Employees that are engaged are 25 percent more productive than those who are not, according to a McKinsey report on workplace behaviors. The ability to communicate with staff is an integral part of a company’s organizational structure and employee retention. It keeps businesses working smoothly and directly affects the bottom line of the organization. Fortunately, communication technology is already available and can be adopted to beef up your business.
When it comes to communications, Fortune 500 companies can take a lesson from the American teenagers. Text and email are two of the most common messaging methods in the United States, and email is used about 90 percent of the time for internal communications, according to Newsweaver’s 2014 Internal Communication and Technology Survey. The only issue is that around 20 percent of employees do not look at their email daily. To prevent this problem, make it part of your company policy that each employee has an email-enabled smartphone. You can make this a bring your own device (BYOD) policy, a condition of employment or something that the company supplies. If you decide to purchase smartphones for your employees, get one of the latest models, like the LG G5, so you have the latest technology and don’t have to replace them as quickly.
One of the concerns with using email and text is that they can blend with personal communications. The stories about employees accidentally sending provocative photos to everyone on the staff network are all too common. To separate personal from professional, many businesses use an intranet platform. This system can only be accessed with a work account, often from a work computer, ensuring that the job and home are separate. Take a look at the Igloo platform as an internal communication system. Igloo promises to integrate all of your important internal communications, including messaging, calendars and task lists.
One way to improve your internal communication is through a social media page that is only for your employees. Much in the same way that Facebook enables people that have never met to share ideas, argue a point and make interpersonal bonds, an internal social media platform fosters collaboration and team building even in large, geographically dispersed organizations. For example, chain restaurateur Red Robin has had success using Yammer as its social media platform. The company has used it to have chefs from various restaurant sites work together to improve one of its signature recipes. Using Yammer, the company accomplished 18 months of work in six weeks.
Some people need to see the micro expressions on a person’s face to truly understand the message. In other words, they need to communicate face-to-face. Video can be incorporated into your internal communication either unidirectionally or bidirectionally. For training or managerial speeches, use a digital video camera to record a message that can sent to your employees. Systems like Skype and Google Hangouts let you have video chats for a more interactive conversation.
All good communication needs to close the feedback loop. Anyone with a teenager knows that you need to hear at least a grunt of acknowledgement to know you were actually heard. The same goes for business. Systems like Waggl have built-in feedback buttons, so your staff can answer you immediately and you can monitor whether the message has been received and read.
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