Employee Notification System
Employee Notification System
Regardless of industry, maintaining effective lines of communication between a business and its employees is one of the most important considerations in keeping everyone informed, connected, and safe.
In an office setting, a lot of employee communication is done through email. This is largely a matter of cost and convenience, as email is easy to implement. There are a few problems with email, though, including that many workers—especially non-desk workers—might not even have a company-provided email address. Another problem is that everyone already gets too many emails…and they don’t read them.
This means important, even vital, information gets lost in the noise. Deadlines get missed, updates go unread, and people’s inboxes fill to remarkable levels. Would it surprise you to learn that only about 20% of those emails actually get read? What a waste!
Now, when you consider industries where there are a good number of non-desk employees—construction workers, for example—email proves especially unhelpful. These workers aren’t often around to monitor their email inbox (if they even have one!) and may not even have an active internet connection out in the field to access their email.
So, how do these employers reach their workforce with timely employee alerts? If they want their messages to get read and employees to take note, they’ll use a texting or SMS platform (since, according to Gartner, text/SMS messages have a 98% read rate).
In this blog, we’re taking a closer look at how to evaluate and implement an employee notification system by answering several key questions, including:
- Why are employee notifications important?
- What are the different types of notifications for employees?
- What are the types of notification systems for businesses?
- How do I create a notification system?
- What makes Yourco’s enterprise alert system right for modern companies?
Why Are Employee Notifications Important?
At a high level, creating an employee notification system comes with many benefits, including:
- Enabling employers to send different types/formats of employee notifications for specific emergency and non-emergency situations.
- Improving two-way communication between employers and employees.
- Keeping team members connected and informed about company developments.
Not all notifications, or notification delivery methods, are created equally, though. There are several different use-cases to consider when developing your own employee notification system.
What Are the Different Types of Notifications for Employees?
Effective communication is the key to a safe and supportive work environment, whether that’s in an office setting or out in the field or other job site (like those in the manufacturing industry, for example). Depending on the workplace and industry, there might be a number of compelling use cases for developing an employee notification system to improve internal communication. Some of the different types of notifications you might consider sending include:
- Messages related to individual- or team-level schedule changes.
- Notifications about emergency situations.
- Reminders and updates about upcoming meetings or other events.
- Notes regarding compliance requirements and related action items.
- Notices about employee benefits, including open enrollment notices.
Another way to think about the different types of employee notifications is by categorizing them into one of two categories: emergency alerts and non-emergency alerts:
Related to current or pending events that require immediate response (e.g., workplace hazards, emergency weather statements, immediate health and safety concerns, or any other kind of emergency situation).
Related to events or circumstances that are important to communicate but don’t require urgent attention or pose immediate health or safety danger (e.g., shift changes, schedule updates, reminders, company events).
What Are the Types of Notification System for Businesses?
You’re probably picturing the equivalent of a text or SMS messaging system, but that’s only one type of modern notification system for desk and non-desk employees. With that in mind, then, here are some of the different types with definitions. It’s worth noting that these are not mutually exclusive—meaning you might devise a system that can adapt to multiple types of notifications.
What Is a Quick Alert Notification System?
A quick alert or emergency notification system is aptly named, since it is intended to provide timely information about developing situations that could turn dangerous. Especially for non-desk employees like those in construction, manufacturing, agriculture, or transportation, these might include weather updates or other potential workplace hazards. Importantly, these notifications should clearly state the issue and offer clear and concise guidance for workers to remain safe.
It also sometimes makes sense to communicate with employees in the aftermath of a major event by using an incident notification service to keep everyone in the loop. Once an incident has occurred—a workplace injury or other major setback—it can ease workers’ minds to know that the situation has been resolved, as well as what to expect next.
What Is an Automated Notification System?
In some cases, especially with a larger workforce, it makes sense to implement an automated notification system. The crucial first step of putting an automated notification system in place is to define the types of notifications that lend themselves best to automation. For example, the types of notifications we discussed in the previous section largely rely on leaders to identify and react to emergency situations in real-time.
By contrast, creating an automated notification system involves configuring custom workflows to generate and distribute messages in response to defined triggers or situations. There are many different ways to employ automated alerts, from reminding everyone about an upcoming holiday break or to complete their timesheets on time to notifying impacted employees with crucial project updates or incoming customer messages.
What Is an Opt-in Emergency Alert System?
The last thing any employee wants is to be bombarded with information they don’t find relevant. Unfortunately, many companies that try to put an employee notification system in place treat all notifications the same way. This means when an employee out in the field receives a notification, they don’t necessarily know if it’s going to be about a true emergency or something that could have been sent in an email or brought up in a meeting. This risks becoming a “boy who cried wolf” scenario, where employees start tuning messages out over time. With Yourco, you can easily segment users into specific groups, so that not everyone receives every notification.
