When it comes to communication, there's an abundance of choice out there and it can be hard to know what will best suit your business. Good communication is crucial in the workplace and it needs to be prioritized. According to a Holmes report, communication barriers cost the average organization $62.4 million per year in lost productivity.
But, what communication channels should you have in your comms toolkit? In this post we'll explain your communication channel options and, in the process, make it easier for you to figure out which you need, and which you don't. Let's break them down by medium.
In-person communication allows you to allows you to communicate with the lowest risk of confusion.
We can't always be there in person, though (especially in recent months). That's where video conferencing comes in handy. Video communication enables users to talk via a live video stream.
In-person and video-based communication can be used alone or in tandem when implementing an office-based, remote or hybrid work model. Here are some use cases:
- Meetings can be used for one-to-ones, team collaboration and weekly stand ups. These can be conducted in-person or via a video conferencing tool like Zoom or Google Hangouts.
- Events usually take place in person. Recent developments have meant that many have shifted to a virtual setting. With video conferencing tech, businesses can run webinars, keynotes and conferences from the comfort of their home.
According to a BrightLocal report, 60% of people prefer to contact local businesses by calling them on the phone. Voice communication can be beneficial both internally and customer-facing. Here are some use cases:
- Phone calls can be used on a one-to-one basis, or for conferences. Businesses often jump on calls to offer people positions when hiring, or if there's a bad internet connection. Some just prefer a phone call over anything else.
- Podcasts Some companies create 'get to know the team' episodes or use them to offer recorded versions of blogs.
- Voice messages are a quick way to relay information and are commonly used via an instant messaging platform. Which brings us to digital communication.
Written communication consists of both digital and print options. They can be used individually or work alongside one another in your communications strategy.
Digital communication is communication that takes place online. Your information is transferred via:
- Instant messaging (IM), our specialty. IM for business allows you to deliver or request information instantly, and it's available on mobile and desktop. IM allows employees to get a speedy reply without having to leave their desk, open their phone, make a call or organize a meeting.
- Email is still extremely popular. Almost 300 billion emails were sent in 2019. You might communicate via direct email, an email blast to a larger list of people, or with a weekly/monthly newsletter.
- An intranet is a private, internal network where companies share announcements, digital company handbooks, policies and business benefits. It's a place where employees can collaborate to answer questions or explain (and build) the culture of the workplace, as well as keep up to date with organizational developments.
- Digital billboards. Screens around the office can be used to display motivational or company culture messaging. They might show quotes, sales teams quotas and wins, announcements, birthday messages or promotions.
Print isn't dead! You may still want to have tangible policies, handbooks or announcements available in paper format. Some companies find posters, leaflets or brochures helpful to reiterate important messages. This is especially true when you've got a diverse workforce, and some of your employees aren't as tech savvy as others.
“Communication works for those who work at it.” - John Powell, film composer.
The most important thing for your business communications is finding the best and most secure channels for your workforce. Using the wrong tools can have negative effects on employee experience, productivity and collaboration. Select the right channels for you and your team, and you'll be giving your business the tools to build a strong communication strategy.