In an era when employee experience is becoming increasingly important to a company's success, the inability to ensure frictionless internal communication can have detrimental effects. Taking into consideration the exceptional success of instant messaging in customer relationship management, we will explore a variety of use cases to leverage WhatsApp for internal communication.
Employee Communication: More Important Than Ever
Efficient organizational communication has always been a concern. Though, today, it's becoming ever more so as studies continue to confirm the direct correlation between employee and customer happiness. On top of that, poor communication was found to be one of the fundamental causes of workplace demotivation.
Whichever way you look at it, good communication matters.
Still, despite all the technological progress, when hearing "employee communications," the first associations are not necessarily positive. Many people associate the phrase with too many meetings, email chains, company newsletters, HR memos, complex intranets...
Did you know that people tend to neglect or even avoid communication if it comes through a device or channel they don't feel comfortable using? For a business, annoyance with internal communication channels can pose a serious problem for both, employee satisfaction and efficient running of key workflows.
Gone are the times when we only worked on desktop computers and relied on email.
Today, we are surrounded by tablets, smartphones, laptops, ultrabooks, notepads, smartwatches… technology that taught us not to expect but to require immediacy and comfort.
Want to ensure that information gets to and is read by your employees in a timely manner?
Why not let them communicate in a way that feels the most natural?
For the Millennials that will make up 75% of the total workforce by 2025, that natural way of communication is chat.
Indeed, many b2b oriented apps successfully tapped into the chat culture, creating a flexible solution that liberated internal comms from desktop…
What Does WhatsApp Have That Other Internal Communication Lack?
But what if you didn't have to make your employees adapt to any new channel, tool or intranet?
What if that channel was something they already use in their daily life?This is the answer to the question heading this section. WhatsApp has familiarity.
Being actively used by 1.6 billion people every month, it's the most popular messaging app in history. Hence, most people use the app on a daily basis and are intimately familiar with its interface.
Using the app in business communications removes the obstacle of making employees adapt to an unfamiliar system. Quite inadvertently, it guarantees the received messages are reviewed on a regular basis.
Indeed, since the official release of WhatsApp Business API, many businesses focused on using the app to reinvent their company communication plan rather than offering the service to their customers - a trend we saw mainly in eCommerce, travel & hospitality and real estate industries.
We believe that integrating the WhatsApp Business API into your internal communications strategy can boost knowledge exchange among employees; forge collaboration; streamline complex HR processes and foster positive company culture.
How to Use WhatsApp For Internal Communication
While the types of internal communications can vary among industries as well as be heavily influenced by specific business goals, we identified 10 common use cases in which using Whatsapp for employee communication can truly make a difference.
1. Provide Onboarding Support
A fast-paced work environment typical for any modern business makes effective onboarding a challenge. However, it's important you put in the effort. The employee's first month is when most of the habits and relationships are formed.
Successful onboarding should educate, engage and ensure compliance… But, even if you find the time to go over every aspect of the job as well as company history and direction, it's clear much information simply won't stick with your new employee.
Furthermore, new hires are often shy to ask “stupid” questions or ask again if they happen to forget a piece of information.
Creating a WhatsApp bot to serve as a supporting element in the process can ease most of that pressure. Imagine an onboarding assistant that can provide instant:
- Support regarding required HR documentation (e.g., advice on how to complete forms or explanations about additional clauses in the contract such as intellectual property, etc.)
- Information on the company/team history, values, mission, and current goals
- Information on company culture, policies, and rules of office conduct
- Guides and support for the company's digital tools, etc.
2. Send Company Newsletter
Newsletters are nothing new. For years, they've been used to communicate to employees the happening inside the company such as:
- New company goals
- Business strategy overviews
- New hires
- Product/service innovations
- Latest successes, performance, and overall progress.
However, email communication has proved to be somewhat slow and passive for the technology-induced “instant and interactive” culture.
Using WhatsApp for this type of internal communication can not only ensure a higher open rate but also offer opportunities for interaction. For instance, in a one-on-one chat, an employee can request more information about a certain topic which a corresponding bot can provide swiftly.
Or, the newsletter can be sent to a company-created departmental group chat where employees can share their opinions and start a discussion.
3. Collect Employee Feedback
Feedback is an important part of ensuring employee satisfaction. It allows you to identify and solve issues before it develops into a more serious problem. Consequently, collecting relevant feedback helps you improve your overall work culture and, by default, attract desirable talent.
However, obtaining feedback is not always that easy, especially if your employees don't (or only very rarely) work at a desk.
Hence, one of the best uses of WhatsApp for employee communication is launching a feedback survey that is quick and comfortable to complete.
4. Promote Workshops, Training/Shadowing Opportunities & New Openings
If your company has a culture of organizing frequent workshops and training opportunities or, even better, hiring people for managing roles from its own ranks... WhatsApp is the perfect channel to promote the events and job opening as well as collect registrations/applications. Emails often get overlooked, forgotten or are seen too late to be relevant. On the other hand, most people check instant messages within minutes of being received.
