23rd September, 2021.
For many years we have relied upon ‘traditional’ communication methods to share information internally with our employees. From face-to-face meetings to posters in rest areas to emails and intranets. While each of these channels has its own merits, they also have their limitations.
This blog compares internal communications software with these traditional communication tools, highlighting the key differences and benefits each of those differences brings. Here are 15 reasons that an internal comms app will transform your business.
The traditional methods of internal communication do a good job of disseminating information but they give little opportunity for employees to have their say.
While for some business leaders enabling employees to ‘have their say’ is a terrifying concept it really needn’t be. They picture scenes of anarchy with strongly opinionated individuals standing on the pedestal broadcasting their views for all to hear, but in reality, giving employees their say is about giving them an opportunity to share their opinion on the matters that affect their working lives.
What’s more, giving employees a voice is a critical part of employee engagement. Without employees feeling as though they are listened to, it will be impossible to truly engage employees. At best you will just be good at internal communications.
As the point above highlights, internal communication apps give an opportunity to truly engage employees to a level not achievable with traditional methods of communication.
With greater employee engagement come financial benefits. There is a lot of evidence available to back this up. Here are a couple of statistics from Engage for Success that paint a very clear picture:
Switching to an internal communication tool that drives, and measures, employee engagement makes business sense.
One of the biggest problems with traditional internal communication channels is that they rarely reach everyone. In fact, in a recent survey we commissioned, 27% of internal communication professionals stated reaching all their employees was their greatest challenge right now.
Historically, organisations have utilised multiple channels to increase their reach but even then, with different work patterns, locations and occupations, it is rare that communications reach everyone.
An internal communication app changes this. Everyone, from an individual sat in an office, to a warehouse operative, to a paramedic, will receive your communications. That is because an internal comms app can be accessed without a company email address. All that is needed is a mobile phone. (VRAMP also has a desktop version for those who spend more time in front of a computer.)
In addition to reaching everybody you also need to ensure you are not bombarding them with information. Employees in the sales department will require different information to those on the frontline. The last thing you want is for them to be sifting through information to find what is of interest to them. Over time this will become bothersome, they’ll give up and disengage.
An internal communication app allows you to segment audiences so that employees only receive what is relevant and interesting to them. Every time they open the internal comms app they will see the information they want to read which will further boost employee engagement.
There are times when there is information that needs to be circulated fast – whether that is a major health & safety alert or a business announcement that cannot afford Chinese whispers.
When using an internal communication app, at a click of a button everyone receives the information at the same time. Push notifications and options to pin an announcement to the top of feeds mean that those messages are received far quicker than any traditional communication method.
Content can also be written on the go (via a mobile) enabling multiple people to contribute content. This immediacy can make a huge difference, particularly in a crisis.
Internal communication apps simplify the entire communication process. One message can be sent to every employee at a click of a button. Without needing to rely on other people to disseminate messages you know that original messages aren’t being misinterpreted or, worse still, missed altogether.
Every employee knows that the information they read is true to the original source.
As a society we want things to be easy. If employees have to take time out of their normal working day, remember yet another password or learn how to use a new system you risk them losing interest.
An internal comms app simplifies the entire communication process. Apps such as VRAMP will be very intuitive to use, akin to many social media platforms that most of the workforce will be familiar with. There is no need for a password and the internal comms app can be accessed on any iOS or Android device.
By improving employee’s accessibility to your communications, you will automatically increase their engagement.
The logistics involved with traditional communication channels would mean that inevitably, employees who work at a computer would receive information earlier than those who work in a different location. Purely because of the logistics of passing messages through the chain of line managers. This creates an unspoken division – a ‘them and us’ culture.
The simplicity of preparing and sending all communications from one internal communications platform means you can remove these unspoken divides. There are no hierarchies for receiving information and everyone can get involved through comments and surveys so no one feels less important than their colleagues.
On paper, this is a subtle benefit but it makes a huge difference to the culture of a business.
An internal comms app goes beyond sending and receiving communications. They also have additional features such as an employee directory and document library that help to connect employees with people and documents.
Employees can search the database to find colleagues they need support from or documents they need for a specific job. This boosts collaboration and improves productivity.
Internal comms apps such as VRAMP also list the skills each employee has to offer. This searchable database makes it even easier for employees to collaborate but it also helps managers identify skills gaps and training needs.
With an internal communication app, you will reach a wider audience. Through comments and survey responses these previously unreachable employees could contribute valuable ideas.
With a larger source of ideas available it will not only boost creative thinking, but it will also make employees feel more valued, increasing loyalty and engagement.
With better communications reaching more people your employees will have a greater understanding of the company vision and goals.
The other points listed above will also help each employee understand where they fit within those goals and how they contribute to the company’s success.
With a strong, well understood culture across your entire workforce, you will have a powerful army of people that will drive your business forward.
As many of the points above highlight, an internal communications app will enable you to communicate and engage far more efficiently. And if you choose the right internal comms app there will also be no need to swap between platforms for internal communications and employee surveys.
Having everything you need in one tool not only makes your working life easier, but it will also help you work more collaboratively with any other colleagues who hold responsibility for internal comms or employee engagement.
Potentially the biggest benefit of an internal communication app is its ability to provide you with data. You will be able to see which communications employees have engaged with most, which topics of conversation are most interesting to them and what employee engagement scores look like on a company and team level.
Furthermore, if you choose an internal communication app that includes employee survey tools you will also be able to view all the employee survey results in the same employee engagement system.
This level of data is game changing. Particularly when the traditional forms of communication have provided very little if any, analytics.
It means that employee engagement finally becomes a valid, valuable Key Performance Indicator (KPI) that can be measured alongside other business goals to evidence how employee engagement contributes to business performance.
Without accurate analytics you cannot be confident in any changes you make to better your employee engagement strategy. An internal communication app removes the need for guesswork or hunches. Instead, you can make confident improvements to your strategy safe in the knowledge that you can measure the effectiveness of each of your changes.
The level of data that an internal comms app provides makes it possible to continually improve your employee engagement strategy.
If you’ve read this far it suggests that you can really see the benefit of an internal communications app. And rightly so, these are 15 of the strongest points, we could waffle on for days about the brilliance of internal comms apps!
Perhaps now is the time to discover more about how our internal comms app could help you realise these benefits? Either give us a call on 01392 984175 and we’ll happily answer any questions you have or request a demo of VRAMP to see exactly what an internal communication tool can do for you.
With over 15 years’ experience in communications I have seen first-hand the difference strong internal communications can make. I am passionate about helping organisations reap the rewards of an engaged workforce and feel privileged to work for an organisation that has this same passion. We can achieve so much more when we work together towards the same goals.