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Employee App Buyer's Guide

Everything you need to know about the modern way to communicate with your employees, so you feel confident in making the right choice for your business.

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Managing Employee Communication in a Time of Crisis

Even in the best of times, employee communication is challenging. People are overwhelmed by the explosion of channels, apps, tools, and platforms. There are too many places to find and receive information. But now, these stressful times demand innovative, agile, and urgent communication. It’s critical that organizations keep their people informed and connected. You need one centralized communication and engagement hub to cut through the noise. That way, you can bring order to the chaos with trustworthy information from the C-suite that makes everyone feel more invested in the workplace, helps them do their jobs better, and keeps people safe.

Employee Communication Matters More Than Ever

We are living in a turbulent time. Everything we knew about our lives and work completely changed. COVID-19 and the furious efforts to lessen the global impact has disrupted the world.

People are anxious. Fearful. Searching for answers.

They’re looking to their companies and executives to provide them guidance.

A recent Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report found that “employee communications” is the most credible source of coronavirus information. Sixty-three percent of survey participants said they are turning to employers as a news source – more than the government (58 percent) or the media (51 percent).

But can they hear you?

Leaders have always understood that the foundation of company success is a great employee experience. It’s why C-suite executives at leading companies have worked hard to create an environment where employees feel more connected to their jobs and the workplace. People want a sense of purpose, feel like they’re doing meaningful work, and contributing to something bigger than themselves.

Leaders know that when they don’t care about the employee experience, it impacts attracting and retaining top talent. Also, happy employees improve the bottom line. Organizations with higher employee engagement see 17 percent greater productivity, according to Gallup’s landmark State of the American Workplace report.

But then why has it been so hard for organizations to engage with employees, give everyone a sense of belonging, and make their voices heard? Every workplace is unique. But companies typically have a similar root problem.

Employee communication efforts are failing.

That was the case even before the world turned upside down.

Gallup Disengaged EmployeesAt this moment, employee communication is critical. Employees are suddenly working from home. Or they’re working on-site and in the field under extraordinary circumstances. They need to know the new policies, guidelines, and procedures to do their jobs – and do them safely.

They’re striving, often against incredible odds, to maintain business continuity and keep their customers satisfied. They require clear, transparent, top-down information to do that.

They also need something else.

Connection.

Organizations strive to create a culture where everyone proudly feels like they’re part of a team or even a family. In incredibly difficult times, those ties can fray. A community can become lost.

Effective employee communication keeps those bonds secure and helps companies pull together even as people stay apart due to social distancing.

This guide can apply to a normal business environment. Connecting with your people is always essential. But nothing, of course, is normal anymore. Our hope is that you find it helpful during these challenging times. It provides insights into how Dynamic Signal is thinking about employee communication and introduces new product features that might be of use in this “new normal.”

It can make a difference in your life and work.

The Chaos of Employee Communication

Yesterday’s communication channels do not meet the needs of today’s employees. And they certainly do not meet the challenge of these tumultuous times.

Part of the reason is the remarkable proliferation in the ways that organizations try to engage their people. Email. Intranets. Instant messaging. Chat and collaboration tools. Yes, these all have transformed the way companies and employees interact. But it’s not always for the better. There are unintended consequences. Communication has become fragmented. There are too many places to store and find information.

It’s too much noise.

Employees become distracted, disengaged, disconnected. And it’s only going to get worse because the employee communication technology horse left the barn long ago and is galloping down the digital highway. The risks to corporate strategy, operations, and security only multiply with each new system an organization adds.

Frustrated EmployeesMeanwhile, all the effort adding channels hasn’t made a dent in the ability of front-line workers to get a reliable stream of information. These on-the-go employees work on their feet and often lack access to computers
or don’t have corporate email addresses. For them, communication is a game of telephone. An important message goes from corporate to regional leaders. Then it’s passed on to team leads. Finally, it might get shared with workers in a shift meeting.

All of this is the antithesis of being inclusive. Instead of being agile companies where everyone – no matter where they are – feels like they’re part of a community, can rally around a cause, and hear C-suite directives, employees are left on their own to make sense of it all. It’s driving organizations apart.

Let’s think about our current world. Do all of your employees know where to get the critical information they need to help them navigate this incredibly challenging work environment?

Organizations need an enterprise communication system of record where employees always know they can turn for trustworthy, real-time information that helps them do their jobs and know that their work matters.

The High Cost Across the Organization

The negative impact of poor employee communication stretches across the company. Messages are further fragmented with each new system added to the communication stack. That sabotages corporate strategy, operations, and productivity.

Analyst firm Gartner has found that while employees expect flexibility and autonomy, overly complicated technology causes additional friction and reduces employee engagement. That ultimately affects on-the-job performance and damages the customer experience.

