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The ‘Snappy’ solution for employee communication - November 03,2007
I would like to wish Jamaica a speedy recovery from the effects of Hurricane Dean, even as I write from ‘Katrina’ city, New Orleans, which has yet to recover (two years now – August 29) from the massive Hurricane Katrina that devastated their home.

Communicators will be glad to hear that there is now a real, easy and practical digital/web-interface solution to effective employee communications available in Jamaica. It is also cost effective (read ‘cheap’). And I have found this solution.

Before I describe this ‘miracle’ solution that will make the lives of Jamaican communicators infinitely easier let us reflect on the importance of effective employee communications to the return on investments.

According to research, companies that communicate effectively are 4.5 more likely to report higher level of employee engagement and 20% more likely to report lower staff turnover than their peers. (Watson Wyatt Worldwide– March 2006)

So practicing effective employee communications means sharing business plans and goals with employees – that means it will be no big secret between ‘us’ and ‘them’ that the company’s goal is to gross USD100,000m by year-end. It is stated and repeated in messages that the employee can understand clearly.

Clear line of sight
In that same light, effective communications draws a clear line of sight between jobs and business outcome. So, Miss Brown in the ancillary staff should be perfectly in the know about the importance and impact of her functions to the business’s profitability. And don’t believe for one minute that the information will be above her head if properly communicated. And that filing clerk? He needs to have a clear sight about how his job affects the business outcome. Never under estimate your staff’s ability to understand the company’s business goals.

Effective communications also treats managers as a key audience and shares information with them in advance. This is significant because most employees get their information directly from their managers and it should follow that if your manager knows and is trained then it should make the lives of us ordinary employees much easier. The lower down the totem pole that you go the more important it is for our manager to be well-informed because you depend very heavily on the manager/supervisor for relevant and important information for your job functions.

Finally, effective internal communications reduces information overload. You know, those mountains of e-mails, messages and notices that you send to staff that they rarely and barely read. When asked about their attendance at a particular upcoming company event you get that blank very dis-interested and dis-engaged look that pointedly tells you that that message was deleted mentally from their memories as much as it was removed ‘un-read’ from their computers.






Solution Overview
So what is the ‘Snap Solution’? Snap is an international company that specializes in internal communications and finding cost-effective solutions for these issues. Snap Communications have created and successfully marketed a web-based software solution complete with tools for companies whose employees access their information through personal computers. So, if the bulk of your employees are on a shop floor this is not the solution for you. ‘Snap’ communication pushes information out to staff at times when they are most receptive and at times that suit their workflow.

What are the tools? They are simple: screen savers; pop-up alerts; tickers; quizzes; surveys and internal magazines. You can, for example, eliminate staff e-mails by putting content in the ‘Snap’ magazine which is easily created and managed using their web-based interface.

The ‘Snap’ solution is hosted and managed remotely and the members of your communications team go to the website and log on with a password and can set up their internal communication tools using the content manager. Content is then delivered to specified users within the organizations through communication over the internet and in order to receive content the user must have the tool installed on their computer. It is a small program,(approximately 1.6M) whose sole purpose is to display and manage content directed to it. The content consists of any of the tools customized with text, display style, animation, images etc. to display the appropriate messages as specified by the content manager. Content is created by administrator(s) within their own network (presumed to be safe and secure).

Low IT risk

Content is delivered as internet traffic (http and https), hence the risk of content transmitting a virus or other internet nasty is very low. The Snap Client, located on the users computer, initiates communication with the Snap Server located with the Snap data centre – the return communication back to the Snap Client has therefore originated from a ‘trusted source’ – the users own computer .There is typically no requirement for existing firewall rules to be altered.

 

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Tele:(876)925-4529 Fax:(876)941-1209 Mobile:(876)807-1140 P.O.Box 2052, Constant Spring P.O., Kingston 8, Jamaica W.I. E-mail: yvonne@rocommunications.com