Using WhatsApp as your primary communication channel is a great way to raise awareness about career and education opportunities your business can offer, resulting in a decrease in employee turnover.
5. Provide Teams with a Decision-Making & Collaboration Platform
Chat has become a common way to discuss important matters and take decisions rather than talk orally, especially those that need urgent decision making. Having everything in writing also makes the process and its result clear for both employees and their superiors.
Through WhatsApp groups or one-on-one chats, employees and managers can collaborate better on matters that require fast action. Employees can receive the information they need faster.
Furthermore, WhatsApp minimizes the need to send out multiple emails to different contacts which also take longer to answer.
Allowing your employees to use a communication channel they feel comfortable with is especially important if they work remotely or in the field and face-to-face communication is impossible.
6. Foster Company Culture
WhatsApp for internal communication doesn't need to be all business. On the contrary, it's a great tool to help you lay foundations for positive company culture.So, besides collecting and listening to feedback to make your employees feel cared for, you can use the channel to:
- Send positive/motivational messages that bring teams together
- Express gratitude for a job well done
- Encourage and promote work and non-work related social events (charity bake sales or sports events; friendly contests; team building and so forth)
- Drive employee engagement through quizzes and contests
7. Digitalize Your HR
When it comes to HR, WhatsApp can do quite a lot to speed things along. It can become the go-to HR FAQ bot or as well as a channel that streamlines paperwork.
For example, if everyone in the company needs to update a form for HR, the chatbot can deliver a copy of that form, and remind the people who don't respond to get that form signed and handed in on time. Alternatively, employees can use the bot to check on their available vacation days, upcoming holidays, and so forth.
8. Share Schedules/Shift Plans
If the smooth running of your business relies on efficient scheduling, ever-changing shift plans for frontline employees in different locations, WhatsApp is just the right way to keep everybody organized and up-to-date.
The platform not only allows you to share the schedule promptly with the entire team of your frontline workers but also ensures that last-minute changes are received and viewed promptly.
9. Sign Up & Registration
Do you need to organize or put together a team of employees to help you run an event or need volunteers for the newest project or even an emergency?
Whatsapp is the perfect platform to send out your request and let interested parties register instantly using the app.
10. Alerts and Notifications
We saved the most obvious use case for the last. Regardless of domain-specific communication goals... most businesses need their employees to receive alerts and notifications about incoming leads; shipments; reports; inventory; sales; online traffic; safety checks and so forth… The list can go on and on.
WhatsApp push notifications ensure your employees receive information wherever they are, in real-time. This makes the WhatsApp API solution an asset for people working in the field such as real estate agents.
It saves your company time and money inventing its own workplace communication system such as an employees app or spending time teaching your employees how to use it.
Is WhatsApp the Right Thing for Your Internal Communication Strategy?
To decide whether or not WhatsApp Business API is the right employee communication channel for your company you need to consider, primarily, the app's adoption level in the country where you operate.
While WhatsApp is the most widely used messaging app in the world, present in 180 countries, the level of adoptions varies locally WhatsApp is widespread in all of South America, Mexico, the majority of African countries, India, Saudi Arabia and, when it comes to Europe, in the UK, Spain, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, and so forth… On the contrary, the app is not that popular in the US (yet).
Another factor to consider is the complexity of corporate communications. WhatsApp is fast and omnipresent but if you need a more complex solution for your office which, for instance, allows for group conference calls, you might want to consider Slack or similar service instead.
Are There Any Concerns Regarding WhatsApp for Internal Communication?
WhatsApp's favorite feature has been its end-to-end conversation encryption which ensures privacy for your company communications.
However, chatting on WhatsApp bridges over to employees' personal lives and so, it has an informal feel to it. If not managed properly, this can become a serious source of conflict.
What to do?
It's paramount that your messaging policies on what is acceptable and what isn't are perfectly clear. For instance, these policies can include non-harassment and non-bullying clauses or any other policies that also apply to email, internet, and social networking communications.
Your employees need to be aware that breach of these policies is as serious on a messaging app as it would be in the physical office or on company emails and can result in disciplinary proceedings.
Additionally, managers must also understand that there are instances when to use WhatsApp and when not. For instance, pointing out an employee's performance issues to all members in a departmental or team WhatsApp group is not appropriate and can harm overall morale.
How to Get Started?
WhatsApp Business API brings along quite a world of possibilities for your internal communications.If you don’t have access to the API yet and don’t quite know where to start... you can learn more about how to apply for WhatsApp API, how to create WhatsApp template messages as well as how to create a WhatsApp bot and launch WhatsApp campaigns without coding using our resources.
Though if you already have access or already decided WhatsApp is for you get in touch to find our how the Landbot WhatsApp solution can help you achieve your communication goals!