It wasn’t that long ago that internal business communication consisted primarily of phone calls and fax machines. Now, in today’s world, we can communicate with employees all over the world in ways that we once never thought possible. Technology has opened up all kinds of doors for corporations to effectively share messaging company-wide—but are you really using it to its best advantage? Below are a few of the best ways to reach employees that can help you avoid the dreaded, “oh, I never saw the e-mail,” excuse.
Rare is the person who makes a phone call anymore. Rarer still is the person who leaves a voice mail. And the person who actually listens to a voice mail? That person is a unicorn! Since the invention of the smart phone, we answer e-mails, reply to texts, scroll the Internet, post to social media and more all from the convenience of the phone that is with us at all times. And, lest we miss a notification, many of us have smart watches, making communication as easy as the flick of a wrist.
Text messaging is a great way to meet your employees where they live. Why? Because we have become programmed to read a notification the moment we receive an alert—not unlike Pavlov’s dog. This is not to say that you should send out excessive group chats or blow up employee’s phones with what you think are hilarious memes on corporate life. But you SHOULD use it as a way to communicate urgent messages quickly and efficiently, and offer employees an opt-out option for any channels that are more “social” in nature.
Video Killed The Google Star
Ok—not really. We still rely heavily on Google for information. But YouTube is quickly becoming the place both the cool kids and the old dogs go to learn new tricks. Everything you could possibly want to know from how to knit to how to change a tire to how to go from being a PC user to a Mac daddy is all at your fingertips.
Before you hire Spike Lee to craft a slick, award worthy corporate video, you should know that we aren’t always talking about some high-budget production here (although those do have their time and place as well). What you want is a corporate YouTube channel, or even an internal channel that utilizes simple, straightforward videos to instruct employees on how to follow a new procedure or learn a new process in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step format.
And while instructional videos are helpful, they are by no means the only way to use video to engage employees. In our global workplace, video meetings are becoming one of the preferred methods for getting employees from across the country, or even the world, together.
Kick It Old School
Even though technology has made internal communication easier in many ways, you still can’t beat an in person, face-to-face, all hands on deck meeting. Sure, it can be costly in the fact that you are paying people to be away from work and their daily responsibilities, but there are plenty of benefits too. For starters, when it comes to communication, it helps to hear voice tones and see facial expressions to avoid any mixed signals. Second, it’s very difficult for messages to get lost or be misinterpreted when everyone is in the same room, receiving the same information. Third, if there is any confusion, it can be addressed on the spot in real time. Finally, it makes people feel good to get together and connect with each other in person. Mingle with your employees and get to know them. Make it fun by recognizing specific employees for achievements and services. A strong company is made of people who feel seen, heard, and valued.