Effective communication is a constant challenge in a global workplace
with staff working across multiple locations. Advances in technology are
however, helping to connect more people with better information than ever
One of the technological advances making a major impact in the world of
internal communications is the smartphone. Australia has one of the largest
penetrations of smartphones in the world with ACMA reporting 11.19 million
smartphone users in May 2013. ACMA also reported 7.5 million Australians were
using the internet via their mobile phone during June 2013.
For manufacturing businesses, the radically changing communications
landscape is also one that offers opportunity. That the majority of workers now
have a smartphone in their pocket overcomes significant IT hurdles encountered
in the past. Smartphones simplify communicating in the workplace through more
cost-effective mobile-based technology that actually reaches people through the
device they carry on their person every day – their phone.
SMS messaging used in the past was an effective technique to get across
urgent messages to people. However, its reliance on employees using their own
phone to text, the high cost factor and managing group texts for large groups
presented challenges to businesses.
The internet is seen as a facilitator of cheaper messaging with businesses
seeking out apps instead of using telecom-based SMS services.
For instance, a healthcare provider uses a mobile-based app to connect
with nursing staff to fill available shifts. What normally involved many phone
calls and a lot of time now uses a simple push message to inform staff about
shift gaps that need to be filled. The staff gains from more shift
opportunities, while the provider wins by maintaining productivity and a full
quota of staff.
In a recent blog post about the changing landscape of internal
communications, Deloitte Partner Peter Williams wrote about the vast potential
in providing greater levels of communications and connectivity for business-to-employee
and employee-to-employee using new technology.
Mobile-based technology is proven to be more effective in crisis
communications, especially after an evacuation or a lockdown, resolving any
communication gap typical in these situations by using new technology to
provide messaging to phones.
A well-informed employee is also better engaged at the workplace,
especially when they are kept informed of leadership decisions and the
direction of the business. Engaged staff are more productive and more likely to
stay for the long-term.
Mobile-based technology allows management to connect with their
workforce in new and innovative ways. The landscape of internal communications
is changing thanks to mobile-based technology. Manufacturing companies ready to
accept the challenge will definitely have a competitive advantage in the market.
Julie Bray is the managing director of Konnective and a former Deloitte
Client Director. Konnective is a new technology that provides secure messaging
for big business.