An internal communication tool can benefit your organization in many ways. One of them? It facilitates bottom-up communication—an inclusive communication approach that encourages employees at all levels to contribute insight and ideas to internal dialogue for a more well-rounded, innovative company.
Now, you might be thinking…
“I just don’t want to encourage bottom-up communication in my organization.”
We get it. Change is scary. If your company has been communicating with your employees from a top down communication approach, it’s a tough pill to swallow when someone comes along and suggests a different internal communication strategy than what you’re used to.
We’re passionate about empowering frontline employees and giving every single worker a voice within the organization. Doing so requires a commitment to bottom-up communication that can be scary — but the best internal communication tools can also revolutionize morale, productivity, and even improve the quality of life for your frontline employees.
Trust us. We’ve heard all the concerns about bottom-up management there are. But the reality is that top-down communication just isn’t enough anymore.
Your employees want to be engaged. They want to hear real talk from you. They want to feel included. They want to be part of the team. So let them. Give them the chance to be heard.
The results just might just exceed your wildest expectations of what an internal communications tool could ever do for your business.
Here’s how bottom-up communication with an internal communication tool can transform your business for the better. . .
First of All, What Is Bottom-Up Internal Communication?
According to our friends at smartsheet, bottom-up communication. . .
“Revolves around the inclusion of all employees, their ideas, and their perceptions of the business in order to make the most informed decisions.”
We’ve illustrated how the hierarchy of information flows within an organization in this pyramid of communications.
When there is a disconnect between the flow of information between these three hierarchical layers within an organization, the business becomes vulnerable to morale-crushing problems like high turnover, complacency, and misinformation.
Pro tip: Build participation and engagement over your online communication tools by starting with an employee survey.
Why Bottom-Up Communication Is More Important Than Ever
Start by asking yourself this question: how does information flow within the organization? If you’ve been strictly following a top down communication style, flip that strategy on its head. With the employee experience top of mind for many companies these days, bottom-up communication is an essential component of improving the employee experience at an organization.
When looking for the best internal communication tools to facilitate bottom-up communication in your company, avoid consumer-grade platforms like WhatsApp and GroupMe. While these are good for conversing with friends and sharing photos, they lack the robust data security that an organization needs in a team communication tool.
Here are just a few reasons why bottom-up communication is more important than ever.
1) Encourage Collaboration
Companies without bottom-up communication are in danger of becoming siloed — one of the biggest motivation killers of all time. When employees are encouraged to work together, it creates a sense of community, which is an essential element of employee retention.
In our recent study on company culture within the hospitality industry, we found that participants consistently cited the strong relationships they enjoyed with their co-workers as a major part of building a strong company culture.
2) Build Morale
When your employees feel included and valued, they thrive. Not only does higher morale improve workplace relationships, your employees will be happier, too.
Low morale can have disastrous consequences for your business. It seeps into every aspect of your company, from productivity levels to customer service.
According to one study in the National Social Science Journal,
“The employee environment is very important and morale must be maintained. Researchers revealed that 69% of workers experienced condescending behavior and that these workers would be more likely to make derogatory comments about their company to others. This could affect customer base ultimately preventing customer loyalty and possible loss of profits. This survey also suggested that 40% slowed down so that deadlines were not met, and 43% were rude to a customer or client.”
3) Give employees a sense of ownership, which makes them more invested
Do you want a labor force who does the bare minimum just to scrape by? Or do you want employees who consistently go above and beyond to help the company succeed?
Bottom-up communication not only improves morale, it actually makes your employees — from management to the frontlines — feel more emotionally invested in their work.
4) Crowdsource Solutions
When everyone in the company is motivated to solve a problem, the problem gets solved much faster than if just one person is tasked with figuring it out themselves.
The more that teams, individuals, and locations are talking to each other and sharing information, the more shared knowledge the company has, which makes it better poised to solve problems.
What makes a company more competitive? A thriving, innovative workforce. Including every level of worker in your internal communication strategy creates a channel for ideas to flow. Use your team communication tool in ways that engage your workforce and catalyze innovation.
- Align employees to the company’s vision and goals
- Create cross-functional teams to generate ideas.
- Elicit feedback on business strategies and product ideas
Internal communication applications allow you to tap into the rich reservoir of diverse ideas that live in your workforce.
6) Improve the Customer Experience
Enabling bottom-up communication gives a voice to a valuable segment of your staff—frontline workers. They are your brand ambassadors, and the team with the most interaction with your customers.
