Now more than ever, employees are communicating with their smartphones and mobile devices. And, with many of them spending as much time (if not more) on their mobiles as their computers, it presents employers with an opportunity to communicate with them right where they are.
Many companies are integrating their intranets with mobile platforms and adopting more advanced tools to engage and communicate with their employees.
In this blog, we’ll talk about why mobile matters in the digital workplace and how to effectively leverage mobile communications to better engage your employees.
The Truth About Mobile Phone Use
A whopping 97% of Americans currently own a cellphone of some kind, with 85% of them opting for smartphones. This is up from only 35% in 2011.
A few other facts about mobile phone use:
- The average mobile phone user will tap, swipe and click their phone 2,617 times a day
- Almost half of all American smartphone users say they couldn’t live without their devices
- The average person spends 2 hours 51 minutes per day on their smartphone
- Worldwide, more people own a cell phone than a toothbrush
Why Mobile is Key to the Digital Workplace
The digital workplace relies on a wide array of tools and technologies to keep people connected. Mobile phones are one communication method your employees are already familiar with, engaged with (nearly 3 hours per day, as you can see!) and basically guaranteed to keep using indefinitely.
Here are a few other reasons why tapping into mobile makes such good sense in the digital workplace:
There’s a natural evolution occurring in the workplace ‒ with the older generations gearing up for retirement and younger generations beginning their careers. With this shift comes the need for employers to meet or exceed the expectations of their current workforce and reevaluate so that communications stay in line with the latest trends and technologies.
In a competitive talent market like the one we’re currently experiencing, acquiring and retaining top talent involves staying a step ahead, and mobile technology is a major part of that effort.
Whether employees are in the office or working from home, mobile is one of the most cost-efficient solutions for engaging them right where they are. Employers can easily send push notifications to all employees or target messages to specific groups as needed. Not only that, they can upload important documents to a centralized, cloud-based location that’s accessible through mobile to eliminate unnecessary printing expenses.
Traditional internal communication methods are typically output-only, tricky to respond to and fail to address employee’s questions and feedback. With mobile communications, however, the playing field becomes level and the process more humanized, as employees can communicate across the organization on their own terms and in their own time.
In the wake of the worldwide pandemic, employees are increasingly scattered across large geographical expanses and time zones. In this regard, mobile phones can be a game changer. While previous communication methods have left many employees in a communication echo chamber, mobile technology can help them stay connected to their colleagues, feel valued by their managers and be more productive in their day-to-day jobs.
Best Practices for Mobile Employee Communications
Assess Your Stakeholders
It’s best not to assume you know what content employees want to receive. Thus, start by identifying your employee audiences and deciding which mobile content will resonate with them the most. Surveys, focus groups and one-on-one sessions are a great way to gather this information and help you plan a mobile communications strategy that hits the right notes. That includes personalized content, properly designated social media channels and accessible mobile support.
Create a Communication Strategy
Once you’ve assessed your key stakeholders and decided on the content, it’s time to consider a communications strategy that will help you deploy it to the right channels and at the right cadence. See our Guide to Strategic Employee Communications for more help mapping out a mobile communications strategy that works well for your organization.
Leverage Employee Influencers & Experts
With the wide range of demographics and generations in the workplace, there are bound to be some employees who are more experienced with mobile technology than others. Utilize this dynamic to your advantage. These “influencers” can encourage other employees to participate, offer user support to their peers and help roll out new mobile communication policies and campaigns.
Use Video to Your Advantage
Video content has become an irreplaceable part of many businesses' marketing strategies. And the same should apply to employee communications. In fact, an average person is predicted to spend 100 minutes per day watching online videos. To keep today’s employees engaged, meet them where they are: on their mobile devices, watching video content. Send them organizational updates or educational resources in video format, so they can check them out while they’re commuting or taking a break.
Get Buy-In from Managers & Leaders
Even with the best possible promotion, enrollment in new programs and adoption of new policies can fall flat without buy-in from managers and leaders. It’s important to get the higher-ups excited about mobile communications so they can serve as ambassadors and make themselves available for any questions or concerns. To increase employee engagement and productivity through mobile communications, leaders must show they are invested in the initiative and see the value it adds to the overall employee experience.
Above All: Measure Your Progress
It’s difficult to know whether your mobile communications are effective if you don’t have any metrics to measure their success. The best way to do this is by keeping track of program adoption, engagement, clicks, shares and views, among other analytics.
And remember, what works well for one employee audience might not be the best communication method for another, so it’s wise to do some A/B testing to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie. You can always keep tweaking accordingly.
Want to know more about measuring the effectiveness of your employee communications? Check out our Guide to Strategic Employee Communications.