There is only one way . . . to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it. —Dale Carnegie
Employees will only contribute the full measure of their talents and skills to a company if its purposes and actions make sense to them. Providing meaning is, therefore, one of the central tasks for modern employee management. Employees want to know the reasons why they should contribute to their company and its future success. And while the specific challenge of answering such questions can be a mission-defining moment for many large organizations, the responses they give—no matter how motivational or inspiring—increasingly fall on deaf ears: 75% of today's employees are non-desk workers. Internal communications simply can't reach these people who are underserved by technology on the job.
Digital Internal Communication Through Intranets
Since the rise of modern communication technologies like email and (especially) intranets, improving internal communications in order to bridge the divide between the previously restrictive conditions of location, time, and corporate hierarchy has been an important undertaking. Large companies can no longer exist without modern and interactive intranets. Ironically, the further internal communications platforms have developed, the larger the communication gap in companies has become. More than half of all employees today simply do not have access to internal digital tools. This reality, along with several other factors, contributes to the "digital communication gap."
Why the "Digital Communication Gap" Hurts so Much
- Digital interaction formats like blogs or live chats that enable communication with management create connectedness like never before. Employees who still only receive a printed newsletter every three months can merely dream about such conditions.
- The idea that workers should first receive important company related news from internal sources is a near impossibility without an internal, up-to-date channel. Bear in mind that nowadays nearly all employees own a smartphone and are therefore always connected to the network.
- Many offline employees work directly with customers and have a significant influence on public perceptions of their brand. Given that 89% of all companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience, it is therefore a decisive factor in creating brand loyalty, with committed employees being a key driver.
- High-potential employees aren't only sitting at desks—we've all heard about situations where a frontline employee has offset an otherwise mediocre product or service by means of competence and charm. Finding ways to better involve, motivate, and retain these kinds of exemplary employees will give you a clear advantage over your competition.
It's Time to Bridge the Gap
Thus far, non-desk employees have been isolated from company communications and are generally neglected when new intranets are being planned. A growing number of companies are realizing that it's high time to close the "The Digital Communication Gap For Non-Desk Employees" by utilizing up-to-date, interactive, and digital internal platforms that can connect all employees.
For more information on employee experience apps, mobile intranets, employee engagement, and internal communications, you might also want to read:
- An Internal Communications App — All You Need to Get Started
- An Employee Engagement App: Ten Decisions to Make Before You Start
- The 3 Essential Elements of Employee Experience Design