It is no lie that organisations have a long history of promoting pride and a sense of unity among the employees of the company through their internal communications, but this has been faced with countless challenges. From paper based promotional leaflets regarding company events, to constant emails and of course, the intranet. We only need to mention intranet to exemplify that internal communications is full of challenges. Often, the key question is, how do you keep your employees engaged consistently – without irrelevant notifications and clutter – while adding value to their work environment?
An average employee receives 88 emails per day. That’s only an average, it can be much higher for many. So, forget about engaging employees through email. Whilst even 5 years ago this made sense, today engaging someone through their cluttered inbox is about as easy as crossing a minefield.. Since Employees are drowning in emails, the deluge of internal communication emails are likely the first to be deleted.
The traditional response is, “Let’s create an intranet then…” Intranets are clunky though, too often they are built by interns and not on the most intuitive platforms. Employees have to make an effort to visit and since it’s up to employees to check the intranet, any urgent updates may not be checked for days or even weeks.
It is not the case that email and intranets should completely be removed. Far from it. In fact, they both have a place but they do ask the employee to make an effort to get engaged. A great internal communications strategy understands that employees are just like consumers too. Just like modern marketing, internal comms should remove any effort from the employee side and make it a seamless, user-friendly experience. For those willing to take the leap of faith and innovate, chatbots provide a fantastic solution to the problem of internal communications. Here is why:
Chatbots are AI powered machines that run on messaging channels that conduct conversations with users. Instead of messaging a real person, you can message a piece of software. How can that help? It allows you to personalise, target and connect the relevant content to the right employee at the right time. Here are 7 key reasons a chatbot can help internal communications.
Why build an additional app or intranet when your employees are already on most messaging platforms. With a chatbots, employees do not have to download an additional app, or visit a website. Everything takes place within a channel they are familiar with and enjoy using.
With an app, an employee may need to download new versions of the app when the company updates it. With a chatbot, everything happens server side. Employees talk to the new version without knowing there has been a change.
Gone are the days employees need to wait a few hours (or worse… days) for HR to get back to them on simple requests. With chatbots, they have to wait seconds. More than ever with more things to do, employees are heavily speed sensitive.
Chatbots do not waste any time. They also use very little bandwidth making them accessible even in areas with slow internet.
The nature of messaging channels encourages brevity. Think about it, do you ever type a 500 word message on Messenger? No. What about email? Easily. Short messages make it much easier and faster to read.
Simple to read, simpler to write. Every time a communications professional sets out to write a 500- or 1000-word article, it’s a challenge. But a chatbot message is often just a single sentence, and a chatbot article is often just a few short paragraphs.
Intranets are a ‘Pull’ medium. Employees “pull” messages by requesting them in a web browser.
Emails are a ‘Push’ medium. Companies ‘push’ emails to employees, who have no choice to receive them or not.
Chatbots are push and pull. You can push broadcast messages to your targeted employee whenever you need to. They can also pull content from the chatbot when they need to. With this solution, both parties get the tools they need.
There is no simpler interface than messaging platforms. Messages follow a linear chronological format with very little additional thought required. Its simple, uncluttered and clear. This makes it easy for all users, of different skill levels, to follow what is going on.
Since everyone is used to messaging channels, employees feel they are speaking in a natural and comfortable environment.
90% of all messages are read within 3 minutes of receiving it. This type of engagement can only be dreamed about in a intranet, app or email channel.
To get your creative juices flowing on how you could implement a chatbot internal communications strategy, here are some potential use cases:
Imagine you’re a manufacturing company with thousands of internal purchasing orders each month and year. Generally, under the current systems in place, users have to employees have to go through multiple processes and systems to order the specific part they need.
Chatbots can can unify several backends with one chatbot front end and allow the employee to go through all the processes within the same channel. This makes it quick, efficient and easy to onboard new users.
With a well developed platform supporting the chatbot, this process becomes even more valuable. You can collect tags and analytics on the most ordered parts to manage budgets, transfer to human support when the order becomes complex and broadcast messages to specific employees if a vendor has an issue.
Here at Rocketbots, we have developed a chatbot operations platform that allows you to do just that in one space.
Gone are the days when HR managers need to spend time answering basic and repetitive questions. “Where is the conference room?”, “How can I apply for sick leave?” and “What benefits do I receive?” are all questions that are simply answered by a chatbot. HR can spend spend less time on simple repetitive tasks that add no value and more time on improving employee journeys and working cultures.
A platform can allow you to transfer to a human if it understands that the request is sensitive and complex. Moreover, getting analytics on what employees are looking for and talking about allow HR to understand the needs and requirements of staff to make improvements.
Creating a clear line of sight between an individual’s day-to-day work and company strategy is a frequent goal for employee engagement programs.
A chatbot allowing employees to ask about the goals of their department, division or even the CEO could not only create better alignment for goal setting, but also increase transparency and accountability at all levels of the organisation. Employees demand constant reviews and feedback, the platform could potentially give managers key insights into the employees work and accomplishments before a performance review to create better SMART goals.
For many years now, internal communications strategies have faced a seemingly impossible task: ensure that no employee ever misses a critical communication, while competing with a firehose of information on dozens of channels. Chatbots provide a glimmer of hope. Chatbots will be the most trusted way to deliver a message in the internal communications space in the future. Why not start now?
Are you curious to hear more about chatbots? We’d gladly help you discover what chatbots can do for business.
Hong Kong based company specialized in developing AI-powered Chatbot solutions.