Can Mass Text Software Keep Employees Safe?
Learn how mass text software can be included in any mass communication plan.
Improving Employee Communications
Communication is a key factor in the success of any business, but poor communication can cause employee dissatisfaction and turnover. In some cases, there is a disconnect between how well a company feels it communicated with employees and what the employees perceive actually happened. Oftentimes, the problem isn’t always with the message itself, but in how it is being delivered.
In order to run efficiently, every facet of your operations must be synchronized, which requires a steady stream of clear dialogue. In today’s highly connected world, information travels fast, but many organizations are slow to respond and relay that information to the rest of the company. Major changes can occur in a split-second, and your people need to have the information required to stay safe, know what to do next, and keep the business operating at some capacity.
How does your company currently communicate critical information? How does it manage logistics, shift scheduling, and operations? What about in an emergency? Do you believe that in a crisis, you and your employees would have access to all the information necessary to follow proper safety procedures? Do you feel safe at work and know exactly what to do and where to go during an emergency?
Even if you do feel safe, secure, and well-informed, there is always room for improvement because not everything is predictable. Things happen and you likely don’t have a plan in place for everything that could happen. There are too many variables, too many unknowns. But with the right technology, you can at least have the tools in place to ensure that no matter what happens, you have a way to instantly communicate with employees.
Is Mass Text Software the Answer?
Of course, when we think of corporate communications, we primarily think of emails and voicemails—and perhaps an intranet site we are directed to from an email. While they have their place, emails and voice messages are not quick or efficient enough for delivering time-sensitive information. In today’s day and age, if you aren’t using all of the technology available to you, then you are not only at a disadvantage, you are abusing the trust your employees have in you that you will keep them safe in a critical event.
While texting isn’t new technology, it hasn’t taken center stage in the work environment the same way it has in our personal lives. Everyone can agree that texting has revolutionized how we communicate with each other. But we are now seeing organizations start to bring the benefits of texting into the workplace. Mass text software allows your company to keep everyone informed and prepared when it matters most.
There are several different applications for this kind of technology, including internal communications, customer service and marketing, and operations management. However, the primary application for mass text software is sending out alerts to keep employees safe during an emergency situation.
The Value of Mass Texts in Emergency Situations
How quickly can your team react when emergencies occur? Whether you’re dealing with an earthquake, a robbery, or a terrorist attack, without a specialized system in place, it may take 30 minutes or more to send out an alert with appropriate instructions to your entire staff. Additional time may even be needed to segment intended recipients from those not in harm’s way. This is particularly difficult for geographically dispersed companies with remote employees, satellite offices, or mobile employees, such as fleet drivers on varying shifts. In many emergency situations, you will not have time to spare. Mass text software is the fastest way to get the word out when seconds matter.
Here are some examples of emergency scenarios that would require immediate attention:
- Inclement weather or a natural disaster
- An IT or power outage
- A gas leak or fire
- A bomb threat
- A robbery
- A hazardous materials spill
- A lockdown due to civil unrest
To ensure the safety of your team, you need to be prepared for the worst—yet not everything is predictable. Having an emergency plan in place is critical, but it’s even more important to invest in a communication tool that will enable you to help those employees in harm’s way quickly with the right messaging. Even the best crafted messaging and the most rehearsed emergency plan are worthless if they fail to reach the people who need it most.
What’s So Great About Mass Texting?
In today’s high-speed, always-on world, text messaging has become second nature as possibly the most efficient form of interpersonal communication. Texts are immediate, engaging, and often require no more than a quick glance. In fact, studies show that, on average, text messages are read in under five seconds. While not everyone opens their messages immediately, 90 percent of all texts are opened and read within three minutes. Unlike a phone call, which requires a quiet space to answer, listen, and speak, text messages demand little effort to get your point across or obtain information.
Texting also saves significant time—even more so than face-to-face dialogue. When you engage in a conversation with another person, you are required by the unwritten laws of social courtesy to cycle through introductions and small talk: “How are you?”, “I’m fine, and you?”, “Have a good day,” “Talk to you soon,” etc.
