Guest Blog by Hayley Dolby
Whether you are happy about it or not, technology is here to stay. With the average person spending around four hours a day on their mobile phone, employers must make the most of the technology staff already embrace, or risk the communication gap only increasing.
Technology has changed the world of internal communications. With staff room posters and company newsletters dying out, many employers are using digital communication to keep staff informed. The top communication method is email, with 40% of staff preferring it to text messaging, social media, phone conversations and face to face.
However, most young people view email much the same way that Millennials view letter writing, with Gen Z often choosing to go to a brand’s Twitter or Facebook page to make their complaints rather than emailing customer services.
As communication apps increase in popularity (think Whatsapp, Snapchat, KIK & Facebook Messenger) so has the prevalence of the push notification. These short, snappy banners have been shown to boost app engagement by 88%. This technology can not only keep your staff engaged and updated, but with the ability to instantly connect with any number of your employees at the tap of a phone screen, the possibilities are endless.
Lesley Giles, director at Lancaster University’s research and analysis firm, the Work Foundation believes that
“we simply have to embrace the potential of digital technology, combined with the right training, culture and leadership to ensure it’s utilised to its full potential.”
But she also warned that
“employers need to be mindful about the ways in which they integrate technology into processes and the effects this has on individuals and their roles.”
Here at Personal Group, we believe that the most effective way of communicating new technological offerings to a business is through a blend of digital and Face to Face interactions. During the role out of our Hapi platform at Merseyrail, Personal Group’s assistance was invaluable for those staff members who were not particularly technologically savvy. Employee Engagement Executives were available on site to assist each member of staff through their one to one sessions, guiding employees through the registration process and helping improve their technical know-how. The Engagement Executives also walked staff through the new Merseyrail employee website and app to make sure everything was clear.
An NFI Research survey found that face to face interaction is still highly rated as a communication method amongst employees. One respondent argued the case for Face to Face communication, stating that “[they] often find that when [they] look the other person in the eyes and ask them something I get far more than I ever would over e-mail.”
The key is to use the correct communication method at the right time. Make sure that you make the most of the advantages that technology can provide when it comes to engaging your new generation of workers, but do not underestimate the importance of face to face communication when It comes to the implementation of these new methods.