Can Employers Send Text Messages to Employees?
How quickly do you check your phone when you receive an email notification? What about a text alert? We’re willing to bet that you’re a little quicker to read—and reply—to text messages than you are to emails. If that’s the case, why haven’t more companies shifted to using internal text communication to message with employees—especially non-desk employees?
In our latest blog, we’re exploring some of the best practices surrounding texting your employees and the situations when it makes sense to send a text message. We’ll also discuss how Yourco—the best text messaging service for business—can help make the whole process much easier for your employees and managers alike.
Can an Employer Text Employees?
Yes, employers can absolutely send text messages to employees. In fact, it’s a great way to ensure that employees are receiving crucial information regarding schedules, operational updates, emergency alerts, and more.
Most businesses today use email as their main method of internal communication. Don’t get us wrong, email can be an excellent means of communication—especially when you need to send lengthy messages and spreadsheets. But, non-desk employees in industries such as manufacturing, construction, and agriculture aren’t typically assigned an email address. What’s more, even those employees who do have email addresses may be missing out on mission critical information. Internal email open rates can be as low as 50%. And, as of late 2021, spam accounted for 45.37% of email traffic.
All of this could result in communication barriers or employees missing out on key updates from HR or their supervisor. That’s where work-related text messages come into play. An estimated 98% of adults in the United States own a mobile phone. And while they’re not all smartphones, even flip phones can send and receive SMS text messages.
But with so many labor and telecommunications laws and regulations, you might be wondering, “Do you need permission to text employees?” It’s best to use a service that aids in your compliance with the Department of Labor regulations and telecommunications laws. This is easily accomplished with Yourco’s standard vetting process and feedback deliverability functionality. Other best practices when it comes to communicating effectively with texting in the workplace include:
- Use a Two-Way Text Platform: It’s tempting for businesses to just use their personal phones to text with employees, but it’s not always the best option. There are paper trails to consider, not to mention privacy issues. Using a two-way text platform like Yourco allows you to send a mass text message to employees securely, and without the headaches of group chats. Our texting web-based platform is the first product on the market built specifically for two-way messaging between HR, managers, and non-desk employees.
- Keep Texts Work Related: To keep employees engaged with your text messages, ensure you’re only sending out information that’s work related. Don’t send them marketing texts or illogical communications. It’s also important to remember that text messages should abide by HR communications compliance. As a general rule, you shouldn’t say anything over text message you wouldn’t say in person, over the phone, or via email.
- Set Clear Expectations: Are you sending a reminder, or do you need your employee to act on something immediately? Be sure that your text messages clearly articulate what you need your employee to do—if anything.
- Avoid Texting After Hours: Emergencies happen, and sometimes texting employees after hours is inevitable. Texting about a schedule change after hours is totally acceptable, but you should avoid sending messages that can wait until working hours during the next day.
How Can Text Messages Be Used to Communicate With Employees?
There are a number of scenarios when using text messages to communicate with employees—rather than e-mail or another messaging service—can benefit everyone involved.
- Company Announcements: Keeping employees informed about key changes or updates is one of the keys to internal communication. From HR messages about open enrollment or policy changes to managerial information about shift updates and operational changes, text messaging is a quick and effective way to relay this information.
- Employee Alerts: Is there a hazardous condition on site or nearby? Are you closing or delaying due to inclement weather? 95% of text messages are read within 3 minutes, which means you can ensure information is getting to your employees fast.
- Text-Off Line: Whether it’s due to illness, car problems, or a family emergency, sometimes employees have to call off work. Instead of offering a call-off line, a text-off line can provide simplicity and efficiency for your non-desk employees, HR, and managers.
- Employee Surveys: Looking to measure your business’s strengths and weaknesses, company culture, or employee engagement? An employee survey can help companies understand what’s working–and what’s not. Texting out employee surveys can help you achieve higher participation rates.
- Onboarding Employees: It can be difficult to connect with new hires if they don’t have access to a company email address. An employee texting platform like Yourco can ensure that your managers and HR team can quickly communicate new employee information.
- Employee Referrals: As companies struggle to fill open positions, employee referrals can be an excellent way to find great new candidates. With a text message, employers can easily distribute links for employee referrals to non-desk employees.
Yourco: Because Everyone Can Text
If you have employees who don’t have access to a company email address, you need a reliable way to send two-way communications with them. That’s why we built Yourco. Our platform was designed to help managers, HR teams, and employees communicate. Managers and HR teams love us because our platform is easy to use, maintains historical records of all communications, and gets important information in front of your entire workforce. Your employees will love us because there’s no app to download and they can easily send and receive SMS messages on any mobile phone.
Are you ready to get started? Set up a demo today to find out more about the Yourco difference.