Over the past five years, Instant messaging (IM) has moved from being the place for banter and jokes to a resource to quickly communicate with colleagues about work and projects. IM is now a great way to improve communication within the company. It allows employees to quickly and easily communicate with each other, which can improve efficiency and productivity.
In order to get the most out of IM, however, you need to make sure you’re using it correctly. Here are a few tips for improving internal communications with IM.
What is instant messaging and why is it a valuable communications tool for businesses?
Instant messaging (IM) is a valuable communications tool that enables businesses to send and receive messages in real time. With IM, businesses can quickly and easily communicate with colleagues, clients, and partners.
Once only relegated to B2C, there are now a number of different instant messaging platforms available for businesses, including the popular Microsoft Teams or Slack. Each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, so businesses should carefully consider which platform is best suited for their needs.
Instant messaging has come a long way over the years. Text messages are now accompanied by images, files, videos or even GIFs and memes. A versatile communications tool, IM can be used for a variety of purposes, including team meetings, client consultations, and sales negotiations.
On top of that, security has come to the forefront of IM, with many software providing end-to-end encryption, ensuring that conversations are private and confidential.
How can instant messaging be used to improve internal communications?
Organisations are increasingly using instant messaging (IM) to improve internal communications. IM can be used to communicate with co-workers quickly and easily, whether they are in the same office or scattered around the globe. As mentioned before, IM can also be used to share files, links, and other information.
IM has several advantages over other forms of communication. First, as the name suggests, it’s immediate. Messages appear as soon as they are sent, which is especially useful for urgent messages or quick questions.
Second, IM is informal. This can make it more comfortable for people to communicate, which can help reduce the anxiety that can sometimes accompany communication.
Third, IM is asynchronous. This means that people can send messages at their convenience, which can be helpful when people are busy or when there is a time difference.
What are the benefits of IM on internal communications?
IM can be a powerful tool for improving internal communications. Organisations that use IM to communicate effectively can reap a number of benefits, including improved team productivity, increased efficiency, and better customer service. Let’s dive deeper into each of them.
Improved team productivity and efficiency
IM can be a great tool to improve your team’s productivity. Because of its instant nature, it allows employees to communicate quickly, efficiently, and without having to write lengthy emails or having to get on a call.
While IM can’t replace face-to-face meetings, it’s a great tool for dispersed teams, especially in the hybrid working era, to get things done regardless of location.
Enhanced collaboration and camaraderie
We’ve mentioned the hybrid working era, so it’s only fair to continue with one of the most relevant benefits of IM: enhanced collaboration. Thanks to IM, employees can stay connected, and share files, images or even GIFs – all while sitting at their desks, whether in the office or at home.
As more and more people work away from the office, your business should ensure employees still feel connected and part of the team. IM can help with that by replicating the feeling of the ‘water cooler chat’ through quick, informal and immediate conversations.
When part of a unified communications solution (often the standard nowadays), IM can help consolidate communications onto one platform. This can help employees by reducing complexity, ensuring information is readily available and improving communications across teams.
For IT teams, this also means a lot less hassle dealing with different providers and tools.
How can you make the most out of instant messaging for internal communications?
As we’ve mentioned, IM can be a great way for businesses to communicate internally, but it’s important to make sure that you’re getting the most out of it. Here are a few tips for doing just that:
Make sure everyone who needs access to IM has it
Everyone on your team should have access to the same tools and features in order to make sure collaboration and communications is uniform and efficient across the company.
Establish clear rules for using IM, and make sure everyone follows them
One of the biggest problems with IM can be ensuring everyone in the business is using the same tool, and that they’re doing so appropriately. Before this technology grew in popularity, it was common for employees to just choose whichever tool worked for them, with no policy or consult from IT.
Nowadays, business-grade solutions such as Microsoft Teams are easier for IT to manage, granted clear rules and policies are in place across the business.
Use IM for quick, informal communications, and reserve email for more formal messages
The best use of IM is for informal conversations, rather than lengthy messages. Traditional communications solutions such as email still play an important part in business communications, and IM should not be used to replace them, but rather to complement them.
Take advantage of all the features IM has to offer, including chat, file sharing, and voice and video calling
As we’ve mentioned, IM has come a long way over the past few years. Along with text messages, voice calls, video conferencing, audio messages, file sharing and GIFs play a huge part in how people communicate and use IM. The interactive nature of this technology can help employees get their emotions and thoughts across in a more informal, yet efficient way.
Train your employees on how to use IM effectively
You want to make sure everyone is on the same platform and is using it appropriately. This is especially important when deploying a new platform. Your employees need to understand the benefits of this new tool and how it’s going to play a part in their day-to-day working lives.
Failure to do so could mean they choose to ignore the tool, and your business would have wasted time and money in the process.
Are you ready to improve your internal communications with instant messaging?
Instant messaging is the perfect tool to improve your internal communications. When integrated with a UC platform, it can also help you improve external communications, customer experience and client relationships. Find out more about unified communications on our dedicated page.