Employees tend to be exclusively human beings. You could contend that some organisations utilise members of the animal kingdom to help them operate – drug sniffing dogs, police horses etc. In reality though, their remuneration doesn’t really go beyond appreciative pats and tasty treats. Employees are human beings. Human beings like to communicate. They take comfort, guidance and pleasure from conversing with each other. Since time immemorial, humans have shared stories, recipes, cautionary tales and medicinal formulas. It’s a roundabout way of saying it but if you have a large organisation, you are going to have many human beings who will want to, and need to, communicate with each other.
The medium for such interaction has evolved from posting letters, to phoning and faxing, through to more millennial options such as email and IM. From a management perspective, up until fairly recently, this hasn’t been too hard to control and police. Many enterprises limit access to social media. Corporate email accounts could be set to reject unauthorised attachments. The advent of smartphones has proven to be a complete gamechanger. Employees often have independent access to everything that the connected world has to offer – good and bad – and they increasingly do not see a clear delineation between personal and business usage. This presents a problem for employers – how do you discourage and stop your employees from using consumer targeted apps like Snapchat or WhatsApp to keep in touch within the corporate environment?
Is that really a problem though? Shouldn’t I be pleased that my employees are engaging with each other in a tech savvy way that suits their needs? Across job functions and geographies. What’s not to like? Plenty it turns out. To the extent that if this is currently the status quo in your organisation it would be prudent to escalate it rapidly to the top of things that need to change.
So, what’s the problem? Well, first and foremost, these are not enterprise-grade applications. They are designed for consumer use and the platform is designed to be robust enough to support that. It works just fine if it’s a group of parents of kids in the same class discussing whether Sports Day is still on tomorrow. It really doesn’t work when you have colleagues sharing confidential financial information or new product designs. Why? Because the data protection controls are not in place. The parents don’t care that the cloud-based app is storing their conversations on servers in the USA. A country where the authorities have extensive rights of surveillance and access. You care though, because you are based in Europe and have just contravened numerous laws and regulations. Not to mention the threat to your intellectual property.
When you allow employees to choose what apps they use you also, perhaps unthinkingly, hand over control to them. They now own the agenda. Rumours become fact. Cliques are enabled and fortified. Employees on the outside of the conversations can feel excluded and even bullied. You also cede control of what information can leave your organisation and where it can end up. With the blurring of personal and business use of the apps it doesn’t take much for an employee to carelessly select the wrong John Smith in the contacts and send the wrong person the wrong confidential file.
It’s not just the dangers of using consumer apps in enterprise environments that needs highlighting. It’s what you are actually missing out on by not providing the right communications tools to your employees. Enterprise-grade apps should have been designed with enterprise use in mind. They will have all the interfaces required. All the security layers in place. All the reporting and analysis tools built in. All the features and benefits that would be overkill for consumers, but exactly what enterprises need from an employee communications platform.
How do you mitigate your risk and maximise your potential through employee communications? That’s where StaffConnect, the world’s leading mobile internal communications platform, comes into its own.
The StaffConnect platform features three distinct but intrinsically linked elements: an interactive app, an intuitive management console and an inspiring success program.
The StaffConnect App unites the entire workforce from the field to the boardroom – enabling all employees to engage with company communications and connect with, and be inspired by, corporate goals. Employees are empowered to express views and share knowledge across business-lines, titles and geographies, thereby increasing employee job satisfaction, loyalty, retention and, crucially, customer satisfaction.
One of the key features that employees respond positively to is the way that Chat is enabled. Combining instant message functionality with
access to the company directory means that employees can communicate instantly with each other or to groups. This removes the temptation for employees to use external applications such as WhatsApp and keeps all internal communications transparent and auditable.
The StaffConnect App is designed to be fully branded by the client, ensuring that the company’s values and associated imagery are all true to the brand. The App also includes push notification functionality, ensuring you can get important messages in front of the right people immediately and directly via their device.
The management console provides authorised administrators with a powerful yet simple tool to manage all aspects of the StaffConnect platform. Reports and dashboards offer invaluable insights into employee engagement levels, to analyse and understand each individual, as well as the overall organisational, employee experience. The latest version takes these analytical capabilities to a new level and pairs them with advanced communities, enabling enhanced segmentation and targeting. Through the introduction of surveys and quiz functionality, employees have a clearer, multi-channel voice and can be confident their feedback is being sought, received, appraised and acted upon.
The AppSuccess Program consists of customised consultations with domain experts to define a winning internal communications strategy, ensure a successful program and technology implementation, accelerate user adoption, and provide a pathway for feedback to continuously maximise app and program performance. We know that a new tool, on its own, isn’t the answer to your challenges. AppSuccess is there to ensure you get the utmost return on investment from the StaffConnect platform. We can help you convert your employees into avid users of the App whilst also gently educating them about the importance of separating personal and business communications.
We can never lose sight that every employee is a human being and prone to all the foibles that comes with the condition. But, by giving them the best applications and tools, we enable them to be productive, focussed and fulfilled. We’d also recommend the odd tasty treat but would probably advise caution with regards to appreciative pats.