Can you rewind your last few days and take a look at how you’ve communicated with the coworkers and friends? The chances are, it’ll be a combination of WhatsApp messages, Facebook interactions, emails and face-to-face conversations (although, arguably, the latter is becoming rather rare, with the technological revolution and smartphone addiction on the rise).
It can be clearly seen that the mobile revolution has taken hold and has given birth to an entirely new expectation about the ability to communicate within workplaces. Our communication mediums today are driven by the technology and are greatly different to what they were, some years back. The impact this has had on the HR is profound, if not always immediately obvious.
Everybody in this modern day and age, can be contacted no matter where they are. WhatsApp and Facebook, especially, are just a tap away. Although there are many downsides relating to ever-present connectivity, it can be fantastically liberating, too.
Let’s take a look at the most frequent communication tools in the modern day:
Email: While easily abused and – conversely – one of the oldest forms of digital communication available to us, email remains an entirely relevant way by which to keep in touch.
Text Messaging: This involves SMS as well as internet-based messengers which include WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Emo and many more.
Social Media: The recent launch of Workplace by Facebook is a testament to the power of social media in the modern day.
Video Conferencing: The technological advancement has not limited communication to audio. Thanks to the video conferencing tools like Skype, Hangouts and FaceTime!
In–app Communication: The business software usually include integrated communication tools that let employees discuss projects, sales leads, support queries and other stuff that is in-line with their daily tasks.
Although there are many other communication tools that I can list here today, the above few represent the common ones that continue to greatly benefit the HR.
The role HR plays in business is a significant one and, thankfully, this vital facet of the workplace now features prominently within the strategic thinking of most organizations. This has consequently increased the reliance on modern forms of communication that help disparate departments and individual employees remain connected.
With that in mind, I believe there are five primary reasons modern communication is essential for HR.
By swapping the word ‘User’ above with ‘Employee’, we hit upon the first and perhaps most important benefit of modern communication in HR. It is a fact that any mode of communication that engages people emotionally would demand further exploration. The modern forms of communication listed above are a joy to use, and this makes them really popular. The intra-organizational communication is now driven almost entirely by user experience, and employees are likely to be far more engaged as a result.
The Mobile Generation
As we’ve discussed above, the smartphones are now the fundamental part of people’s lives and if the use of such devices within the workplace is limited, the business leaders will have a tough time fostering a collaborative working environment. Since almost all modern communication tools leverage mobile technology, it is inevitable for the business organizations to encourage their use at workplaces.
Think for a moment; each of your employees has a personal smartphone by their side all the time. Whenever they require asking a question, delivering feedback or reporting an unidentified risk within the organization, what better way to do it than to reach for their smart companion (the smartphone).
Apart from facilitating modern communication within your organization, it is also important for you to capture vital data on employee preference and behavior. For the HR department, the real time insights into frustrations and needs of employee-base is akin to the holy grail of employee management.
Many researches prove that people are far more inclined to open up when communicating through digital channels. So the data which is collected as a result of fewer inhibitions and a collective desire to speak from the heart is invaluable. Hence any internal communication strategy that is implemented in an organization should be supported by actionable data.
The Personal Brand
The idea of building a personal brand would have been laughable some years back but social media has made it a norm in the modern day. The personalization of online profiles, digital personas and even personal straplines all contribute to the personal brand. It’s addictive (if rather self-indulgent) and is the primary reason social media is so popular.
The HR professionals need to keep in mind that personal branding can extend to the workplace too. This personalization in modern communication gives working professionals a sense of purpose within the organization and boosts their morale.
A Bigger Sense of Purpose
As the millennial generation floods into the workplaces, it has become vital for the organizations to adapt new communication channels that enable the workforce to connect to a bigger sense of purpose. Let’s take the example of Facebook and Twitter. Both these social media platforms encourage people to express themselves unabated and contribute to discussions on topics that transcend continents.
In order to foster a more collaborative workforce, organizations can break barriers by scaling this trend down to interdepartmental discussion within the four walls of a business. To make every employee feel emotionally-connected to the organization and able to have a direct impact on its progress, there has to be an environment where everyone can speak freely, reach out for help and offer their own guidance wholeheartedly whenever the need arises.
The most commonly used communication tools in the modern day that I mentioned in the beginning of this article enable such culture to proliferate without the need for significant infrastructure changes.
If the HR embraces modern communication, it for sure has a bright future. The organizations that welcome modern communication with open arms would continue to benefit from a coherent workforce. This means that the employees would always feel valued and able to express themselves in forms that are comfortable, familiar and addictive.
Business is all about communication, so why not take advantage of the most relevant in the modern age?