With the pandemic pushing many of us to remote corners of our homes in makeshift offices, it is increasingly difficult to feel and stay connected with our colleagues. Text messaging, however, may be the answer to engage and retain a deskless workforce.
Offer Support through Text Messages
SMS texting platforms provide organizations with the ability to send text messages at the press of a button. Send out a good morning message. Wish your remote employees a terrific day.
If you are thinking of sending out an email to deliver this message, you may want to think again. Research shows that SMS open rates are as high as 98% compared to just 20% of all emails.
Much more than a tool for personal communication, smartphones with robust texting capabilities are rapidly becoming part of many organization’s internal communication strategy, especially for those looking to ‘check-in’ with remote employees and show you care.
(Re)build your Organizational Culture with Text Messages
If your HR department is thinking about best practices to support remote staff, text messaging is a great tool. Are your staff satisfied at work? Are they struggling? Do they have suggestions for improvement?
Develop an online employee satisfaction survey and send your employees a link to it and ask for ways you can improve their virtual workspace.
Another way to enhance your organization’s culture includes sending out a text message alert for company-related announcements. You can send a link out to a newsletter that recognizes an employee of the month or a good deed performed by an employee on behalf of a customer.
Other ideas include virtual retreats, conferences or coffee breaks. Just because you are not together on an everyday basis does not mean you cannot create opportunities to connect with your remote staff through virtual means.
The key is to use the proper communications tools to reach them, especially when it comes to retaining millennials.
Build a Communication Plan around Text Messages
The key to engaging a deskless workforce is to, well, stay connected, so whatever you do should result in a consistent communication plan. Text messaging, once viewed as a way to simply be social with others, is increasingly now seen as a way to reach and engage staff.
To be effective with text messaging as a communication tool to enhance your virtual workplace, you need to think about how and when you will use it. Is this something you schedule on a weekly basis? Twice a week? Bi-weekly?
While often thought of in terms of marketing, communication plans can be used to great effect to build up your employees. In a virtual world in which none of us can consistently manage by walking around, it is imperative to use the tool already in most of your employees’ hands –their cellphone.
Think of what you want to say, how you want to say it and be sure to use a mix of communication channels to reach your staff.
The better you can serve, support and keep in touch with your remote staff, the greater the likelihood they will produce for you. Everybody wins.