“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw
Employee engagement is a hot topic for Corporate Communications professionals of late. BYOD initiatives have scaled, mobile phones and tablets are always close at hand. On the surface this raises hope that communication has become easier; but in reality means that executives are bombarded by messages every minute of the day.
An app for corporate communication can solve many of the issues associated with multiple communication streams. Handled in the right way, it can guarantee that each individual only needs to see what is most relevant. The result is less bombarding of messages, and more relevant of communication – surely this is the digital communication panacea?
Amidst the rage of social media catapulting into the corporate market, is the discussion around effective ways of delivering official communication. Intranets have served this purpose to a point, but a managed app can deliver the same information both online and offline, and most importantly on the full range of mobile devices. The need for authoritative, stable reference material has not diminished simply due to the rise of ESNs in the workplace. Quality of communication still overrides the need for quantity.
Most of the media buzz, is around social apps and ESNs, or in full – Enterprise Social Networks. ESNs are tools for implementing a bottom-up approach to creating digital relationships within an organization. The main differentiator here is that ESNs need to be fuelled by the employee, and not the employer. Before rolling out an ESN, you need to identify whether employees are already communicating in another way, otherwise an ESN can potentially be a redundant tool.
Having read about managed apps and social apps, it’s fair to position content apps somewhere in-between. Content apps have been developed to facilitate team and project collaboration. In this sense, they are often set up by management teams although the content itself can be creative and employee led. On the web, the closest comparison is a ‘wiki’, which, since the 1990s have been used for groups needing to communicate ideas online.
Both managed apps and social apps can allow communications teams to deliver their messages both internally and externally within a single app framework. This diminishes the flow of messages in employees and stakeholders inboxes, intranets, Skype windows and Messenger platforms – all of which can be confusing. A single channel, can certainly reduce the strain of multiple delivery platforms and help executives to streamline how they receive information.