From flyers on bulletin boards to digital signage in the lunch room to posters inside bathroom stalls, internal communicators have placed messages in all kinds of different places to try to get employees’ attention and keep them informed.
Within the last decade, employees have equipped themselves with convenient, versatile devices that are the perfect venue for direct communications. They’re small computers with a large screens that they carry around nearly all the time, and most people often glance at those screens throughout the workday.
The ubiquitous smartphone. And they’re easier to reach than many communicators think.
Yet many organizations haven’t tapped into their potential. According to PoliteMail’s 2016-2017 Internal Communications Survey, only 5 percent of communications professionals think of their own organizations’ mobile solutions as effective. Only 30 percent have intranets that are accessible via mobile devices, and just a little more than half send mobile responsive email messages.
Only about a third (35 percent) think of mobile as the best way to reach employees and deserving of research, even though 84 percent of respondents themselves check their work emails using their mobile devices.
According to research from Informate Mobile Intelligence conducted in 2015—so the numbers are likely even higher now—Americans spent 4.7 hours on their phones each day. That’s about a third of their waking time. It would seem that the mobile audience is a captive audience.
So why aren’t more organizations moving toward using mobile apps or other mobile communication tools? It could be budgetary. In the PoliteMail survey, a whopping 70 percent of communicators said they don’t expect their budgets to increase or barely have any budget for new technology at all.
Also, more than half (54 percent) of respondents said their communications departments are understaffed and can’t get everything done, let alone add a new channel.
Or it could also be a matter of training. A little more than a third of respondents said they simply don’t know how to implement a mobile strategy.
But you don’t necessarily need an app or a mobile-optimized intranet to communicate internally via mobile devices. Every mobile device comes with an email client built right in. All an organization needs is an effective email strategy.
Mobile hurdles, may not seem easy to clear, but Inc. spells out the need for mobile internal communication in this post by Jeremy Goldman, founder and CEO of brand engagement consultancy Firebrand Group.
“Mobile is not only the current medium of the choice, it’s the future,” Goldman writes. “Leaders should be proactive in establishing a mobile-friendly workplace by ensuring all assets are compatible with mobile.”
According to new research by PoliteMail, employees with company email addresses will check email on their smartphones 38 percent of the time.
Instead of yet another app, it would seem the easiest way to reach employees where they are, is just to make sure they all have a company email address.