From the recruiting process to communicating about the office Christmas party, text messaging is being used by employers to relay different kinds of information to their teams.
There are good reasons why text works well in the office. It’s fast and convenient and can speed up the processes in your work environment. It’s ideal for emergency situations and for staying in touch with field staff. Texting also provides a written form of communication that can be referenced later and helps avoid misunderstandings.
Here are some text messaging tips for businesses to enable successful employee communication:
1. Emergency situations
The open rates of SMS are phenomenal at 98% and 91% of messages are read within three minutes of being sent. It’s difficult to find another communication channel that’s as effective for urgent messaging as SMS. There are many different kinds of emergency situations that texting can be used to help communicate:
- If someone has forgotten to sign an important document or change the date or location of a pending meeting, SMS can get the message to the employee quickly.
- In the event of another type of emergency such as inclement weather, SMS can also be used to alert employees. An SMS system was implemented for public health employees in Seattle and King County in Washington to reach staff during a snowstorm in King County: 250,000 households and businesses lost electricity over a period of five days.
The SMS program proved useful in being able to send messages to team members who didn’t have access to internet. 62% of respondents to a poll about the messaging program reported that they found the texts very relevant and helpful.
- If there’s any other situation that poses danger to the employees in any way, people can be reached at once via text. The alternatives such as voicemail and email can’t be counted on to have as immediate of an effect. Voicemail requires calling various numbers and leaving a message that people may not listen to, and you can’t rely on someone checking their email in time.
2. Remote workers and field staff
Text messaging can be an effective method of communication for remote workers and field staff. Whether your employee is entirely remote or they check in on site every morning before going out into the field, text can work well for the following reasons:
- Field staff members are out on the road and it’s not always convenient for them to answer a phone call while driving or in the middle of their service. Rather than leave a voice message that they need to be in a quiet spot to listen to, leaving a text allows them to check the message when it’s most convenient for them.
- A text also cuts down on any misunderstanding. It’s written in black and white and helps ensure that the information is clear. Text messages provide a written record that employers, human resources and/or the employee can use as a reference in case there’s any dispute over the communication.
3. Remember about day-to-day communication
SMS can be used to alert employees to a variety of daily office stuff:
- Meeting times and locations
- Change in payroll dates
- Holiday schedules
- Office events and parties
- Dress code change
- Training sessions and schedules
- Reminders to turn in forms.
Benefits of text messages for employers:
- Speed. The number one benefit of SMS is that it’s fast. Messages are read quickly, increasing efficiency and improving response times to urgent situations.
- Quiet. This may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about text messaging, but when you’re working in an office setting and everyone is talking on the phone, it can get noisy and be disruptive to employee productivity as well as face-to-face meetings on site.
It can also provide distracting background noise when you’re trying to talk to clients and partners on the phone. Texting is a silent yet perceptible form of communication.
- It’s discreet. If there’s a delicate topic that requires discretion, a voice call isn’t necessarily ideal as other people could overhear. A text that appears on the employee’s personal phone is a more inconspicuous way to communicate sensitive information.
- It leaves a written record that both management and employees can reference later to clear up any disputes or misunderstandings.
If you need to improve communication efficiency in the workplace, take a closer look at these text messaging tips for businesses as they could be just the tool you’re looking for.
What are your text messaging tips for businesses?
If you’ve got any text messaging tips for businesses, let us know in the comments below. If you’re looking for employee communication solutions, head over to our blog or check out reviews of popular workforce management software.