I was attending a conference on the use of mobile technology in business and communication today, as I was presenting a Stagis project called Busdrivers with character (“Chauffører med karaktér” in Danish), presenting the way we’ve been working with customers as a means to change organizational culture through appreciative communication. The passengers in the buses gave positive feedback to the busdrivers by text messages and pictures. They helped us create positive hype and media coverage, resulting in a better image and an increased spirit among the employees. You can download my presentation here (however you will not be able of seeing the videos). Even though there is no campaign for the activity now, there are still text messages and images coming in from (mostly) happy passengers in the buses and I know the busdrivers are really pleased to read the messages on the web site. You can see them on www.buschauffor.dk (Danish website).
Before I did my presentation, two british consultants from Simply-goodadvice delivered a talk on internal communication and the impact of mobile media. They mentioned a study which shows a correlation between the company’s ability to communicate and the company’s financial performance. If you invested 100 dollars in 2004 your money would have decreased to 84 dollars worth by now, had it been a company with bad internal communication. If the company belongs to the group of companies that are good at creating a healthy communication environment in the organization those 100 dollars would now be worth 130 dollars on average. Better internal communication simply leads to a better financial status of the entire business. Recently Novartis and The Exchange Bank of Korea (I think) gave smart phones to all of their employees to push the internal communication further throughout these international organizations.
Even though Stagis is a small company, we’re increasingly communicating on email, Skype, text messages, media messages, Facebook etc. In large organizations all those platforms are necessary if you want to keep the communication going across geographic boundaries. One piece of advice from the two british consultants was “don’t over regulate,” which is interesting in light of recent debates over employees use of Facebook (ie Danish national newspaper Berlingske made Facebook politics, check Journalisten or Politiken articles). Some companies are trying to regulate internal communication as well as the private use of social platforms such as Facebook or blogs. Most employees are really quite responsible – just as they are in their everyday work in the company. Even more importantly, does the use of social and mobile media (and the two combined) help things flow smoother or do they take away time from ‘real’ work? One Australian study mentioned on Wired says Twittering makes better employees.
A handful of other interesting points on mobile media at work from simplygoodadvice:
- Mobile technology creating major tipping point in empoyee communications
- Employees expect you to have it (if you’re a big/international company)
- Top performing companies are setting the pace
- Better internal communications create value that reflects in overall performance
- Internal communication strategies need to keep up with the mobile technology