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Ineffective Internal Communication? You Won’t Last Long.

Employee engagement is linked with a business’ bottom line. This has been proven time and again through research and company studies. Internal communication is a critical driver that enables employee engagement. Therefore, it is a significant function of its own. If employees are kept informed on organizational changes, achievements, milestones, events and general employee buzz, they tend to play a more participative role in driving business success. And if you bring in a mobile platform, you can drive internal communication for greater impact.

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internal communication for employee engagementMany organizations are giving thought to their internal communication strategy. That’s a good thing but I don’t see many of them experiencing desired returns. Why do I say that? Because internal communication cannot be pulled along like a formal static process. In the deluge of information that hits employees every day, you can bet that internal communication will be relegated to an email folder that rarely sees the day. So how do you get employees to give five minutes of their time to communication that matters?

They key factors for success would be timeliness and relevance, content style and delivery, and frequency.

Timeliness and relevance of internal communications

The timeliness of internal communication is paramount. Orientation materials should be sent to employees as soon as they join so they peruse it. This also ensures that they comply with organizational policies and practices from day one.

In case of organizational change such as diversification of services or domains, new C-suite executives or change in business strategy, employees should be kept in the loop. If the company is involved in a merger and employees are concerned, you need to share honest information with them to win their trust, loyalty and commitment. If the company is involved in a legal battle, it helps if employees know what it’s about and your stand on the issue. You can also instruct employees on what they can or cannot say to media on the matter to avoid embarrassment or reputational damage.

Critical communications ride on timely instruction and reception. Mobility solutions such as DRONA Mobile work perfectly here because they can deliver necessary communication to all employees right on their smartphones, in real time, and irrespective of the employee’s location, roaming status, etc. They’re ideal for disseminating information to a geographically dispersed workforce.

Content style and delivery of internal communications

All organizational news is relevant to employees. If it isn’t, you should worry. Internal communication can be conveyed via newsletters, emails, circulars, face-to-face meetings, events or posters. The tone and language of all internal communication should be worded to include employees rather than talking “at” them, and it should support interactivity.

The format and tone of content helps to attract and engage readers. All electronic internal communication should be delivered in short precise nuggets that engage. Short 1-2 minute videos, audios, images or presentations work when you want employees to get the message without spending too much time. Longer videos, podcasts, newsletters, etc., work if you want employees to go into some details. The differentiated approach is particularly needed on the mobile platform where small screen size can become a readability barrier.

Frequency of internal communications

Internal communications should be reasonably frequent and on schedule. Critical communications should be delivered as and when required, in real time. With DRONA Mobile, you can create campaigns to deliver multi-format content to employees on predefined dates, days and time. Or you can push content and broadcast messages anytime.

Effective internal communication will supercharge your employee engagement initiative. Communication involves people and involved people make better workers that convert to improved outcomes, better customer service, and a positive work environment.

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7 Internal Communication Tips to Make Employees Brand Ambassadors

What do you do to make sure your employees are motivated when they come in to work? Do they understand the business mission and vision or their role in the bigger picture? Do they know enough to incorporate your business values into their work styles?

Organizations spend a lot of time, money and effort in organizing campaigns and events that build their brand image in the eyes of customers, influencers and partners. With external communications sucking away most of the budget allotted for brand management, a very small fraction filters down to internal communication. Worse, many companies give a similar level of attention to what should be their most critical function within the organization – internal communication.

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internal communication for internal brandingWhy do I say that? Because internal communication is about engaging your workforce and your workforce is your biggest asset. How can employees drive external brand initiatives when they don’t believe in it themselves? It’s critical to invest time, thought, and funds into internal branding initiatives so that every employee in the organization understands what your brand is about and takes pride in it.

Here are 7 tips on how to do it:

1.      Involve every employee in every department: Every employee, from the janitor to the CEO, plays an important role in the organization. Ensure internal communication brings people together. If every employee is to feel enthusiastic about the brand, steps must be taken to engage people at all levels in meaningful ways.

2.      Build a shared vision: Share the organization’s core value with your employees. Mobile communication platforms like DRONA Mobile help you manage this easily. You can send a range of engaging content such as CEO videos, newsletters, polls and quizzes relevant to the business vision to employees on their smartphones for anytime, anywhere consumption.