Text messaging, however, is not bound to the same societal expectation of politeness. People presume texts will be short, concise, and to the point. Texting is the ideal form of communication when something needs to be conveyed quickly.
Why Texting Is So Effective in the Workplace
In the business world, we often rely on email as the preferred method of communication, and in many cases it is ideal. However, emails come in by the dozens, flooding our inboxes and getting buried with every subsequent incoming email. It’s hard to keep up or even notice if something important is sandwiched between spam. If we’re being honest, very few of us actually open all of our emails and read them right away. Many end up in the junk or deleted items folders. In an emergency situation, only snail mail is less effective.
So what is a better method? How about leveraging the capabilities of the devices we carry with us everywhere we go? The majority of us treat our phones as an extra appendage; they never leave our sides. In 2019, it was reported that 96 percent of American adults owned a cell phone and it’s likely that number will inch closer to 100% every year.
It goes without saying now that people have their cell phones with them throughout the workday. Even when employees are not at their desks—you can count on them having their phones with them. In other words, most people can be reached even when they are on the go and it’s a pretty good assumption it’s going to be via a text.
With a text message alert system, your team is always connected, which makes it the perfect platform for sending important alerts, updates, and other time-sensitive information. Since so many people already use text messaging for business purposes, (in fact, 15 percent say that more than half of their texts are related to work), using a mass text notification system is the logical next step in mass communications
Is Mass Texting Easy?
We all appreciate the beauty of texting; it is simple, quick, and convenient. Likewise, sending messages through mass text software is easy to learn and master. The best platforms require no training, thanks to an intuitive user experience and easy-to-use interfaces. Some platforms can be implemented and ready for use within minutes. In less time than it takes to create departmental email distribution lists, you can have your entire organization synchronized and unified.
A comprehensive mass texting solution will enable you to segment populations, use pre-written templates, and customize your messages. It will also provide the ability to have two-way communication and interact with employees. This dialogue is critical when leaders and first responders are trying to gauge the situation and the needs of the people impacted. Curious as to how many people received your texts? Mass text software should have built-in reporting functionality so you can tell how many of your messages were delivered successfully and who has already read the message.
Of course, there are other methods of communication besides email, voice call, and texting that companies can deploy during an emergency or when managing logistics and operations. There are push notifications, custom messaging apps, and social media as well. These are all gaining in popularity, but none are as simple and widely used as texting.
No other method of communication provides faster information delivery than mass text software, and when time is of the essence, it’s your job to make sure your people are protected. Why waste precious seconds typing out an email, finding the right distribution list, waiting for the server to respond—all just to realize that many of the intended recipients never bothered to open the email. Mass texting is the surefire way of getting your message to the right people when it matters most.
How to Roll Out Mass Texting
One of the reasons people rarely check their inboxes is because of the sheer number of emails they receive. Whether for personal use or work, we get blanketed with emails from other companies, co-workers, family, schools, parents, and a whole host of other well-meaning senders.
The lesson we can learn and apply to mass texting is to keep the texts relevant, infrequent, and informative.
When sending texts, particularly during an emergency, you want to keep people calm. The last thing you want to do is work people into a frenzy who may not even be impacted by the situation. Mass texting solutions enable you to segment your audience so you can be sure only those who need the message actually get it.
Of course, the content of the text matters as well. Texts are meant to be short, so don’t think you have to write out every step of instruction. Instead, briefly explain the situation in a few words and then direct them to a link with more detailed information. The key points you need to get across are whether they may be in harm’s way and whether they need to take action.
The frequency with which you send the texts should also be considered. People tend to become desensitized if they see something too often. Have a plan as to what situations warrant a text or follow up, and which ones are best served via alternate channels. Use mass texting only for those most critical events so as not to lose the impact.
Finally, communicate the mass texting capability in a grand launch—so every employee is made aware of why it is being used, how it will be used, and what they need to do in order to receive the texts. It may be that they need to update a mobile number or ensure they are properly listed in the employee directory. In any case, you should send out a test text or two to make sure every intended employee receives the text message in a timely manner.
Any time you can give your employees peace of mind, you’ve done a good thing. Introduce mass text software into your organization and help your employees rest easy knowing they will be taken care of in case of an emergency.