Fight to communicateWhen it comes to your workplace communication strategy, don’t expect one channel to rule them all. The best bet for success is an approach that mixes up email, a mobile app, social media, face-to-face, intranet and whatever other channels are available.

That was the conclusion of a webinar billed as an Employee Communication Showdown between email and a branded mobile app. The session pitted Chris Wagner from Bananatag, which focuses on sending better, fewer and more effective email with Outlook or Gmail, against Frank Wolf of Staffbase, which creates branded mobile apps.

Round 1: Usability

What to consider:

  • Ease of use.
  • One place where employees can find news, services, a phone directory, etc.
  • Integration with social networking tools like Yammer.
  • Accepted by multiple generations.
  • Ability to alert employees to new content, which usually drives more readership.

Round 2: Engagement

What to consider:

  • Make channels more interactive and engaging. Include social reactions (thumbs up/down, smiley face).
  • Add pulse surveys, questions and followup, such as “Do you understand the company’s strategy?”
  • Support interaction with links to training videos, chat, events registration and surveys.

Round 3: Content

What to consider:

  • Provide relevant curated content.
  • Provide targeted content across locations, within teams and peer to peer.
  • Combine words, videos, infographics, listicles and other content to get messages across.
  • Emulate successful external sources like theSkimm with drag and drop images, blocks, buttons, etc.
  • Create better ways to search, navigate and curate information on the intranet.

Round 4: Measurement

What to consider:

  • Make your own business case. Set benchmarks at the outset and measure after.
  • Track performance and connect numbers to the measurement.
  • Look at analytics to see what people click on, watch, respond to, act on.

Round 5: Reach

What to consider:

  • How many employees can you reach and how quickly?
  • Work on the reputation of your messages.
  • Provide helpful, interactive contact and rich video.
  • Where not all employees have access to a channel (like email), provide information to managers and supervisors for use in face-to-face meetings.

The smackdown highlighted good points about both email and branded mobile apps. At the same time, it reminded participants that it’s most effective to use multiple ways to reach employees.

Which channels do you find most effective?

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay.