What Is an Employee Communication App?
Communication is the lifeblood of any business. Having an effective and consistent chain of communication allows you to distribute employee alerts quickly and with confidence that your employees are reading and acting upon them. Unfortunately, establishing this level of employee communication is often a lot easier said than done.
To improve communication in the workplace, many businesses turn to apps. However, not all of these apps are created equal. In this article, we cover how communication apps work, the different types, and which platforms offer the best in terms of engagement and ease of use. Let’s dive in.
What Is the Importance of Communication Apps?
The importance of messaging that is clear and efficient is so that the employees who keep your business running can avoid carrying out the wrong—or even dangerous—tasks. Apps can streamline communication and make it easier for managers and employees to write, send, read, and respond to messages. Consider the following situations and how better communication could improve outcomes:
In an emergency, time is of the essence. Let’s take extreme weather, for example. If you have a team that’s supposed to go to a jobsite and deliver expensive supplies, a flash flood could endanger your crew and damage your supplies. With slow, unreliable communication, your team could end up driving through the flood. Or, they could arrive at the site before it starts to rain, unload the supplies, then get caught in a downpour that ruins your materials and leaves your team stranded. With effective communication, you could warn your team of the incoming storm and have them turn around before they encounter a dangerous situation.
In project-based businesses, it’s important to know exactly how many team members you can rely on for any given shift. Let’s see how this impacts a moving company’s need for effective communication. If a move has four people assigned to it plus a driver, and one employee is a no-show, the customer may receive poorer results. Or, if the driver doesn’t show up without warning, then you would have to cancel the move and deal with a frustrated customer. With a communication method that employees use frequently, your team members would let you know ahead of time when they have to miss a shift. That way, you have more time to try and get it covered.
Not all communications are as in-the-moment as the previous examples, but they are still important. Company-wide announcements relay important information, yet employees may filter them out. For example, an email sent to the entire company with a subject line that reads “New Badges Required for Office Entry” could easily go unopened by remote or hybrid employees who work mostly from home. After all, it’s a fairly generic message that typically doesn’t apply to them. But the next time they go into the office, they’ll have a frustrating experience getting inside. Instead, a communications app could deliver group announcements as individual messages, so employees are more likely to open and read them.
In these situations, communication apps make it easier for employees to receive messages, and they are more likely to actively communicate.
What Is a Communication App and How Do Messaging Apps Work?
Communication apps are application-based software that enables users to write, send, receive, and reply to messages. Many communication platforms also allow users to send and open files. These apps are common in the workplace, and can be used to reach both at-desk and non-desk employees. Common messaging apps include:
Enables individual or group conversations with easy file sharing.
Similar to Slack, employees can use this mobile app to communicate with coworkers.
Assigns a web-based phone number and allows users to call, text, and share certain file types like photos over internet connection.
Combines app functionality for admins and the high open rates of text messaging (95% of text messages are read within three minutes) for employers to keep employees engaged and on the same page.
What Are the Advantages of Messaging Apps?
The key advantage of messaging apps over browser-based communication methods is that many of an app’s features are downloaded onto your local device. Because of this, the app often responds faster than web-based platforms, which need to load all of their content and functionality every time you open them. Applications are also optimized for the device they’re downloaded on, which gives users a far better experience (think of how much better it is to use the Email app downloaded on your phone, rather than to open up your Email through an internet browser).
Best Communication Apps
For all of their advantages, most communication apps come with disadvantages, especially when used to contact non-desk employees. For example, many apps:
- Require downloading, which dictates that employees have a smartphone (15% of adults in the US don’t own a smartphone). Even those that do may have concerns about storage space or apps tracking their activity, especially on personal devices. Non-desk employees will often refuse to download a mobile app that their company is trying to get them to download.
- Use employees’ cellular data, which means your employees end up footing the bill to keep in contact with their job. This can be frustrating for team members who aren’t part of a company phone plan. You may have to reimburse employees if you are taking up employee data, especially if they do not have an Unlimited Data plan.
- Need a strong internet or data connection, which limits where your employees can receive and send messages from. For employees working in the field, especially in rural areas, this could cause important messages to go unnoticed.
- Send out mass or individual messages
- Respond to employee text messages
- Automatically document conversations
- Grant manager access to certain locations, departments, or groups
For employees, Yourco:
- Doesn’t require an app
- Doesn’t require a data plan or internet access
- Delivers messages as SMS text messages to any cell phone
- Sends group texts as individual employee messages (say goodbye to cumbersome group chats)