Internal Communication Plans... Here's Why They Shouldn't Include Email!

Internal Communication Plans... Here's Why They Shouldn't Include Email!

There’s no doubt about it, email is a key communication tool for many. We’ve been using email for years - since 1971 to be precise. But with the rapid advancement of new technologies, does email even fit into your internal communication plan?

Although email has served us a great purpose by enabling us to connect with others instantly, there are aspects of communication that email lacks. For starters, it’s difficult to inject personality into an email, which can lead to emails being perceived in the wrong way. It’s also hard to contain a lot of information in an email. If you have to reach a large audience, it’s hard to create an impact by just using email.

To put it bluntly, email is old fashioned. Yes, it has its advantages but with the advancements in technology, is email the best internal communication tool to use today?

The world of internal communications is changing and you are still using email to keep up to date with your company, here are a few ideas to incorporate into your internal communication plan.

No personal touch 

There’s no doubt about it, to have a lasting impact on your audience, you need to make your communications personal. Unfortunately for email, it lacks that little personal touch. We’ve all been there when we’ve sent an email to a colleague we thought was funny but actually, it went down like a lead balloon. 

Because email tone is conveyed through word choice, punctuation and sentence structure, it can be difficult to inject personality. When looking for your best internal communication tool, you want something that is going to captivate your audience and keep them engaged. 

To make your message extra personal, try incorporating video into your internal communication plan. In fact, research conducted by TechSmith found that 67% of employees find it easier to complete tasks when information includes images or a video. For example, if you have more serious news to share with your employees like a message from the CEO; distributing this through a video rather than an email will make it more personal to your employees and they’re more likely to interact with it. Remember, a video is worth far more words than an email. 

It’s also important to consider the demographics of your audience when looking for the best internal communication tool. Again, research by TechSmith found that millennials want to see more video in their internal communications. This is important to consider in your internal communication plan as millennials are now the largest demographic in the world and make up the largest proportion of today’s workforce.

 

Oak list of email limitations for your internal communication plan

Lack of connectivity 

Let’s face it, you can’t connect your people through an email. There’s no place for comments and no space for your teams to interact with one another. Connecting your people should be a top priority in your internal communication plan. Work relationships are incredibly important for employee wellbeing and co-workers that get along well is a definite sign of a healthy working environment. So, when searching for the best internal communication tool for your business, making sure it has a space to connect your employees is a must.

Bringing your people together through common interests is a great way to encourage employee interaction and build bonds between teammates. Internal communication doesn’t have to be all about work, it’s important to consider this when it comes to putting together your internal communication plan.

Oak has various capabilities to connect your teams and promote social interaction; Hubs being one of them. A Hub is a group in which you can communicate, collaborate and share content with other members of the Hub. To put it simply, Hubs bring together like-minded colleagues through a range of content. With Hubs, the possibilities are endless; whether you want to make them a formal place to discuss the latest project your team is working on or you want a dedicated space for a film club.

No place for feedback

If there’s no place for employee feedback in your internal communication plan, you’re doing it wrong!

Employee feedback can help a business grow, adapt and solve problems wherever necessary. Your employees deserve to be listened to and have their feedback taken on board. If you’re sending the majority of your communications via email, the only way your employees can leave feedback is through a reply. And we all know this reply will most likely be skimmed over then forgotten about.

To encourage and enable employee feedback, email is certainly not the best internal communication tool. Employees need a system where they know their feedback will be stored and action will take place upon their feedback.

If you want to gain quick feedback from your employees, why not try placing an employee suggestion box somewhere easily accessible to your team? You can place this suggestion box on the main timeline of your engagement app and making this suggestion box anonymous will encourage employees to complete it.

If you’re wanting more in-depth feedback from your employees, a Pulse Survey should fit into your internal communication plan. Pulse Surveys enable a business to gather data from employees quickly and efficiently. We understand how important it is to gain feedback from your employees which it’s so easy to distribute a Pulse Survey via your employee engagement app.

You can't reach your deskless workers

In case you didn’t know, deskless workers now make up 80% of the global workforce, and far too often these workers are left behind in their organisation’s internal communication plan.

If you have a large number of deskless workers, email is not the best internal communication tool to use. In fact, the majority of deskless workers don’t have a work email address which means if you’re using email to reach your audience, you’re going to be leaving a large proportion behind.

In order to combat the largely abandoned deskless workforce, ensure a mobile-first approach is a top priority within your internal communication plan. With mobile, your workforce can stay up to date and connected with your workforce at any time, from anywhere. There are currently 5.11 billion mobile phone users in the world right now and 3.9 billion email users, so make sure you choose wisely.

Summary

When it comes to developing your communications plan, it’s natural to reach for email first. We’ve been using it for the whole of our working lives. Although it serves us great purpose in some aspects of communication, it’s clear that email is 'old school' in the world of internal communication.


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