Communication changes behavior while technology facilitates the change

Technology's role in communications
If you’re not good at handling money, can you download a budget app (like my personal favorite, GoodBudget) and solve all your problems? Of course not. In order to become a person who is good at handling money, you have to learn to be self-disciplined and change your habits. You must become mindful of your spending and saving on a daily basis.

Using a budgeting app is a great tool to help facilitate new habits and hold yourself accountable, but the app itself won’t solve your money problem. The app will simply magnify and display your current culture.

In the same way, technology cannot solve your company’s communication problems if you are not invested in changing behavior. You can spend loads of money on a carefully planned corporate SaaS solution “guaranteed” to increase your company’s engagement and still see zero success. At Red e App, we’ll be the first to tell you that there are no such guarantees.

Tech can’t make you a better communicator any more than a new Kitchen Aid Mixer makes you a better baker. Tech is a tool that facilitates. It amplifies your efforts, connects you to more people, and expedites your process. But it doesn’t generate something from nothing.

So, what do you do if your internal communications aren’t engaging? Where do you start?

1) Stop shopping for technology to solve your problem. Seriously, stop. We’ll revisit this later, but this should never be your first step.

2) Evaluate your current situation. Ask questions, such as … Do we have any viable current methods of communication? Do we have any internal resources dedicated to communications? Is there ANY form of communication where we excel? How is our communication affecting employee engagement? Gaining an understanding of your present methods will help you identify areas of success and opportunity.

3) Create a plan. Based on your organization’s current status, create a plan to improve internal communications. This is not the part where you research technology solutions. This is the part where you identify people in your organization that will champion your internal communication revolution. Formalize your plan and get executive buy-in. Share statistics about internal communication, employee engagement, and how all of this affects the bottom line.

4) Evaluate your communication tools. After you have an overall plan and stakeholders in in place, you need to take a close look at your current methods of communication. Popular methods might include snail mail, e-mail, Facebook groups, bulletin boards, and the beloved “TV outside of the HR office”. Assess the efforts you are making in these areas, and determine ways you can improve your current processes.

5) Research and assess new communication tools. If you’re ready to improve your internal communication, but you just don’t have the right tools in place, now is the time to begin looking for something that will help. Keep in mind, you’re not looking for technology that will solve your internal communication problem – you’re looking for technology that will facilitate your new communication plan.

Have you tried to implement new technology with/without a communication plan? Share your lessons learned in the comments below, or find me on twitter @_hannahbeasley.

Hannah Beasley
Client Development

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