Eliminating Ineffective Channels: Send Out Less Stuff, and Employees May Pay More Attention

Effective communication in the workplace is something that every organization strives to achieve, but sometimes this can lead to a multitude of different channels and mechanisms that overwhelm employees and have the opposite effect. You might think you need different methods of communicating various kinds of information to ensure the message gets delivered, or perhaps you have a few different tools that need to be used separately because they each perform different functions. Not only can this be overwhelming for employees to have so many different ways they're receiving or accessing information, it can also challenging to manage and keep updated.

Stop and make an assessment of what’s working and what’s not.

Are there six different news updates from various divisions and regions? Maybe you could combine or retire a few, or at least use a more targeted list of who gets what. Do employees have several different sites serving various functions of an intranet? Maybe you could shut one of those down, or migrate the content that’s actually being used to another internal site that gets more traffic. A comprehensive internal communications audit can help you identify all the different tools you're using to communicate with employees, and see which ones may be redundant, could be combined or even replaced with a more comprehensive tool. It might surprise you that a channel you thought was really great, isn't actually being used at all.

What information should you get from a communications audit?

The best way to do a communications audit is to use any metrics you have, plus an additional employee survey and possibly even some employee focus groups. Your audit should help you make recommendations that should include some combination of:

  • Channels to keep because they’re working great as is
  • Channels to tweak because they need more strategic thought and/or more engaging content
  • Channels that have served their time and are ready to retire

Armed with that information you should be able to get a better understanding on where to focus communication efforts.

Sometimes the best thing to do is to stop doing something.

You might be stuck in a trap of information overload for your employees. As you add more and more channels to your internal communications program, whether that’s updating the intranet to a more social platform,  developing communications toolkits for managers for cascade messaging, installing various bulletin boards or having various printed newsletters, you can reach a tipping point where too much is just too much. Effective communication doesn't mean ticking every box of every single way that you can communicate and use every single channel available. That's more like a 'spray and pray' approach, which is unlikely to be effective because there's just too much information and too many channels employees are being bombarded with.

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

Just because a channel doesn’t seem to be working very well, it doesn't mean throwing it out completely. Consider updating what flows through that channel. That digital newsletter that nobody reads might be a winner with an updated design and improved content. The amazing content that you've created that gets uploaded on the intranet, might benefit from being shared through another channel that is used more often by employees. Use the information you get from your internal communications audit to help you identify the things that are working but could just need an update or refresh to become really effective.

Don't forget about the 'Use By' date on communications meant for a specific time window.

If you ship posters to all locations and ask them to put them up in the break room, do you also let them know when it’s time to take those posters down? When the big campaign is complete or the date for feedback has passed, removing those posters leaves visual (and mental) space for other messages. This includes notices on intranets and anywhere you have time sensitive information that was shared. Any channel you are using can become cluttered with irrelevant information over time if you don't manage the timelines for when information is displayed. No one is going to search through a whole lot of stuff to find what's important or relevant to them.

Effective communication takes regular evaluation.

Here's the kicker. There’s always the risk that you’re communicating too much, just as there’s always the possibility that you’re not communicating enough. Making an effort to regularly evaluate your channels and communications strategy will go a long way in ensuring that you find the 'sweet spot' in reaching all your employees and your messages get the results that you need.

Think outside traditional channels by leveraging the power of WhatsApp for internal communications.

WhatsApp might be the solution you need for your communications overhaul. There's a lot of uses for using WhatsApp to send information to your employees that could very easily streamline a lot of the effort you're making when using a lot of different ways to send information to your employee. You can read more about using WhatsApp for Internal Communications here.

There's a world of possibilities with the WhatsApp Business API for your internal communications, but we understand if it may feel a little overwhelming to get started. Get in touch with us to find out how Sweesh can help you kick your communications into high gear without needing to develop any complicated tools.

The Sweesh platform offers an all-in-one WhatsApp messaging tool to help you streamline your communication efforts and achieve your communication goals.

See Sweesh in action by booking a demo with one of our Product Specialists - sales@chatinc.com