communication

Beyond the Whatsapp group – keeping in touch with employees

August 18th, 2020 Posted by Bronwen Bartlett HCD, Design Thinking, The future, Employee Experience, Customer experience, coronavirus, family

It’s hard to imagine, but just a couple of short decades ago, email was hailed as the ultimate breakthrough in company communications. It revolutionised the way the world kept in touch and did business… but it was only the beginning in a brand new way of reaching out.

Since the early 1990s, when getting an email address was the latest innovation, communicating with your team has come a long way. Today, we have a plethora of messaging and team management apps and platforms available. From the simple team WhatsApp group, to corporate intranet, there are many options for a company to choose from.

But keeping employees engaged is about more than just picking a platform to use. It’s about understanding the needs of your employees and your business, and balancing these. And now, with many people working remotely, keeping good lines of communication open is crucial. 

Here are our top three considerations for choosing a platform to work with.

1 – All-in-one vs multiple apps

 It may seem obvious that an all-in-one team management and communications platform would be best. However, there are often reasons why it might not be ideal. For example, the full platform may not be fully mobile compatible. Or, it might not be appropriate for all employee task management. It might even simply be too expensive. You may find a combination of three of four applications works best for your team.

That said, there are many excellent all-in-one platforms available that include a modular design. These allow for different employees to access different parts of the system, as needed. Some even include mobile compatible versions, messenger app plug-ins, and more. Choose your platform and apps based on what will suit your team setup best.

2 – User experience

Evaluate the available options from a user experience perspective. To do this, ask questions like: Will everyone be able to access it online? Is it easy to use and understand? Is it a large app that needs to be downloaded? Does it use a lot of data to run? Does it have features that people want and need?

Any platform or app that you want people to use needs to be easy to use. No matter how powerful it appears to be, if people find it difficult to use, they won’t. It also has to be enticing for them to use. If it lacks features they enjoy in other apps, they won’t want to use it. For example, if your messenger app doesn’t allow for file attachment, people may prefer to use WhatsApp or email. If your task management platform doesn’t have push notifications, people may choose to use a calendar app instead.

3 – What employees want

We’ve mentioned it elsewhere, but this is something that bears repeating often. Your team is a valuable resource – and not only because of their jobs. These are people who may have great ideas about solutions. Maybe Janine is a secret tech junkie who knows all the best employee communications platforms. Or perhaps Sandile used a fantastic platform at his previous job. Talk to them to find out what works for them, and test the suggestions that seem viable.

That’s not all they can contribute, however. Employee perspective is vital to understand. What if you implement a platform that requires a laptop to run? What if some of your staff don’t have access to a laptop? Do they get left out of important employee communications? What if they have limited data, like a prepaid mobile? Would a data-heavy app work for them? Take the time to understand not just wants and needs, but what is realistic.

The Tenaka Data Free platform helps you and your employees keep in touch, even without data or any specific tech requirements. It’s our way of helping make employee lives better. Get in touch with us today on info@tenaka.co.za and let us help you communicate with your employees when and how it matters most to them. 

 

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