The flow of information in the workplace can easily become a monolithic task if you're not on top of it. Sometimes an influx of never-ending information can do more harm than good. Ever missed an important message due to a messy inbox? The best us have. The State of Workplace Communication, a new study from workforce communications platform Dynamic Signal, sheds some light on the inner workings of information flow between companies and their employees. The Silicon Valley-based firm, which counts enterprises such as IBM, Capital One, and Edelman among its clientele, uncovered a few key insights as part of the study. Here's what you need to know:
#1: Communications need to be streamlined
Information is no good if you can't make out relevance or priority amongst the content heap. Receiving too much content is a likelihood with the flow of news and information in the workplace. Employers aren't without content; that's hardly ever a problem. That said, constructing an efficient way to receive said content can be quite the problem. But what about internal resources such as company Intranets? Unfortunately, only 13% of employees visit on a daily basis, while 31% of them indicate that they never do so. This is no doubt an opportunity for brands to learn what's most efficient for their teams. Part of said efficiency is helping employees declutter the news in which they're receiving, while retaining key information. 75% of employees feel that they're missing information, but 90% also say that the company's intranet isn't useful. Technology in this case is both gift and curse. Many firms are trying to use technology to solve the situation. Dynamic Signal Co-Founder and GM Jim Larrison agrees: "We're trying to use tech to solve the situation, which is just creating comms clutter in new places."
Jim brings up a worthy point, as devices are becoming more and more like walking notifications. Emails, Slack threads, text messages and more emails can all lead to a lack of efficiency despite their intended purpose of organization.
Jim in particularly backs this up stating his email, in traditional CEO (or Millennial) fashion is "flooded." This probably comes as no surprise, as virtually everyone is now subject to an over-crowded inbox. Nearly $650 billion per year is lost due to unnecessary emails, 92% of employees delete internal emails without opening or reading, and nearly $2100-$4100 per employee is lost annually due to poorly worded communications.
#2: The right tools must be put in place
Any employer will tell you part of the key to success is giving their team the proper tools to excel. We're all familiar with the phrase "setting you up for success" , but how often do companies truly follow this model?
The State of Workplace Communications study culled interviews from over 300 global communications respondents between February 21 and March 3, 2017. The sizes of the companies who participated in the survey ranged from 100 to more than 10,000 employees. In Dynamic Signal's study, 56% of respondents expressed frustration with the current lack of platforms on hand to engage their workforce.
This encompasses direct communication between teams, management and coworkers., According to McKinsey, employees spend nearly 10 hours per week gathering and seeking out information, but only 17% of companies report investing in some form internal communication technology. It's clear the need for supportive company-focused communication tools isn't being met, as seen by the stark difference between the demand (56%) and the actual supply (17%) of companies fulfilling that need. Smaller companies have been known to employ free services such as Slack, Google Hangouts and Facebook Messenger for businesses. Will it be a matter of time before larger companies jump on the bandwagon? It's hard to say definitively, but businesses like Dynamic Signal are prepared to be the de facto messaging service for companies.
#3: Mobile has to be a priority
Let's face it, mobile has become king. The average time American mobile user spends an average of 87 hours per month on mobile, and usage doesn't look like it will slow down anytime soon. 90% of respondents in the Dynamic Signal study cited mobile as the most useful means of internal (or employee) communication. This is more than ideal as a mobile platform offers employees accessibility anywhere, which makes it easier to stay closely connected to those out of office or working from home.
A key element of communication is ensuring that your reach is effective. Meaning it's not enough to send mass messages to your employees. You have to ensure that they're formatted properly for all devices, especially mobile. Is your company an iPhone-centric one? Then it's best to make sure your newsletter is iOS compatible, but it's more efficient to ensure your content is mobile friendly period.
Mobile is not only the current medium of the choice it's the future. Leaders should be proactive in establishing a mobile-friendly workplace by ensuring all assets are compatible with mobile.
For greater detail, please refer to the full report from Dynamic Signal. And here's wishing you the best of luck in improving your own workforce communications.
This article originally appeared in Inc.com