How Digital Tools Can Help Combat Update Fatigue Amid Hybrid Teams

Stu Margetts
Dec 13, 2021
mobile overload

Throughout the last 18 months, there’s been a growing trend for messages to be conveyed regularly in smaller bitesize chunks, targeted to the individual. In a way, this format mimics certain elements of social media and other digital tools by highlighting key updates and information to the right audiences in a digestible, appealing format.

If it sounds like an advantage, you’d be right. Smaller, bitesize chunks of information can make it much easier to absorb. This maximises the impact of each update, but it does come with a risk.

We call this update fatigue, where there are so many messages that recipients become numb to them all, and they lose impact as a result. Keeping up engagement is a challenge for any manager, but there are ways to do it.

Using Workplace Communication To Engage Staff With Different Content

One way to get around this isn’t to send fewer, larger messages, but to continue with smaller updates using different types of content. Not everything has to be a written update, and good digital tools will offer a range of media formats to use.

You might find some staff or teams respond better to certain types of content than others, which means you have the opportunity to tailor the updates you send in a format that suits them. That helps with engagement levels, but using a variety of formats keeps your messages fresh.

Some communication platforms, like OurPeople, also provide additional insight and analytics which allows managers to identify who has and hasn’t engaged with vital content, allowing them to quickly and easily follow up with those they need to, as opposed to sending a follow-up message to the entire group.

Written Content

As probably the most common type of content, written messages are the backbone of your messages to teams. The reason for this is it provides a written account of an update, so it can easily be referred to and proven if there are questions about what was said.

It’s good for making notes and providing evidence that something was done, so while there are other types of content, it’s not going to be replaced any time soon. You can look at image based content, too, but a good platform should make it as easy to produce and send this content as it is to use written messages.

Video Content

Video content is one of the risks to traditional written text, with 48% of content messages sent on OurPeople being video in 2020 (a 51% increase). Concise, specific communication channels such as these increase overall employee engagement massively – improving efficiency, employee sentiment and even health and safety within a post-pandemic working environment.

Making sure these videos are easily accessible, or that there’s an action to be taken so recipients know what to do or what they should have taken from the video, can make this more reliable.

Survey And Quiz Content

Increasing engagement can be done through content and features that require input from the recipient, which is where surveys and quizzes can make a difference. This can be on any topic, acting as feedback on something or marking off tasks over the day. Whatever would work in your business or industry, you can utilise.

You can also use the data from this content to inform business decisions, and refer back to the data gathered to show why you’ve chosen to do something.

The Benefits Of Effective Communication In The Workplace

There are a lot of benefits to effective communication in the workplace – and one of the biggest is to avoid update fatigue. Effective communication is more than just sending messages and sharing resources, you want recipients to take the actions you have in mind – or make clear – once the message has been received and read.

With so many updates coming, even if they are targeted to the right staff and teams, the risk increases that this engagement drops. This isn’t just on the platform, but also in the rest of the workplace as you try to make sure staff are adhering to what the updates say.

The right content, to the right people, that is suitable for their needs and availability can help with this.

Why Is Communication Important In The Workplace?

However, you need to understand why communication is important to the workplace to make sure the messages and updates you send need to be delivered. Being able to send a message in moments makes it so tempting to send a line or two of text every time something new happens, but this is what leads to fatigue.

While you might be communicating with staff and teams, they will be doing the same with you – and each other. This is how the business functions, but that means you run the risk of employees talking more than actually doing the work you want them to.

How To Improve Communication In The Workplace To Better Include Hybrid Teams

Improving workplace communication isn’t about sending more or fewer messages, but sending the right messages when you need to. If you restrict updates to certain times, you can send more than a one line update but fewer than an essay.

An easy to use tool, like OurPeople, can make it easier to manage workplace communication by making it possible to access anywhere, on any device. This is good to keep things running, but also means more distractions when you send multiple messages in a short period. Finding that balance matters.

Also keep in mind check-ins with staff. These can be work-related, but also offer a chance to check on their well-being and mental state. We can’t stress how important this is – and it’s a different kind of communication that encourages engagement, too.

A Personalised Approach To Workplace Communication

Having a centralised database of information on topics such as training and company policy is vital and can cut down on the need to re-share information. Utilising and structuring this information in a simple, personalised way helps boost employee engagement and contributes to a collective feeling of purpose.

This highly personalised, accessible approach to internal communications not only allows teams to feel more connected and in the loop, but ensures minimal overlap when sharing information with teams – ultimately cutting down on the notification overload and keeping teams engaged with what matters.

Digital Tools To Engage Hybrid Teams

With the right digital tools, you can engage all staff and teams in the way that suits them best. By sending targeted messages and updates, you’re choosing a personal approach rather than a send all option, and you can make sure everything is suited to who receives it. Whether your teams work in different locations or are hybrid teams, there are features you can make use of to combat update fatigue.

With OurPeople, we make it easy to store every resource in one place while making access relevant to each user, so you can be sure everyone has access to what they need. To find out more about our features and how this platform can help your business, get in touch today.

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