Tag Archives: technology

When Practical Communications Trump the Bleeding Edge

By Michael DesRochers, Managing Director at PoliteMail

I spend a lot of time talking with communicators in large organizations. They are usually time and resource strapped and have large, nebulous objectives to meet, such as “increase employee engagement,” while at the same time running numerous communicators programs. They are writing executive messaging, producing stories and content for company news, and delivering HR and benefits information to vast numbers of employees.

Recently, I was interviewed by HR Examiner’s lead analyst, John Sumser, and walked him through the capabilities of PoliteMail. John led off by saying, “Email is dead to me.” That wasn’t surprising. As a reporter who writes about the bleeding edge of technology, he doesn’t work in a large corporate office and spends most of his time communicating with and writing about the dreamers pushing the next shiny new thing.

Fortunately, John is a smart, polite gentleman who is willing to check his rear-view mirror while driving forward. Chances are, John still checks his inbox and sends email like the rest of us. 

What corporate communicators want is to write something once, publish it everywhere and reach everyone in their target audience. Yes, they need to communicate where the audience is.  We all know multi-tasking millennials dis email and flit from Facebook to Instagram and, as independents or small work groups, are Slackers.  These new communications tools may or may not last, but they certainly do not have the breadth of employee reach most corporate executives demand.

If you want to reach all your employees with an important strategic message from the CEO, what is the fastest, easiest and most effective way to do so? What communication tools do all employees already use, and which require no training or much in the way of technical skills?

The answer is email, and for the majority of corporations, Microsoft Outlook in particular. There is a reason that Facebook and LinkedIn use email to communicate with their own users, and loop them back onto the platform. There is a reason for the growing push-back against Slack as creating a multitude of inboxes instead of just one. 

Corporations today struggle even with reaching non-desk employees on their mobile devices. Hundreds of start-ups are publishing new mobile apps, which communicators and employees will have to learn and adopt, and which often cost more than simply giving non-desk workers their own company email address. There is a reason the most popular iPhone app is email: we all get and check email on our mobile devices. We might text subsets of people, and regularly check our LinkedIn messaging, but we all have email and use it every day.

Anyone working inside the enterprise will realize email is far from dead, and with Office365, is actually evolving at a rapid pace. Certainly more and more people access email via mobile, and Outlook and Office are already there. Office is the corporate communications platform, Outlook is the hub, and SharePoint is the newsroom and archive. New, email integrated social, video and workflow tools are arriving daily inside Office365.

John, and others who have their eyes on the next shiny thing, can rest assured knowing Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics will be coming to email sooner than they might realize.  Anyone else notice how very effective the Outlook Clutter folder is at reducing unwanted email?

 

 

PoliteMail Clients Named to Top 50 Companies by LinkedIn

LinkedIn on Thursday released the findings of its second annual Top Companies study with Alphabet once again taking top honors in the United States. Of the 50 stateside front-runners, 22% are currently using PoliteMail to create, send, manage, and measure internal email campaigns.  Similarly, 28% of the companies that made the Australian list are also using PoliteMail, with 16% of the German list and 8% of the UK list following suit. Congratulations to our clients across the globe for being recognized as a top place to work!

Background

The LinkedIn Insights Team analyzed billions of member interactions on the platform and focused on four key interest areas to create the list: jobs, brand, employees and employee retention. The analysis, conducted only on organizations with more than 500 employees, examined member engagement over a 12-month period that ended in February of this year. Both LinkedIn and its parent company, Microsoft, were excluded from the study.

The US companies highlighted in the report represent over 21 industries and employ over three million nationally. Unsurprisingly, high tech dominated the results, but financial and professional services firms also made strong showings.

To learn more about last year’s list, click here.

Adopting New Technology: Get Your Employees On Board

Regardless of the industry or size, organizations today are experiencing a digital transformation. With the addition of new technology these organizations are able to better serve their customers and increase revenue. However, the digital transformation isn’t always as smooth as one would think. Often we hear of organizations who have spent a pretty penny on various tools only to find out that their employees aren’t using the tool. Although implementing new technologies is something many organizations say they are focusing on for future success, many employees are finding the process to be too complex and slow. How can this be fixed?

Employee Adoption of Technology Matters

When considering implementing a new technology, consider this: employees perform and deliver value, and the use of technology helps them do it better. It’s crucial to consider if the tool is going to make the end user’s job easier. If the tool is difficult or confusing to use, they are not going to use it. Keep your employees involved in tech initiatives and get their opinions on what will or will not work; keeping them involved in this process will save you time and money.

Often employees turn to non-approved apps and tools that they are more comfortable and familiar with, knowing it will be easier than the company provided tools. As a result they may be unintentionally putting your organization’s privacy and security at risk. Work with your IT team to create a brief explanation of how the tool works and explain how using other tools may present risks to the organization.

Choosing the Right Technology

No matter what technology you are looking to implement, keep in mind the interests of those who will use it daily. Consider functionality and ease of use from the end user’s perspective. Tools that take a great deal of time to learn are almost always rejected by employees. Have the users complete multiple trials, get their feedback, and then determine if the technology fits their needs. This will help users across all levels of your organization make the most out of your software.

Show Off the New Technology

What better way to get people excited about using a new tool than to show them what it is capable of! Prove that the technology works, and how simple it can be. Show it off to a small team who can work with others to show them how the tool works, and help promote the tool among co-workers. Engaging employee along the tech adoption process is one of the best ways to ensure that the tool will be used at all levels of the organization.

Read the full article from Pivot Point here.