Email has played a critical role in the internal communications strategies of companies across virtually all industries for the past couple of decades. However, it’s important to keep in mind that email is by no means the only tool in the digital age that can allow team members and leaders to more easily stay in touch with one another.
It’s also important to remember that leveraging technology to improve your approach to internal communications will likely become even more necessary than it already is in the near future. Research indicates many organizations are embracing permanent remote work policies, even after the pandemic forced them to adopt such policies on a theoretically temporary basis.
This trend is also influencing the attitudes of job-seekers. According to surveys, whenever possible, job applicants are seeking roles that offer remote work options. Thus, there’s a reasonably good chance your workforce will be dispersed across a range of locations in the future if it isn’t already.
You need to prepare accordingly by experimenting with tools and resources that can optimize internal communications. Although email serves its purpose in some instances, other options to consider include:
Literally billions of people throughout the world own smartphones and other such mobile devices. Your team members probably have smartphones on hand nearly at all times. If a few workers don’t, you may be able to afford issuing them mobile devices to fill in any gaps.
That means one aspect of your overall internal communications strategy can involve encouraging your workers to share shorter messages and discussions via SMS-based internal communications solutions. True, there are many alternative messaging apps and solutions from which to choose, but learning how to use them may prove challenging for some team members.
These products can also be somewhat expensive. You might enjoy more benefits from using a solution that your workers are already reasonably familiar and comfortable with. Again, along with minimizing the learning curve among team members, this approach can also theoretically help your team save money.
Zoom and other such video-conferencing tools can be helpful when you need to organize meetings among team members who don’t necessarily all share the same office. Just keep in mind that there are other ways to communicate with video-based tools that might also prove valuable.
When you have to visually demonstrate to an employee how to use a new software or perform any other task on a computer, a text message or email may not be ideal. Fortunately, there are many apps that let you quickly record and send videos of your own computer screen. You can use these to easily show a team member how to fill out a timesheet, access information via a project management tool, and perform a range of other tasks on their computer.
Strongly consider establishing a forum where your employees can discuss topics potentially unrelated to work tasks online. Once more, there’s a high likelihood at least some teams throughout your organization will be dispersed in the coming years. A forum can therefore replace the water cooler, giving you a digital version of a space where you and your workers can get to know one another.
None of this is meant to suggest that email is no longer important. Team leaders should merely consider that email isn’t the only method available when they need to contact their employees. In some instances, these alternatives may be preferable for all involved.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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