Why and how to use a mobile newsfeed for internal comms

You’re puzzling about new ways to reach everyone from the boardroom to the production floor. The answer is in your hands—or, rather, theirs. Consider an app for their handheld devices.

More and more organizations are shifting to a mobile-first, newsfeed-like approach to internal communication.

Consider these examples:

Employee communications are all behind firewalls, so case studies are hard to come by. So, if it’s bubbling up in media circles, it’s probably a bigger trend than we think.

Yet, many companies are still operating on 1998 internet principles, too reliant on websites and desktop views to drive employee awareness and understanding of company priorities and issues.

We are just weeks away from 2017, and mobile devices are the prevalent channel of choice for people to access information. Still, employee communications teams haven’t adapted for several reasons: lack of budget, lack of vision, lack of leadership, and the list goes on.

Don’t be among the laggards; consider these approaches:

1. Make your employee communications experience mirror their personal communications experience.

That’s what drove Target to create its “Briefly” daily email.

How many of your employees have mobile devices? Maybe 80 or 90 percent? Perhaps even 100 percent? How many are checking those phones multiple times throughout the day? Why wouldn’t you try to reach those employees on a device they’re using all the time?

2. Reach those employees who don’t have regular computer access.

Nissan developed its mobile app to contact and inform thousands of workers on the production floor. Think of all the companies and industries this affects-health care, manufacturing, retail, among many others.

3. Don’t make employees hunt for news; make it easy.

One major challenge with corporate intranets is that they become a dumping ground for information. Employees have to search hard for relevant and timely news—usually beyond the home page.

A mobile-first newsfeed approach remedies that. You put relevant and timely information in front of employees, and all they have to do is check their device.

4. Help employees access news and information on weeknights and weekends.

If you work on the corporate side, how much time do you have during the day to check traditional employee communications channels? Probably not much. Chances are you’re in meetings, doing work, managing people. All that takes you away from your computer.

In industries such health care, manufacturing and retail, employees don’t have desktop access for the bulk of their workday—so you have to reach them when they’re not working. A mobile newsfeed (specifically an app) addresses this need.

A version of this article first appeared on Communications Conversations.

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