There’s one sure-fire way to get hold of just about anyone these days, and it’s to send off a text message. As long ago as 2016, texting was already ubiquitous. A survey from these simpler times found that consumers preferred texts over emails for communications as diverse as appointment reminders, prescription refills, and system outages from utilities.

Quick, convenient, to the point: what’s not to love about text messaging? Here are some ways you can successfully integrate texting into your HR communications.

Texts can be more visible than emails.

For workers who are concentrating on productivity, email is becoming increasingly low priority. Emails are known distractions, and many professionals are learning to put email on the back-burner, only checking it a couple of times per day.  Front-line workers who don’t rely on email for work might not check their personal email regularly, either.

This makes it far too easy to miss — or ignore — important HR emails, especially when there’s a deadline involved. For last-minute reminders about important matters like benefits enrollment deadlines, text messages get the job done more effectively than emails.

Texts encourage immediate response, so send a text that requests a behavior.

Whether you have a survey to send out or just need your employees to log into their portal and make a selection before a deadline, text messages tend to evoke a quick response. Part of this is because texts are short: as the writer, you’re compelled to keep the messaging tight and the call-to-action clear. As the reader, you see a text as a request with some urgency. If there is a quick, mobile solution to the problem, a majority of employees will simply fill in the requested information on the spot.

Know when email is still the best choice.

Inbox zero might be a distant dream, but we still have to send some things via email. For example, anything that requires a back-and-forth exchange should be via email. Text correspondence can be hard to reference if you need to check back for an answer later. If you’re sending attachments or printables, those should go through email for convenience, as well. Anything that might be needed for legal records? Better keep that in an email, complete with your company’s required legalese.

Use discretion and don’t be a serial-texter.

No one wants constant texts distracting them, especially if they’re from work. Constant reminders and requests will get your number set to “mute” quickly. Go easy on your employees, saving the texting for serious deadlines or occasional requests for information which can easily be provided via smartphone.

Remember text messaging is just one of many communication tools.

There are members of your workforce who will never respond to texts — perhaps because of generational reasons, or because they never chose to opt-in to your text messages in the first place. Respond to the diversity of your audience by offering messaging across a variety of mediums: texts, emails, virtual bulletin boards, notices in break rooms, and verbal spiels in team meetings or virtual town halls.

Do you need some fresh ideas on communication strategies? Talk to us! Web Benefits Design offers a full suite of communication tools which can make your HR outreach efforts more successful right out of the box.

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