The High Cost Across the Organization

The negative impact of poor employee communication stretches across the company. Messages are further fragmented with each new system added to the communication stack. That sabotages corporate strategy, operations, and productivity.

Analyst firm Gartner has found that while employees expect flexibility and autonomy, overly complicated technology causes additional friction and reduces employee engagement. That ultimately affects on-the-job performance and damages the customer experience.

  • Leadership voices aren’t heard. Essential messages from senior executives about the company mission, values, and direction aren’t reaching everyone. The organization isn’t aligned – especially in
    a crisis.
  • Employees are overwhelmed by noise. Endless pings, dings, and alerts interrupt work. Employees who are continuously distracted aren’t as productive.
  • Enterprise communicators are beleaguered. Communicators have a multitude of tasks to accomplish. Time is precious. They can’t waste it by performing repetitive work like re-posting the same piece of information on email, an intranet, and collaboration tools.
  • IT is losing control. More communication systems create higher operational risk for the IT teams that maintain them while protecting the enterprise from digital threats.

And we haven’t yet discussed the worst part for the people who oversee internal comms efforts.

Economist Stats

The Inability to Prove Impact

Communicators traditionally haven’t been able to measure if people are getting their messages. That can be disastrous when information is crucial to keeping people safe.

They track what they can. Typically, that means outputs such as numbers of emails sent or open rates. But that’s not much insight. The reality is, they’re merely yelling into the void and hoping people hear important messages.

They can’t:

  • Prove the engagement with communication
  • Show tangible impacts such as increased morale
  • Quickly adjust their strategy


The lack of a unified system of record capable of cross-channel reporting and insights is undermining their efforts when everyone needs to receive – and act upon – their messages.

Dynamic Signal and Employee Communication

A new way of thinking about the problem is required. You need a next-generation platform that manages your existing systems.

Dynamic Signal is a unified employee hub that enables you to connect with your people and give you the insights to make better decisions. It’s one-stop shopping for employee information needs. There’s simply no other way for the C-suite to drive important initiatives and explain the corporate directives to every person.

Our industry-leading Employee Communication and Engagement Platform is the one solution that enables communicators to easily aggregate, publish, and disseminate critical news to wherever people are, and how they prefer to receive information.

But that’s just the minimum requirement for comms professionals charged with delivering messages from the C-suite. You also need a platform that creates these outcomes:

  • Conveys essential information from leadership that everyone needs to hear – particularly in a crisis.
  • Makes everyone at even the largest enterprises feel like they’re a valued part of a cohesive team and are making contributions toward winning the day.
  • Measures the impact of employee communication efforts and correlates those insights directly to business objectives and strategy.
  • Manages the complexity of your current systems and channels through seamless integrations while increasing the utilization of employee communication investments to drive more value from them.

The world’s largest companies, including more than 30 percent of the Fortune 100, trust Dynamic Signal to help create a positive experience for employees in the workplace. We connect five million workers each day to the information and resources they need.

Securely delivering personalized, timely information to employees on the channels and devices they already use matters more than ever. Even in difficult times, we nurture the employee experience by maintaining relationships between organizations and their people while also empowering them as advocates and storytellers for the company.

We manage the communication chaos.

Next Generation Platform for Unified Employee Experiences

We’re continually improving our platform with innovative features. Here are some new developments that add to our vision of a unified communication and engagement hub – and are particularly useful during times of crisis. We think of these technology pillars as a unified employee experience strategy.

Rich Employee Experiences
Visually engaging and interactive content that shows people the information they want in ways that capture attention, create connections, and advance corporate objectives.

Intelligent Optimization
Use the insights from how employees engage with content and take the appropriate actions from those messages to improve your communication strategy.

Cross-Channel Communication
Reliably reach employees wherever they are, on the channels they prefer, using sophisticated campaign management capabilities.

Powerful Integrations
A more secure and flexible way to harmonize all of your systems and channels to create a single source of truth of content and resources for employees.

Real-Time Automation
Ensure that content is fresh, relevant, and personalized in real-time to help people do their jobs better and feel more connected.

10 Examples How Dynamic Signal Is Making a Difference

In these uncertain times, our platform has become indispensable for organizations and C-suite executives as they share vital information to all employees, wherever they are, in real-time. Here are just a few examples.

Communication to All Employees
Cumberland Farms, the East Coast convenience store chain, uses the platform to deliver executive messages to team members. That’s crucial because 90 percent of the workforce doesn’t have access to corporate email. “We have utilized the Quick Link feature to create a Coronavirus Update page that we constantly update with everything that is being sent out from leadership,” said Jaclyn Harrison, Retail Internal Communications Manager. “After only three days, it has close to 4.500 clicks already. It has been an amazing tool so far.”

