Email is still the principle way of spreading messages but too often they are ignored or an overloaded inbox prevents a message getting through.
Yet new technology is now available that makes it easier to reach people, where they are with what they have at hand every day – their mobile phone.
Communication challenges in the workplace
It can be difficult to make sure that your team is receiving important communication in a consistent and timely way.
And what about staff who don’t work in front of a computer or don’t have access to a corporate email address?
Cascading communications just don’t cut it anymore. In a world where information travels at an incredibly fast pace, it’s not good enough to use word of mouth or weekly meetings to keep employees up to date with what’s happening. Important things they need to know can slip through the cracks.
Communications can be a common workplace complaint. Managers struggle to get their team to ‘follow process’. No-one checks the ‘news’ section of the internal website for important company messages, or struggle to read all of their emails. With so much work on it’s no surprise that ‘staff notices’ are passed over as a low priority when they have so much else to do.
Why the WIP won’t work.
The weekly work in progress (WIP) meeting is one solution. But it doesn’t always work, especially with a team that works mostly offsite, or when part-time workers are rostered on other days.
Even if people are encouraged to ‘pass on the message’ to the rest of the team, this type of communication can have the ‘Chinese whisper’ effect where the impact and purpose of a message can be diluted.
New technology is providing solutions
But it’s not as difficult as you think. Konnective have devised a solution that can be tailored to businesses, reach people where they are, using the devices they already use daily like their smart phone.
Using an easy to download app, messages can be sent to all staff without the cost of SMS. And it’s easy for staff to keep track of when new messages are available because, unlike email, it alerts people to new messages via pop-up notifications.
Research by Tribe Inc. (see TribeInc.com whitepaper) shows that people in the field or working out of head office can often feel invisible or less important than those onsite. Unlike their office-bound counterparts, they don’t access their computer or laptop frequently, they may not have remote access or even a PC at home. But they do have a phone. One Konnective client measured that over 90% of their staff have a smartphone. This means using mobile phone apps can provide a genuine solution to communication issues.
It makes a big difference when you can hear directly from the CEO or senior leadership team about important issues rather than word of mouth or a cascading message.
There are a number of ways organisations achieve good workplace communication. Having a push mechanism that gives people the right message, at the right time, where they can access it is essential.
When people feel included and valued they feel happy. There’s no doubt that using the right solutions will help keep staff meaningfully informed and will impact positively upon your employee engagement results.
After all, happy staff are productive staff.
About the author: Julie Bray is the Managing Director of Konnective (www.konnectiveapp.com), a smartphone app and messaging system. Previously she spent eight years at Deloitte as a client director for web services.