Employee Communication: How To Bridge the Digital Gap

6 minute read

As an HR manager, you know better than anyone that everything starts with communication. No one has a better idea of how internal communications should be, and the obstacles that stand in the way of this ideal situation. Before suggesting a simple, potent way to overcome such obstacles, let us first have a look at what these hurdles usually are.

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Employee communication: what is the biggest challenge we face today?

A recent Gallup survey found that in 2019, the percentage of engaged workers in the U.S. - "those who are highly involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace” - reached 35%. This is a new high since Gallup began tracking the metric in 2000.

The decade opens with good news in the U.S. workplace,” is Gallup’s hopeful message. But, honestly, would you be happy with this percentage knowing that 65% of your workforce is not engaged?

Still, it is interesting to see which factors have led to this improvement in engagement, according to Gallup. Better internal communication figures prominently in their list: “High-development cultures practice companywide communication.”

You will probably wholeheartedly agree with this conclusion. From an HR perspective, communication is all about engagement, job satisfaction, and building a culture where people feel at home. But, although you have a clear vision of how companywide communication ought to be, realizing and implementing it is something else in a world where desk-less employees constitute 80% of the global workforce.

“Companywide” indeed is the magic word. How do you connect with employees who do not have a desk or a company email address, and often care little about computers anyway?

The obvious solution: use the communication tool that every employee carries

There is a digital gap between companies and their employees, and the latter is more advanced and sophisticated. While many companies still rely on email and intranet for their internal communications, people prefer the ease and satisfying experience of their mobile apps. They use their smartphone for socializing, information and entertainment. And they have this communication tool always at hand, wherever they work.

Therefore, an employee app, equipped with all kinds of options to connect with your companywide workforce, is the obvious way to bridge the communication gap. Let us have a look at some of the possibilities the better employee apps offer.

Share personalized content

An employee app makes it easy to distribute targeted content to groups and individuals. You can tailor your messages based on location, language, team, role, and other discriminators.

Get your messages across

Maximize the reach of your messages with an app that is easily distributed via App Store and Google Play for quick adoption. Use push notifications to inform your employees about high priority updates and allow for instant delivery of information.

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Offer a great experience

Offer your employees the same look & feel similar to their favorite social media apps. Use video, games, and other attractive options, tailored to your company culture and brand.

Gather feedback

An employee app is an excellent tool for two-way communication. Ask your employees about their workday or their training sessions and listen to their suggestions. You can also set up and share polls to collect feedback in live time.

Monitor and optimize

Measure how well your content is comprehended, and gather information on what your employees enjoy the most.

Identify internal ambassadors

Track down and reward employees who contribute to your internal branding and build upon community engagement.

Stimulate competition

Gather data on how different teams or departments are engaging and share the winners publicly. Gamification is a great way to make friendly competition between teams enjoyable and exciting.

Connect with your other communication tools

Using an employee app does not mean that your other communication tools have become obsolete. On the contrary, an app allows you to maximize the use of all of your existing tools and create an integrated communication platform, tailored to your needs. For example, an employee app in combination with modern, cloud-based intranet brings out the best in both.

Final thoughts

“You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar,” as the saying goes. If you want to communicate with your employees – especially the ones that are hard to "catch" – use the tool that they find most appealing. Nowadays, mobile apps are the preferred way to socialize and connect. A good employee app combines a great user experience with an impressive range of options for workplace communication and engagement.

Interested to know how to effectively communicating with and engage a millennial and Gen Z workforce? Download our eBook here!

Rob is a content writer, copywriter and novelist. His work for Apple, WWF, Mercedes-Benz and many other brands has been awarded with prestigious creative awards.

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