CEO Messages
The community manager for Wawa, another popular convenience store company, said that they previously didn’t have a way to reach the dispersed workforce besides word-of-mouth from store managers. There also was an inability to measure the effectiveness of messages. Short videos from the CEO have drawn huge engagement. The first post quickly had 5,000 views, 500 likes, and 300 comments. “Three years ago, we had limited ways to reach our frontline associates,” the community manager said. “Having The Honker, our Dynamic Signal platform, has revolutionized how we reach our teams, especially during this time. Whether it’s our CEO sharing videos recorded from his mobile phone or information on how to provide resources for our associates on staying safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. Today, our associates are able to stay engaged and updated in a way we never could have imagined, and it would not have been possible without Dynamic Signal.”

Indispensable Solution
In this difficult time for the travel industry, an executive for a leading airline said only the most critical programs are being preserved. “During a recent project review, we had to decide which programs to continue during these challenging times.,” the executive said. “We have to focus right now on what is going to impact our business in this new environment. (This) program is one of only a few initiatives we have decided not to pause right now, and we look forward to potentially expanding the trial program to all of our 23,000 crewmembers as the needs for real-time communications continues to be a priority.”

Sharing Essential Information
A leading transportation and logistics company is considered an essential business at this moment. It uses the platform to share important bulletins that include suspending non-essential travel, canceling large gatherings, following CDC-recommended guidelines, and information about location hours and procedures.

Keeping everyone safe
Healthcare systems are on the front lines of this crisis. Several customers use the platform to post safety information and updates on how staff can keep patients, visitors, and themselves safe – and how employees should respond if they’re concerned about possible coronavirus exposure. For instance, one system has seen has 50 percent more platform logins and 77 percent more engagement with posts they share on social media.

Employee Advocacy
Pfizer has used the platform to mobilize employees to help tell the brand’s story of helping. “We never planned to launch an Employee Advocacy program during a global pandemic, but there’s never been a better time to help our employees contribute to the conversation,” said Ginny Buckingham, Vice President, Activation. “Dynamic Signal has given us an easy way for all of our employees to have their own personalized external voice. The Dynamic Signal technology is enabling us to seamlessly scale content sharing from hundreds of employees to more than 30,000 in only days, all with a measurable ROI and feedback that would have been overwhelming without it.”

Wellness strategies
A top consulting firm is sharing self-care information with employees on the platform, including how employees can make their health a priority during this moment of high stress.

Recruiting
While this is an incredibly challenging time for many businesses, some are struggling to find much-needed workers. One senior living company, with retirement communities in eight states, is using the platform in an effort to share information about job openings and the application process.

Peer-to-Peer Connection
The community manager for a leading consumer brand shared the story of a grocery store re-stocker who said, “He loves the app and has never felt more connected.” The employee uses the messaging functionality to connect with peers in another state. “We’ve heard countless stories from our front-line teammates about the power of the (Dynamic Signal platform),” the community manager said. “From sharing updates from our leaders, and inspiring stories of how our teammates are serving our customers, to having a one-stop-shop for all COVID-19 resources in a Quick Link, Dynamic Signal has enabled us to effectively and constantly communicate with our 17,000 teammates during COVID-19.”

Giving Back
Familiar brand names are sharing philanthropy efforts with employees and inviting them to share the news with their social networks. A well-known company used the platform to tell about giving back to the community in this difficult time with a substantial cash donation to deliver 40,000 meals to homebound seniors through Meals On Wheels America. Another popular brand informed its employees of a $1 million contribution to an organization that provides healthcare workers on the front lines with desperately needed safety equipment. A leading bank shared with employees that it’s supporting an organization that provides online access to educational programs for homebound children.

The End of Communication Chaos

We live in a complex world. Even in normal times, we can all feel overwhelmed. And in the new normal? None of us are immune to the stress in our work and personal lives.

McKinsey Productivity StatEmployee communication chaos only adds to that sense of dread.

Dynamic Signal exists to create order from that chaos and bring consumer technology that employees already are using in their personal lives to the workplace. It’s not only that they want it. But they expect it.
Now, more than ever.

That’s why you should trust your employee experience to the only enterprise-ready communications platform that securely connects to systems and applications, reliably delivers messages to your employees, and dependably delivers innovations.

In these challenging times, ensure that employees can hear the messages that keep them informed and safe, make them feel more connected to the organization, and maintain your business continuity.

Post Author

G.I. Sanders

G.I. Sanders is Senior Director, Creative Services at Dynamic Signal. He specializes in entrepreneurship, digital and social media, design, and marketing. G.I. is based in Dallas, TX with his wife and two sons. Passions include technology, startups, music, fitness and sports.