WhatsApp at work poses huge risks for employers — Our People fixes all of them.

Jun 6, 2018

What happens when you have a bunch of hourly or mobile staff, bad communication, and you don’t do much to fix it? Simple answer. There are a few individuals that take matters into their own hands and find some DIY method of communicating with their co-workers. During discussions with many business owners, groups of employees turned to a popular messaging app, WhatsApp but slowly started to see more problems in it than the managers bargained for. This is a brief list on some risks WhatsApp causes at work, some of which can be serious and create more issues than what it has solved.

No control over users or content.

WhatsApp puts the users in control, not the managers or the company. Users’ personal data, cell phone number, social media content, profile photos, and more are pulled into the app and accessible by anyone. This can pose a huge issue with personal data possibly being unsuitable for work or other users. Users can invite anyone into a work group, create a side group without managers knowing, and even if someone doesn’t work for the company they can be included in a work group! To make matters worse, once a user leaves the business they are still able to access content, messages, and contact information about the company or staff. This is a huge hidden risk that not many managers think about when implementing a messaging app at work. — OurPeople’s platform fixes all these major issues that is normally overlooked. It is invite only by head office and the managers themselves. This ensures company content is always secure from uninvited guests. All content shared within OurPeople is secured by permissions, content that is not relevant to an individual will never be accessible by them. Best of all once a user leaves the business, a manager can easily deactivate their account which automatically logs them out of the platform. This ensures all content, files, messages, and more are secure for the company.

As they say, never mix business with pleasure.

Many users of WhatsApp tend to also start using the messenger for personal use between colleges and personal contacts. This poses a risk as they could share content that is inappropriate or harmful to the business. Staff who use WhatsApp for personal conversations could potentially select the wrong group to share content in and share information it was not intended for. Many business owners find it can also be distracting from day to day operations and conversation can fall off track from the business needs. — OurPeople is created exclusively for your business, branded, and secure. Content will not be pulled in from social media posts or be mistaken with a messenger app when a photo or video is shared. OurPeople is designed to improve communication and drive a positive and professional culture.

Information becomes buried and impossible to find.

Within WhatsApp groups there is not a secure central file system. Content shared within a group is put into the message thread and can go to people that it was not relevant for. Once users leave the business they have access to these files shared within a group and is downloadable or shareable from the app. Uploaded content is mobile driven and may not work on every device or computer and as messages continue, people tend to lose track of the file they are discussing. — OurPeople brings a secure and dedicated file system to everyone. All content is uploaded via drag and drop from the company console and is simple to manage. The file folders are specific to everyone using the tag-based profile system. This creates an easy to navigate and relevant platform for everyone at work. Folders can be created for each location, group, or individual ensuring everyone is in the loop on information that is vital to their position.

There is a serious lack of transparency with WhatsApp and a company.

WhatsApp can be a powerful messenger but anyone using it at work can create side groups that managers are unaware of. Content shared outside of a group a manager is in, is a serious risk and can create more issues than was ever intended. Management has zero control over who creates these side groups and who monitors them. WhatsApp can lead to people messaging each other for non-work-related items creating a risk for anyone who supports the use at work. — OurPeople puts the company in control. Who accesses content, who can create topics, and who can send broadcasts. There is full transparency of staff engagement on the platform with easy to view reports giving metrics to how often your team communicates.

Features that don’t end with actual results.

While messaging through WhatsApp is a simple way to share ideas, managers must still act on anything discussed to achieve a result. There is no dedicated task list, way to report back to managers a task is done, or communicate any other way other than a reply. Managers have zero visibility to confirm something was understood, read, or completed. Tasks that managers ask to be done usually get lost in the shuffle of messages. It has been found this doesn’t save the manager any time but in fact wastes more time on finding messages to ensure they can properly follow up. — OurPeople has full, automatically generated reports on all broadcasts, lists, and tasks sent out. Managers save time by using OurPeople and the simple to read reports created in the admin console. OurPeople’s platform brings powerful features that have a real benefit to any business. It is a full suite of business tools to improve engagement, communications, drive better culture, and make it easy for staff to digest and respond to.

Fair Labor Standards Act Issues with WhatsApp.

This is a big one that not many managers think about at all when it comes to their hourly workforce. Most hourly employees under FLSA are non-exempt meaning if they are in WhatsApp responding to files, messages, interacting with work content; they rightfully are to be compensated if not on the clock already. WhatsApp fails to protect employers and most importantly the employees. Employees that are not properly compensated for their time worked within the app can recover unpaid wages up to three years back, liquid damages, and attorney fees. — OurPeople ensures that staff and companies are protected by checking to see if someone is deemed working before opening a broadcast. Basic functions that are always expected to work do at the employee’s request. OurPeople always keeps in mind that not everyone is always at work. Staff can snooze or mute notifications for a set period, for example if they are on a day off they can snooze for 24 hours.

OurPeople is built for your people to drive better business.

Clearly if you are using WhatsApp for your business or any other messenger, there are challenges that you have at ensuring everyone is receiving communication. With WhatsApp though you could do more damage than good.

Try a demo of OurPeople and see what it can bring to your business by visiting: https://www.ourpeople.com/

Besides what was listed above there are other great benefits of the OurPeople mobile platform that managers find useful:

Shift cover system built into the mobile platform. There is no longer a message that gets lost in the shuffle or leaves managers out of the loop.

Signature system built into the mobile platform. Managers can send policy updates and receive signatures in agreement to the policy. Great for onboarding, training, and corrective actions.

– Training & Testing built in — Allows for product launches, training, testing, and automatically generates reports for managers to see results of tests.

– Event/Meeting system built in — Allows for a manager to send meeting invites, with ability to have a set amount of seats, auto generates a wait list, and automatically inputs into the calendar of the employee. Allows managers to auto assign skills and take attendance of meeting and saves console side in a report.

Staff Survey & Feedback tools built in — Allows for detailed or informal NPS surveys and has proven better results in honest feedback over other solutions.

– All information within the platform is secured and locked down in a simple “tag” based profile structure. Your company will always be in control.

More Resources from OurPeople

5 Reasons Why Non-Email Communication is Important in the Workplace
5 Ways Smart Forms Can Simplify Work Procedures
3 Tips to Help Keep Your Data Flowing Between Your Teams

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