The world has changed a lot over the past year - and the role that internal communications play within organizations has evolved with it. As businesses have had to pivot to adjust to new ways of working during the pandemic, internal communications as a function have been more highly valued than ever before.
It has long been known by internal communications professionals just how critical this function is for any organization, particularly when it comes to contributing to business success. When employees are informed and engaged, they can contribute to the organization’s goals, and productivity and profits are increased. When employees don’t have all the information they need to do their jobs, the opposite occurs.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, internal communications professionals have come to the fore helping to communicate critical information to employees about how their organizations will continue to function, what changes in focus the organization is having, requirements for working from home, and essential health and safety information.
Internal communications methods are changing too - no longer do we rely on printed memos, face-to-face meetings, and employee notice boards to get information to employees - a whole range of digital tools and visual communications are now at the forefront of employee communication.
Modern internal communication challenges
However, the pandemic has also highlighted limitations that internal communications professionals have to work with in terms of being able to reach employees. It can already be difficult to reach office-based staff with important information (around 30-40% of emails don’t get read!) And reaching front-line workers who aren’t in an office environment has always been even more difficult.
The pandemic has shown the need for internal communication improvements and proper digital tools in order to reach people with critical information, no matter if they’re working from the office, the home, or in the field.
Measuring the effectiveness of internal communications on business outcomes can also be challenging… and many organizations don’t have any way of determining how effective their internal communications have been.
A 2017 study by Hollinger Scott found that around 41% of businesses don’t have any way at all of tracking how much of the content of their internal communication is seen by employees.
Being able to measure the effectiveness of internal communications can help the internal comms team to justify budgets and expenditure, can make them more productive as they can see what sorts of content works and doesn’t work, and can determine if the information has been received, can help keep employees accountable, and enables management to determine where there may be knowledge gaps in the organization.
How DeskAlerts can improve the effectiveness of your internal communication
DeskAlerts is the solution to many challenges that internal communications professionals are trying to solve. It’s an online software solution that features multiple channels and tools and can reach employees on any device, no matter where they are located.
The system works by sending messages to computer desktop screens, or to mobile devices, in a way that is deliberately designed to be intrusive to ensure important information is seen - bypassing the email system entirely.
As well as desktop alerts and mobile push notifications, content can be sent in the form of scrolling tickers, corporate screensavers, corporate wallpapers, corporate lock screens, digital signage, and more. DeskAlerts can be used to send text, video, or graphics-based content as well as polls, surveys, and quizzes. It is easy to use, saving the internal comms team lots of time. And you can measure everything with the analytics tools.
You can use the system for a variety of purposes, including:
- Sending urgent information
- Keeping staff updated about projects and initiatives
- Reinforcing health and safety messages
- Providing access to training opportunities
- Reinforcing your internal branding
- Running internal communications campaigns
- Communicating change initiatives
- Easing the email burden for employees
- Send information to custom audiences
- Reinforcing messages via different channels for maximum impact.
How internal communications professionals use DeskAlerts in several main ways
DeskAlerts makes it easy for internal communications professionals to get messages to employees quickly, in a cost-effective manner, on various topics, and in a way that they can easily see results. This includes:
1. Powerful metrics
DeskAlerts lets internal comms teams take the guesswork out of determining how much of their material has been seen by employees through its statistic module. Results of any DeskAlerts message can be seen instantly in real time so you will always know who has seen your messages. The surveys and polls modules allow real-time feedback on any topic. This data can be collated into a report to show management.
2. Ensuring important information is seen
There are several ways that DeskAlerts can help to ensure employees see your important information.
As well as being sent in an obtrusive manner, you can also determine who hasn’t seen an alert for any particular reason and resend it to them. You can also request acknowledgment from employees on receipt of an alert, making them accountable (they cannot later say that they did not know something!)
Also, sending the same messages through different channels can help with information reinforcement and retention - the more times someone sees or hears something, the more likely it is to sink in. So, for example, it is a great way to communicate important health and safety information, as per your duty of care, such as wearing face masks or social distancing. It can also help to improve attendance at corporate events.
All of these factors mean it is more likely that your employees will take any actions you require.
3. Reaching absolutely everyone
No matter what your industry or where your employees work, with DeskAlerts you can quickly get information.
Industries such as retail, healthcare, transport and logistics, and manufacturing often have employees working in settings other than at a desk in an office. They may also work different shifts at different hours of the day and aren’t always in the workplace at the same time to attend an all-staff meeting. It’s been a challenge for decades to keep these employees informed… and then the pandemic came along and threw lots more remote workers into the mix.
With the DeskAlerts mobile app, you can send employees notifications whether they are rostered on or at home, whether they work in a shop or a hospital ward or travel for work. You won’t need to rely on them checking emails, reading notice-boards or hoping that their managers will fill them in on any critical news they may have missed.
4. Saving time and money
Many change projects fail because employees don’t know what’s going on and don’t go along on the journey. When a significant amount of money has been committed to a project, it seems counterintuitive to let it fall at the final hurdle.
Keeping everyone informed in a timely manner about any major projects or changes can save time and increase productivity because they will know what is expected of them and why.
You can manage logistical challenges this way as well, such as moving offices or conducting large drills or other emergency scenarios, as well as ensuring that appropriate and adequate training is given.
5. Improve cross-team collaboration
Internal communications teams often have the responsibility of communicating with employees in the organization, but there are other teams that also need to reach employees regularly.
DeskAlerts can be used by different teams, such as:
- IT - to send information about outages and maintenance
- Marketing - to announce or share the results of various marketing campaigns
- Sales - to announce results and share sales targets
- Human Resources - to provide information about new policies, training opportunities or onboarding or offboarding employees
- Facilities management - to advise if there are issues with facilities such as elevators or car parks, advise about the testing of alarm systems or planned drills.
Think about how many of these types of messages are sent by email in your organization every week, from different teams… It is easy to see how inboxes can become cluttered, and people don’t read everything sent to them.
If you would like to find out more about the benefits of introducing DeskAlerts to your organization to improve internal communications, get in touch with our team of experts today for a free demo. We’d love to talk to you about how our system can improve information retention within your company!