Recently, we ran a one-question survey through our CEC Employee Discussion Forum to gauge members’ interest in using mobile technology (text messaging, mobile apps, etc.) for internal communication. More than 80% of respondents reported already using or considering the use of mobile technology.
However, as we spoke to members, we found that although there is keen interest, there isn’t clarity on how to best leverage this emerging technology.
To drive home my point, let me first ask you if the following statements sound familiar?
- “We need a mobile app for…”
- “We should redesign our intranet to make it accessible on mobile devices…”
- “We should record videos of our executives to…”
Do you notice a trend in these statements? The technology is being put ahead of the objective. Often, communicators and business partners put more focus on what the solution should look like, whether it is an app or intranet redesign or a video content, than on the desired goal that the solution should achieve. While it’s smart to think about technology, falling into a “technology trap”—using technology just for its novelty—isn’t a great idea. After all, the approach is not without pitfalls:
- Limited goal achievement: Many organizations consider redesigning their intranets to cater to the rising number of mobile employees. However, mobile employees have limited time, attention span, and needs different from desktop users. So, while the desired objective might be to improve their productivity, a mere replication of desktop solutions to mobile platforms may not serve the purpose.
- Wasteful resource expenditure: “There’s an app for everything” phenomenon seems to be fast catching up and giving corporate IT teams sleepless nights. You might have often heard IT complain about being bombarded with requests for creating apps from various business groups that often when probed are unable to justify the rationale for the app. This is not to say that apps are unnecessary, in fact, they are extremely effective in interactive communication. However, it’s a waste of organizational resources if the same outcome can be achieved without an app, by using other less resource-intensive mobile device capabilities, for example text messaging or MMS.
So, what’s a better approach? Think goal first, technology second. Before you begin planning for employee communication initiatives using mobile technology, answer these three questions:
- What is the business outcome that we are trying to achieve?
- What’s our communication objective? Is it to inform employees, alert them for an urgent call-to-action, educate them, engage in a two-way dialogue, or enable them to manage their day-to-day activities?
- Which mobile device capability (text messaging, mobile app, mobile web, etc.) would best align with this objective?
CEC members, use this intuitive framework Mobile Communication Device Capability Selection Tool to identify your communication goal, and find out which mobile device capability best fits that goal.
CEC Related Resources:
- Mobile Communication Device Capability Selection Tool
- Building an Outcome-Focused Communication Plan
- Deepen Your Stakeholder Understanding
CEC Related Blogs: