Why direct messaging should be a part of the intranet
Many things have changed in recent years but one of the biggest changes has been the way we communicate, both privately and for business. Most organizations use some kind of intranet for news and information. Some even use a social intranet to facilitate collaboration and connection with colleagues. Most people also chat with their colleagues, because they are so used to chatting privately. Direct messaging is quicky becoming an important part of business communications, but most organizations are not ready for this change. That is why people often use public apps (such as WhatsApp) for business communications. And organizations do not have any influence or control over these apps.
Most people utilize the apps they use privately for business communications as well: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram and other consumer tools. These might be great for private conversations but they are less fit for business use. Our CEO Rik Mulder came up with 3 arguments against using consumer apps for business:
1. Lack of control
2. Separation of personal life and business
It is not a surprise that people like to use direct messaging for business communication: it is quick, easy to use, and it works well on mobile phones (according to this American research 67% of hospitals have reported that nurses are using their phones for communication). But most employers are not offering a user friendly app for business communication.
That is why organizations and teams have to find an app to enable employees to chat and share information with each other. This app has to be just as user friendly as WhatsApp, but it has to be more secure.
Tools such as Plek are offering direct messaging as a part of the social intranet. That is how organizations can stimulate internal communication, both one-on-one and within groups or teams. The two biggest priorities for these tools are user-friendliness and security. It has to be easy to set up a chat conversation, wherever you are. But the tool also obviously has to be trustworthy and reliable, most notably within the care sector and business services.
The advantages of a social intranet that includes direct messaging:
A more relevant intranet
People are actively and intensively using direct messaging. So when direct messaging is a part of the intranet people obviously visit the intranet more often, and they spend more time on it. This increases the chance that they will see and read other information on the intranet, such as company news.
Clarity for employees
It happens all too often that new colleagues find out about a particular chat group months after they join the company. As a result, they miss part of the conversation. This can be prevented by making sure groups and teams communicate on the organization's own intranet. That way everyone knows exactly where to find information and where to discuss which matter.
When direct messaging is a part of an organization's own social intranet, the organization can keep an eye on which people are part of which groups. Moreover the organization can be 100% sure that people are no longer privy to sensitive information that is shared in chat groups. Do make sure your chat is secure: hosted in the Netherlands and end-to-end encrypted (also on mobile apps).
One more piece of advice: company apps should be able to send notifications to your direct messaging platform. It is a smart way to combine and customize company app notifications. However it is important to be careful with this so as not to cause an information overload.
A social intranet that includes direct messaging is the key to bring everything together on one platform: news, updates, colleagues, direct messaging, knowledge and notifications.