Using technology to improve employee engagement, internal culture and enterprise-wide emergency communications were cited as key priorities for many Human Resource professionals who gathered at last week’s HR Technology Conference, 10th – 13th October 2017, in Las Vegas.
Several participants had been affected by the recent spate of deadly hurricanes to hit the U.S. They said these experiences highlighted the importance of timely and effective employee communications during a crisis.
The SnapComms team met with many delegates who opened up about their challenges, longer-term goals, and insights for getting employee attention. Watch a brief summary of their video interviews here.
Regarding priorities, many delegates said they want to streamline internal processes and improve employee communication with the help of technology. “We want to get away from email,” said one representative. “We know email is NOT the most effective way to communicate,” said another, particularly for important topics or urgent scenarios.
Instructions relating to mass emergency evacuations, or ascertaining if staff could make it to work [due to inclement weather] were quoted as recent examples requiring a robust internal comms approach.
Communicating with non-desk staff i.e. employees who do not have easy or regular access to a computer poses an ongoing challenge, particularly for those who are geographically-dispersed. Another concern surrounds the use of social tools in the workplace: these platforms have not proved to be the cure-all for good communications.
In terms of best ways to communicate, the consensus was ‘there’s no easy answer’. “There has to be a variety of methods. Our youngest generation likes apps, but our older generation may not even have a smartphone!”
When asked for their views on achieving message cut-through, suggestions included: message vibrancy; using simple text with a visual component; being mobile-enabled; and employee relevancy.
Philip Nunn, General Manager of SnapComms, detected some recurring themes through his conversations with delegates throughout the four-day event: “There’s a definite mood to move on from email-based communications.
“It seems more than ever before, organizations are determined to improve the efficacy of their comms, whether that’s in an emergency, such as an extreme weather event, or for more long-term needs, such as building culture and employee engagement,” continues Nunn.
“There’s an appetite to utilize new messaging tools that present important, contextual information to employees in the optimal format. Technology is transforming some old habits, and creating some exciting opportunities for H.R.” says Nunn.
What are your priorities and challenges ahead? Share your thoughts in the reply box below.