you know that GIFs can help foster a positive business culture by giving a fun and creative way for employees to express themselves and connect with one another? Using GIFs can help break down communication barriers and foster more open and creative communication, resulting in stronger relationships and a more unified team. Plus, including GIFs into your internal communications can help develop a sense of community and shared culture by allowing everyone to engage in a shared form of expression. You may develop a more pleasant and inclusive work atmosphere that fosters a sense of belonging and camaraderie by using GIFs to celebrate accomplishments, recognize achievements, and add some fun to the workplace. Ultimately, including GIFs into your internal communications plan is a great approach to improve your company culture and keep your staff engaged and motivated, whether in-person and remotely.

Setting the Tone

As we mentioned already, GIFs are a great way to set the tone for internal communication and establish the company culture, especially on platforms such as Slack. Slack is one of the most popular internal communication tools that offers seamless integration with Giphy, making it easier to access and share GIFs. GIFs can help break the monotony of work and add an element of fun to the communication, improving employee morale and productivity.

Different types of GIFs can be used to convey different messages and emotions. For instance, an exciting GIF of fireworks or a confetti celebration can be used to announce a successful project completion, while a cute animal GIF can be used to convey appreciation or cheer up a colleague. Likewise, a funny GIF can help ease a tense situation, and an inspiring or motivational GIF can help boost team morale.

Many companies have successfully used GIFs to set the tone and build culture. For instance, HubSpot, a leading inbound marketing and sales platform, uses GIFs in their Slack communication to convey their company culture. They use GIFs of their employees, branded GIFs, and relatable GIFs to add a personal touch to their communication and build a sense of community. Similarly, Hootsuite, a social media management platform, uses GIFs to convey their brand personality and keep their communication light and fun.

Another company that uses GIFs effectively is Spotify, a music streaming platform. They have a dedicated channel on Slack where employees can share GIFs related to music, their work, or personal interests. By creating such channels, companies can encourage employee engagement and collaboration, making the communication more lively and fun.

In addition, companies can create custom GIFs that align with their brand identity and culture. For instance, Mailchimp, an email marketing platform, has created a series of branded GIFs that reflect their brand personality and can be used in their communication. Custom GIFs can help reinforce the brand identity, make the communication more memorable, and improve employee engagement.

However, it's important to note that while GIFs can be fun and engaging, it's crucial to use them appropriately and avoid using offensive or inappropriate content. Inappropriate GIFs can cause confusion, offense, and damage to the company culture, which can affect employee morale and productivity.

Setting Guidelines for GIF Usage

While GIFs can be a terrific way to bring some fun and personality to your internal communications, it's vital to establish certain standards for their use. Make sure your staff understands when and how to use GIFs. Some common guidelines for GIF usage include:

How GIFs Can Help Build Company Culture and Communication

By setting some guidelines for GIF usage, you can ensure that your team is using them appropriately and not disrupting your internal communications.

The benefits of using GIFs in internal communications

Using GIFs in internal communications can have many benefits, including:

  1. Adding humor and personality: GIFs are a wonderful way to add humor and personality to corporate communications. They may lighten the tone and make messaging more interesting.
  2. Boosting engagement: Using GIFs can increase employee engagement by making messages more engaging and participatory.
  3. Creating a positive culture: By employing GIFs that promote positive themes, businesses may create a positive culture that is centered on collaboration, teamwork, and employee well-being.
  4. Breaking down language barriers: GIFs are universal and can be understood regardless of language, making them a great way to communicate with a diverse workforce.

Best Practices for Using GIFs in Internal Communications

While using GIFs in internal communications can be beneficial, it's important to follow some best practices to ensure that they are used effectively. Here are a few tips:

  1. Use relevant GIFs: Make sure the GIFs you use are relevant to the message you're attempting to express. Employing random or unrelated GIFs might be confusing and distracting.
  2. Keep it professional: While using GIFs can be entertaining, it's critical to maintain a professional tone in internal discussions. Avoid using inappropriate or offensive GIFs that could be misinterpreted.
  3. Don't overdo it: While GIFs can be entertaining, it's vital not to overuse them. Employ GIFs sparingly and wisely to prevent overloading staff or making messages too distracting.
  4. Use high-quality GIFs: Make sure the GIFs you use are high-quality and load rapidly. Low-quality or slow-loading GIFs can be aggravating and distracting.

Examples of Using GIFs in Internal Communications

Here are some examples of how companies can use GIFs in internal communications:

  1. Celebrating milestones: Use a GIF to commemorate staff milestones such as birthdays or work anniversaries. This demonstrates to employees that they are valued and appreciated.
  2. Sharing news and updates: Use a GIF to announce new initiatives, company news, or updates. This makes the message more interesting and memorable.
  3. Encouraging teamwork: Use a GIF to promote teamwork and collaboration. This is especially useful in team meetings or when starting a new project.
  4. Providing recognition: Use a GIF to honor and celebrate employees who have gone above and beyond. This can increase morale and motivate others to work hard.
How GIFs Can Help Build Company Culture and Communication

Encouraging Collaboration

GIFs can also boost collaboration and improve team dynamics in the workplace. Using GIFs in internal communication can help to break down communication barriers and foster more open and creative communication among team members. This can eventually lead to better collaboration, stronger team relationships, and more successful initiatives. Cool, right?