In some situations, giving employees the opportunity to opt-in for certain message types can help ensure that they’re not going to be pulled away from their work unnecessarily. That being said, certain types of emergency notifications should be “on” for the whole workforce. If a true emergency arises and worker safety is at risk, it’s a message worth sending to everyone.
How Do I Create a Notification System?
There are 5 key steps to creating an efficient and effective employee notification system:
- Assessing your needs.
- Evaluating your current capabilities.
- Gathering input and feedback.
- Prioritizing and comparing your options.
- Implementing a solution.
1. Assessing Your Needs
This can start with a simple brainstorming session involving key stakeholders, with team leaders and employees represented in the discussion. Think through the different types of information that you might need to relay to desk and non-desk workers. As much as you can, try to brainstorm these in groups—emergency and non-emergency notifications, for example.
2. Evaluating Your Current Capabilities
When you need to alert employees quickly—whether they’re in the office or out on a job site—what does your current system look like? Do you send mass emails in an attempt to reach everyone? Do you rely on an ever-evolving phone tree? Do you call or text employees individually? These methods are commonly depended on, but they can also be inconsistent without a dependable, reliable system in place.
Embracing a comprehensive employee notification system helps to unify communication systems and provide a more effective way to keep everyone up to date. Rather than adding one more communication method or alert type to your arsenal, consider upgrading to an all-in-one messaging platform like Yourco’s.
3. Gathering Input and Feedback
Once you’ve completed your “current state” assessment, you’re ready to present your conclusions to your fellow stakeholders, who can weigh in. If you haven’t yet involved a variety of stakeholders in this process, this is where it becomes a crucial consideration. Invite others within your organization to weigh in on what they see as the most pressing needs and the most impactful barriers or limitations of current systems. By involving representatives of different teams—from the highest leadership positions through workers out in the field, you can ensure that you’re not missing anything and that the systems you create will benefit everyone.
4. Prioritizing and Comparing Your Options
For better or worse, there are a number of emergency alert and mass notification software options available for businesses looking to adopt their first system or upgrade existing capabilities. While you might be tempted to zero in on things like mass notification system price comparison, it’s much better to put employee and workplace needs before price.
For example, while free mass text messaging services are out there, they come with a number of limitations, including:
- Potential limits on how many notifications you can send over a given time period (or how many recipients can receive different alert types).
- Limited customization, formatting, and personalization options (even distinguishing between emergency and non-emergency alerts).
These limitations highlight the importance of comparing your options, to find a sophisticated, all-in-one platform for effective communication—a platform like Yourco.
5. Implementing a Solution
As part of creating an effective internal communication plan, selecting the right employee notification system can make or break the endeavor—as can the way in which you implement the solution.
Here are a few tips for a successful implementation:
Start With “Why”
When introducing employees to the notification system, make it clear exactly what’s happening—and why. Considering employee input during the stage of evaluation may be helpful here. The “why” will be largely built-in, since employees themselves were involved in the process.
Set Clear Expectations
A large component of a successful employee notification system implementation is setting expectations. At the onset, when introducing the new platform, make it clear to employees what the purpose is and how the system will be used. You might approach this as a dialogue, in order to gain insight into employees’ expectations as well, so everyone’s on the same page.
Assess The System Over Time
Your employee notification system shouldn’t be a “set it and forget it” type endeavor. Especially if this is your first venture into text-based employee notifications, there might turn out to be circumstances you hadn’t planned for, so it’s important to periodically revisit the objectives and expectations. You can assess whether the implemented system is working or how it could be further optimized, and make any necessary improvements.
What Makes Yourco’s Enterprise Alert System the Right Choice for My Business?
- It enables versatile, two-way communication. Yourco’s platform serves as an effective line of communication between leadership and employees. From payroll integrations to automated documentation, Yourco provides digitally-enabled communication with powerful, intuitive features under the hood.
- It’s easy and accessible. Yourco’s platform doesn’t require employees to download an app, set a password, or even have an internet connection—meaning non-desk employees can be reached without having to jump through hoops. Remember, only 98% of text/SMS messages get read (vs. 20% of emails). Sending SMS alerts through Yourco’s system empowers every employee to engage in two-way communication in a method they likely already know how to use—texting! Not only that, but using SMS has proven to be much more effective than email.
- It’s easy to set up. Yourco was built for ultimate flexibility. Configure the platform to your organization’s structure, by setting manager permissions, confidential message handling, and more. Looking for more advanced administrative features like message storage and search capabilities, group message segmentation, integrations with human resource information (HRIS) and payroll systems, or secure file sending? Yourco enables all of these, and more!
The Yourco texting system has helped the Railroad communicate with a 24/7 workforce. Sharing weather events, safety concerns, and company bulletins have been priceless.