A mass notification system is an essential tool for organizations to have – not just for emergencies, but also for business continuity. It allows companies to stay connected with their employees to keep them informed, safe and secure especially during critical periods. Because mass notification systems automate the delivery of messages, business leaders can easily communicate with and engage the workforce at any given time, through the use of any communication device.
Mass notifications do not just streamline internal communication in an organization; they also reduce misinformation and decrease the response time – the quicker the information is communicated, the less business interruptions there will be. This is why businesses must invest in mass notification systems.
Setting up Your Mass Notification System
Just getting a notification system is not enough; to make your system work, you must take steps to ensure that your system is properly configured for disaster recovery and business continuity. As such, you must:
1. Identify the different user types your system will accommodate. Aside from the administrator, who will have access to the system and what kind of notifications are they allowed to send? You just also put in place the kind of permissions these users will have.
2. Upload the information of the users of the system. You must also decide about how to put the information into the system. Do you upload the details from the company database? Do you use another software to migrate details into the system? Will you go by the user self-registration route?
3. Organize the users into groups. In doing this, you should consider the hierarchies in the organization. You might want to set user groups according to department, location, or user function. You must also set your system up with critical crisis communication files and documents.
4. Link your mass notification system with your internal social media accounts. Integrating your official social media accounts with your notification system ensures even greater reach for your mass notifications.
5. Draft, develop and customize your templates. Using templates keeps all your mass notifications uniform; the use of templates also help in quicker information dissemination, especially during emergency situations.
6. Test the system. In order to see how the system works, you must first test it with a handful of people. This way, you will be encountering minimal snags once you roll out the system to the entire organization.
Gaining Employee Enthusiasm for Your Notification System
Setting up the system is not enough; in order for your mass notifications to be noticed, you must promote the system in a manner that will get the buy-in of your staff. People often resist change, so unless your employees understand what the system is for and what its importance is in the performance of their individual daily tasks, they would struggle to comply with the system. Here are some ways by which you can draw enthusiasm and support for the system:
- Create excitement for the new system. Before you roll the system out, build interest by using teasers – put snippets of announcements on your intranet, or your official social media accounts. Position these announcements strategically so they build up excitement as the day of the launch comes near.
- Hold a meeting with your staff. You can meet face-to-face with the people in the office and do web conferences with your workforce in the field. In the meeting, you can explain what the system is for, after which you can address any questions or concerns your staff may have about the new system.
- Create an information database about the system. Using your company Intranet, you can create a page dedicated to information and FAQs about the system, so your staff can refer to it for questions and clarifications.
You can also write press releases, create training videos or advertise on your office bulletin. Whatever method you choose, make sure that it is tailor fit to the way your staff receives information for better understanding.