Internal Communication Is Changing One of the most overlooked aspects of running a business is efficient internal communication. Not just communication between employees, but between employees and management as well. However, today’s employees feel more disconnected than ever. According to a recent Gallup State of the American Workplace report, the majority of employees (51%) feel disconnected and disengaged, and only one-third feel enthusiastic about their work. This costs the American economy roughly half a trillion dollars a year in lost productivity. Employees have reported that they feel under-informed about their workplaces, and as a result, don’t feel valued or invested in the success of the company. As Gallup put it, “The U.S. — and the world at large – is in the midst of an employee engagement crisis.” So how did this happen? What changed to throw the modern workplace into a communication crisis? Outdated Internal Communications Are To Blame Modern companies are still using old technology to get important news, notes, and memos to their employees. Most of the ways companies communicate with workers and employees presupposes that they are tied to their desks. Intranet and email depend on people being in their office and logged in to their accounts to get the information they need to do their jobs. And that is a problem. The modern economy is increasingly moving away from the static desk worker, and modern employees no longer wish to be one. Walk into any coffee shop and you are bound to see someone tapping away at a laptop, finishing up a report, or pulling up Wireshark to troubleshoot a network. This is the new normal. The rise of the gig economy and millennial desire for a more flexible workspace and work/life balance means that the 9-5 is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Fully 43% of employees now work remotely at least part of the time, up from 39% in 2012. Additionally, employees themselves are changing. More than 35% of all employees (roughly 56 million) are classified as “millennials”, or those born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s. These employees grew up in a very different world than baby boomers or even Gen X. Millenials grew up during the rise of smartphones. They are accustomed to having the world in the palm of their hand. Every type of media they consume is available with just a few swipes or buttons on their iPhone or Android, and everything is customized to their individual tastes and attitudes. They no longer have the time or patience to search through pages and pages of news to find the information that is relevant to them. Existing intranets and email systems simply cannot accommodate this. Not only are they not usually accessible by remote or desk-less workers, but they often do not or cannot organize important information in a readily accessible manner. Intranets, once a game changer for mid and large-sized organizations, are now seen as clunky and hard to navigate. Dozens and dozens of emails are received daily, often times with no way to discern the importance or relevance of each from a quick glance. Employees are getting more and more overwhelmed each day, with fewer and fewer ways to get relevant information and news that fits into the tweet-sized attention span. Bringing Your Company Into The 21 st Century It’s obvious that current communication methods are not meeting anyone’s needs. Employees are feeling disengaged, productivity is being lost, and communicators are struggling to connect. Companies need to evolve and change to meet the changing economy. According to a recent article by Dynamic Signal, Are Your Internal Communication Tools Broken?, the answer is an Employee Communication and Engagement Platform, or ECE. An ECE would “enable companies to reach every employee with relevant content, wherever they work, in whatever manner they want it – including on their mobile devices.” These ECEs are best served as an app, so that workers and employees can receive important company information wherever they are. ECEs also give the employee the option of receiving only the information they need to do their jobs, with the ability to opt-in to any other news they wish to receive. The real key to having an ECE is the ability to reach your workers on their mobile devices. 77% of Americans have a smartphone according to the Pew Research center, and check them on average 46 times per day, so reaching them in their preferred method has become crucial. ECEs not only facilitate team communication but can also give management and HR real, tangible metrics to show employee engagement and the impact it has on the bottom line. Setting up a modern internal platform means companies can measure how their employees interact and engage with each other and the organization. Measuring shares, replies, and forwards can help communicators plan future campaigns, or better pinpoint how they are falling short. Better engaged employees show less absenteeism, more productivity, and lower turnover rate. In short, engaged employees help to fuel company growth. Don’t Get Left Behind By creating a personalized and mobile platform, you are bringing your organization directly to your workers. It becomes easier to modernize, streamline, and measure the efforts, successes, and failures of your company’s communication policies. History has shown that companies that don’t evolve and grow get left behind. Will yours? For further reading on this topic, check out these 10 apps that improve employee communication.