3.      Keep communication informal: Ensure communication is continuous and informal. Shift the focus from eloquence and verbosity to short and relevant content that resonates instantly. Communicate milestones, achievements, rewards, appreciations and recognition with employees to keep them in the loop as well as motivate them.

4.      Make the communication interactive: Encourage feedback from employees. With DRONA, you can make it simple, quick and efficient with employees sending feedback on content, making suggestions, submitting ideas, and giving opinions.

5.      Welcome dissenting views: Create an environment that does not inhibit employees from opening up on challenges and issues they face at work. Where L&D, Training and HR departments spend hours on research and analysis to identify gaps, this straightforward approach can generate a constant stream of information for empowered decision making on product development, training plans, service levels, and workflows.

6.      Live the brand: Don’t just distribute T-shirts and coffee mugs sporting the brand name. Live the brand. If you want people to emulate your business values, you must play role model. Again, leverage tools like DRONA to drive visibility of how the C-suite lives up to the brand.

7.      Celebrate successes, however small: Show your employees you care. If a sales guy bags a great contract, celebrate it. If your customer service personnel go beyond the call of duty to make customers happy, appreciate it. If your housekeeping teams work tirelessly through the day to keep your office gleaming, acknowledge their contribution.

Strong internal communication can turn your employees into voluntary brand ambassadors. They are walking talking live wires that project your brand’s image to stakeholders. 

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Mobile Education (mEducation) will Transform the World

Mobile education or mEducation will grow into a USD 70 billion market by 2020, according to McKinsey.  It’s an exhilarating and motivating prediction. Mobile devices open up obvious device opportunities that circumvent challenges faced by education drivers and learners across the world.

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Students accessing tablets in schoolMobile has the power to become the most transformative technology medium that breaks down barriers in education. It has the capacity to enrich people’s lives from the remotest corners of India, Africa and other underdeveloped or developing economies to the academic elite of Harvard, Oxford and the like.

According to a GSMA report that surveyed youth in Ghana, India, Morocco and Uganda, 74 percent of mobile owners said that it is the number one asset they own and 63 percent believed that they could learn through even a basic mobile device.

Maximizing on the mobile device opportunity

Mobile devices offer innumerable opportunities for educators to make a real impact on learners. The ubiquity and “always on” capabilities of mobile devices make them handy tools that can be used anytime, anywhere. Educators and technologists are improvising on device capabilities such as SMS, accelerometer, camera, multimedia support, touch, GPS and real-time connectivity to make lessons more interactive, relevant, entertaining, and engaging.

With mobile solutions, educators can deliver truly personalized lesson plans based on collected data from students’ content consumption patterns, a valuable activity that they are otherwise unable to drive in a large classroom. Mobile learning allows individual students to learn at their own pace, retention abilities, and attention span; making the education activity more effective and even pleasurable for student and teacher.

mEducation across the world

In the US, the oral fluency of kindergarteners in New Mexico improved 3 times in just 3 years since the introduction of mobile devices in the classroom for progress assessment of individual students and customization of lessons for individual needs.

In South Korea, an online education company offers distance learning services where one teacher connects with thousands of students through on-demand video.

iPads in the classroomIn the University of Waterloo, Canada, teachers deliver podcasts of lessons for students to consume anytime, anywhere. This is followed up with text message interactions for subject discussions.

DreamBox Learning offers interactive learning solutions that enable differentiated instruction by adjusting difficulty levels, number and type of hints, etc., for students based on tracking responses to several different questions.

China, Bangladesh, South Korea, and Indonesia run SMS and audio-based mEducation solutions to learn English, overcoming the barrier of limited qualified local teachers for the language.

If the ultimate goal of education is to empower and enable students for life, mobile offers the perfect path for learning. While various organizations, institutes and individuals are making concerted efforts to drive mEducation in their local geographies and the world, the involvement of mobile network operators, governments, and academia is necessary to add impetus to the campaigns for maximum outreach.

With mobile devices including basic handsets, smartphones and tablets permeating societies on a universal scale, the potential is immense. All that’s needed is passion, will and some improvisation.