GIFs can foster collaboration by instilling a spirit of humor and lightheartedness in the workplace. When team members feel comfortable enough to share amusing or witty GIFs with one another, it can lead to a more relaxed and enjoyable work environment. This can make it easier for team members to approach one another with questions or suggestions, resulting in increased collaboration and a stronger team dynamic.

GIFs can also be used to add personality to otherwise dry or technical conversations. While discussing project timeframes or deadlines, for example, team members can use GIFs to express a sense of urgency or excitement. This can help to keep team members engaged and motivated even during the most dull or unpleasant portions of a project.

Slack is an excellent medium for leveraging GIFs to boost collaboration. Slack's built-in GIPHY integration makes it simple to search for and share GIFs with team members. Team members can also generate unique GIFs or utilize Slack's built-in features to add captions or stickers to existing GIFs.

J.Crew is one company that has used GIFs to encourage collaboration successfully. J.Crew designed a series of bespoke GIFs to congratulate its employees and encourage teamwork. These GIFs were used in Slack conversations and email threads to enhance team morale and encourage collaboration. The program was a success, with employees saying that they felt more connected to one another and more inspired to collaborate.

Another example is the company Buffer, which has a culture of using GIFs in corporate communications. Buffer employs GIFs to recognize team members' accomplishments, provide feedback, and even communicate technical information. Buffer has been able to develop a strong sense of team spirit and collaboration by employing GIFs to make internal communication more engaging and fun.

Understanding Your Audience

Just as in everything, it's critical to understand your audience before introducing GIFs into internal messaging. What kinds of humor do they enjoy? What are their interests and hobbies? Which communication mediums do they prefer? All of these are issues you should ask yourself before introducing GIFs into your internal communications.

Understanding your target demographic will help you select the appropriate tone and style for your GIFs. For example, if your company is more formal, you may want to stick to professional-looking GIFs that yet provide some levity to the discourse. If your staff is more relaxed and lighthearted, you can be more creative with your GIF choices.

Choosing the Right Communication Channels

Selecting the correct communication channels for your GIFs is just as crucial as selecting the perfect GIFs themselves. You want to make sure that your GIFs are easily accessible and visible to your team. Popular communication systems such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Asana all include built-in GIF libraries that you can utilize to seamlessly incorporate GIFs into your conversations. GIFs can also be found and shared using websites such as GIPHY and Tenor. Consider what tools your team is already using and what additional capabilities they may require to make the most of your GIFs when choosing your communication channels.

Measuring Success and Optimizing Your Approach

As with any communication strategy, measuring the success of your GIF use and optimizing your approach over time is critical. Some critical indicators to monitor are engagement rates, comments from team members, and the general efficacy of your messaging. By tracking these analytics, you can see what's working and what's not, and make changes to your GIF usage as needed. For example, if you're not seeing much engagement with your GIFs, you may need to change your strategy by including more personalized or relevant material, or changing the frequency or timing of your GIF usage.

Also, it is critical to solicit feedback from team members and incorporate their thoughts and preferences into your approach. This can assist ensure that your GIF usage is consistent with your company's culture and values, fostering a positive and collaborative work environment. Therefore, it is critical to iterate and optimize your strategy to GIF usage on a regular basis. This could include experimenting with different types of GIFs, testing alternative communication channels, or adding GIFs into specific efforts or campaigns.

Wrapping Up

To wrap up, it is apparent that GIFs play a vital part in developing a strong company culture and improving internal communications. They provide a fun and engaging approach to transmit information and emotions, and can help establish a sense of community and connection among team members.

You may set the tone for your message and reinforce your company's values and mission by utilizing the correct GIFs. For example, using hilarious or playful GIFs can assist to create a calm and cheerful work environment, whilst motivational or inspirational GIFs can serve to motivate and empower team members.

With the development of remote work owing to the pandemic, having a positive business culture is more crucial than ever. GIFs can assist to bridge the gap and develop a sense of community and belonging among distant team members. They provide a means to personalize digital communication, which is very useful in a remote work context.

Ultimately, employing GIFs in internal communications and business culture building may be a helpful tool for any corporation, regardless of size or industry. With the correct approach and execution, GIFs may assist to improve communication, promote a happy work atmosphere, and attract and retain top personnel. Hence, start implementing GIFs into your internal communications strategy immediately and watch the wonderful influence they may have on your corporate culture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can using GIFs in internal communication help improve team dynamics?

Yes, using GIFs can help improve team dynamics by breaking down communication barriers and encouraging more open and creative communication. GIFs can also help to build relationships and foster a positive and inclusive work environment.

Can GIFs be used in all types of internal communications?

Yes, GIFs can be used in a variety of internal communications, such as team updates, company announcements, training materials, and more. However, it's important to consider your audience and the context of the message to determine if using a GIF is appropriate.

What if some team members find GIFs unprofessional?

Not everyone may enjoy using or receiving GIFs, so it's important to consider individual preferences and communication styles. If some team members find GIFs unprofessional or distracting, it's best to respect their preferences and adjust your communication approach accordingly.