11 Ways to Improve Digital Communication
in the Workplace
It has become more critical than ever for organizations to brand themselves and appeal to the changing customer preferences. The world is increasingly becoming connected, thanks to the widespread use of the internet. Therefore, businesses can no longer solely rely on billboards, print media, TV, and radio, and they need digital transformation to stand out.
Digital communication has become an excellent method for sending information over long distances when compared to analog communication. Analog signals have many disadvantages, including security breach, interference, and distortion, making them less reliable than digital signals.
What is Digital Communication
Communication is typically done in the form of signals, such as sound signals. These signals are generally analog in nature and are sent through a wire during long distance communications. Due to the losses that analog signals undergo during transmission, there was a need to digitize data transmission for effective communication.
Digital communication involves decoding input into a binary code and channeling it through a transmitter that can encode and decode the information into formats that can be processed like images and videos. The transmission is done via a multipoint communication channel like copper wires and optical fibers.
During transmission, the original message is converted to an electrical signal. The signal goes through a source encoder, channel encoder, and digital modulator. A wired or wireless channel is used to transmit the signal to the receiver end, and the output signal will reach the receiver as the desired message.
Digital communication in the workplace typically takes the form of email, video conferencing, phone calls, instant messaging like SMS, podcasts, blogs, and videos. These mediums are fast and convenient, and you can improve their efficiency with the strategies below:
1. Train Employees
Digital communication tools vary in complexity, and you should not assume that everyone will know how to use every new platform you introduce. Additionally, you should consider the different skill levels in your organization when training your employees.
If you forego training, some employees will avoid using systems that they don’t understand. Therefore, you should provide adequate training for all your staff to get a superior level of competency and achieve full benefits of different platforms.
2. Define Security Protocols
Cybercriminals often target businesses and organizations with poor security for their communication channels. Consequently, you need robust security protocols that will govern all communication in the workplace.
To start, identify the messaging services that your employees should use for work-related information. Which devices should they use to access business information? Which kind of information should not be sent via digital channels? Your employees should know existing restrictions to use digital communication tools effectively.
3. Define Channels
It would be best if you customized digital communication for every channel. In addition to an intranet, you should invest in chat rooms, messaging services, discussion forums, and video and audio platforms.
You should let your employees know which type of communication is suitable for each platform. For example, employees can use instant messaging platforms to discuss team-based projects.
4. Invest in Digital Signage
One of the best tools for creating a digital workplace is digital signage. This tool has a number of purposes, like simplifying internal communication and engaging employees. Posters, notices, and flyers quickly crowd workplace notice boards and make it hard to track who is aware of certain information and who isn't.
Digital signage is a revolutionary tool for executives who want to share important news with their staff regularly. Additionally, it will help you display urgent messages in case of emergencies.
Digital signage is incredibly flexible, and large universities and education institutions can use it to inform the faculty and students. You can place digital screens in common areas, administrative spaces, event halls, outdoors, and dining halls for students to check messages about campus activities, internships, graduation, and semester information.
5. Integrate Mobile Technologies
Modern employees want to be engaged in the workplace, and they are more likely to use communication tools similar to those they use at home, such as mobile apps. Moreover, most people are more familiar with their phones than their laptops and desktops. Therefore, your workplace communication strategy should include mobile applications that your employees enjoy.
Firstly, you can introduce a branded app that is available in public app stores. The app should feature customized content for an employee's job profile, department, and location. Secondly, you can integrate mobile phones into the company's telephone network. Your employees will find it easy to work from anywhere if their mobile phones work precisely like those in the office.
Also, consider giving phone allowance for employees so it's easier for them to work on the go.
6. Schedule Communications Appropriately
When looking for digital communication systems, select those with calendar and scheduling integrations. These features can help you send communications during business hours only. Employees can find it challenging to balance their personal activities and work life if their superiors regularly send emails and messages after working hours. Scheduling features will spare your employees from getting overwhelmed.
You can also plan check-ins every few weeks to engage your employees. Let your staff know when they can attend online meetings to discuss the projects and give suggestions.
7. Create a Company Knowledge Base
How effortless is it for your staff to find the information they need at any time? The only way your team can fully participate during workplace communication is if they have all the relevant resources. Therefore, you need to centralize files, projects, and answers to encourage knowledge sharing.
A knowledge base will act as your company's Google. The knowledge base content should be easy to consume, and you should regularly update it with fresh content. Additionally, you should include FAQs, professional articles, and employee profiles. The pages should also be customized with your company's branding to promote organizational values.
8. Embrace Social Media
Your employees are likely to use social media in the workplace. Many companies ban social media use because it can be distracting, but you can harness it for benefits like strengthening employee relationships.
If your business has remote employees, social networks like Twitter and Facebook can help them stay connected and collaborate. Your employees can also become your brand ambassadors by sending out a tweet about your community initiatives or posting a work-selfie to Instagram. You can integrate the company's social media channels with your intranet software for all your employees to see your social media campaigns.
9. Encourage Employee Content Creation
Every employee is creative, and they only need a little bit of encouragement. Besides, your employees don't necessarily require professional skills in video production, graphic design, or photography to be good content creators. By making it easy for employees to contribute content creations in different forms, you will encourage them to be prolific creators.
You can invite your team to create blogs, memes, media creations, infographics, and podcasts or post images and videos relevant to their job role. It also helps to allow employees to create content around their passions, be it football or camping.
10. Promote Two-Way Communication
It is essential to adopt an 'open' door policy for digital communications in the workplace. Many employees find it challenging to engage with their superiors on communication channels. However, you can encourage managers to seek out employee suggestions and respond with compassion when approached by any team member.
You can also set standards for responsiveness. Let employees know how frequently they need to check their email, respond to instant messages, and read newsletters.
11. Align Digital Communication with Company Goals
Companies should be transparent about their communication needs and identify the tools to help them meet those objectives. Firstly, you can ask employees about the digital communication systems they are already using and which ones they think would benefit the company. Secondly, you need clear protocols that guide employees to use newly-introduced platforms.
Overall, your digital communication system should make your team feel valued and engaged. Additionally, ensure that the lines of communication linking employees and executives are clearly-defined. Allow discussions and debates when introducing communication strategies to ensure your employees are motivated to achieve company goals.
Digital communication has revolutionized the way people do business. From real-time chats to video conferencing and email, employees are more connected than ever. The above tips will make your digital communication strategy more interactive and practical and encourage collaboration and knowledge-sharing in the workplace. In conclusion, you should adequately train your staff to use digital communication tools and avoid over-communicating.