An internal communication tool allows frontline workers to give the C-suite valuable feedback on the customer experience. Their insight and ideas can help your leadership team design strategies to improve the customer experience.
15 Must-Have Features of an Internal Communication Tool
Not all online communication tools are created equal. If you’re going to commit to promoting bottom-up communication within the company, then you need to be really picky about which technology you use to facilitate it.
The best internal communication applications will have these 15 features:
- Digital signage: Broadcast your company’s messaging everywhere — from the break room to the boardroom.
- Document management: Put everything your team needs in one place.
- Real-time communication: Because when you’re out on the floor, you need information now.
- Push notifications: So you’ll always stay up to date.
- Employee recognition: Because everyone deserves a pat on the back for a job well done.
- Cloud-based file sharing: Because storage fees are ridiculous.
- Commenting: Hence the whole “bottom-up” communication thing
- Analytics: Know for sure that what you’re doing is actually working
- Voice messaging: Because sometimes you just don’t have the time to type out a message
- Fair Play rules: Because guidelines are a good thing.
- Location management: Because different teams and locations have different needs
- Shift schedules: Let employees manage their own schedules.
- Data privacy: Built-in privacy for cloud-based platforms are necessary in the age of GDPR laws.
- Surveys: Get feedback from every employee, even anonymously.
- Inline translation: To be truly inclusive you need an internal communication tool that connects every employee.
Pro tip: Your platform should also be mobile-friendly, and ideally it should have an app version as well as a desktop version of the software. This way, it meets the needs of both desk and non-desk workers.
Why You Need the Best Internal Communication Tools for Bottom-Up Communication
A strong internal communications tool is a must-have for any company with a mobile workforce.
Your platform should empower employees, foster connection, facilitate employee engagement, and increase team productivity through streamlined communications.
See how Wireless Vision uses Beekeeper to streamline their operations.
Beekeeper’s internal communication tool gives companies a single place to hold important information that’s easily accessible to those who need it.
Here are the top ten benefits of Beekeeper:
1) A Customized Experience
Our open API makes it easy to implement application integrations giving your company the optimal experience. Beekeeper’s internal communications tool streamlines your experience to meet the unique needs of your organization. Our list of application integrations can be found on the Beekeeper Marketplace. These integrations can help leaders in your HR department, communications leaders, operations management, and Business Leaders.
2) Easy to Access Updates
Beekeeper connects employees from different offices and locations. This is especially important for a business communication app when you need to send out updates to all of your locations.
Administrators on a team app can access an analytics dashboard to see how employees are using the app. Management can see what strategies are working or not working when trying to reach the entire workforce.
4) Data Privacy
For managers concerned about security on Beekeeper’s internal communication tool, Beekeeper has a full list of security compliances including GDPR, ISO 27001:2013, and HIPAA security.
5) Personal Privacy
With Beekeeper, users don’t need to provide personal information to connect with others. If you need to get a hold of someone, you don’t need to add them to your contact list by phone number or email, you can contact them directly from the app.
6) Multiple Ways to Add Users
Not every employee will have a company email address. Beekeeper is the internal communication tool where administrators can add users based on QR codes or individual usernames. To add a user with a QR code, an administrator pulls up a code on their phone, and the new user scans it once they download the app.
7) Communication Streams
Internal communication channels can get confusing with different messages getting funneled through one channel. Beekeeper customers can create communication streams dedicated to messages relevant to the specific topic for organized workflows.
8) Peer-to-Peer Communication
Facilitating bottom-up communication also means creating a network for workers to connect with one another. This is where that valuable collaboration happens. Facilitating this connection between employees boosts productivity with the ability for workers to share information, documents, videos or links with one another in real time.
9) Confirmation Campaigns
Beekeeper’s confirmation campaigns can ensure employees are receiving and reading important communication. This feature is extra important for companies with frontline workers who have less in-person contact with managers than desk-based colleagues.
10) Employee Directory
Connecting with colleagues is easy when every employee’s name is in one place. With the built-in directory, Beekeeper makes it easy for everyone in an organization with a big, dispersed workforce to connect and send messages.
How Does Implementing Beekeeper’s Online Communication Tools Work?
Our internal communication tool can be easily adopted into your mobile workforce. If you’re interested in learning more about how Beekeeper can help you, you will be connected to a member of our customer success team.
They will meet with you to understand how your current internal communications operate and what you hope to gain. Together we will draw up a plan to achieve your communication goals.
Once you are ready to move forward, our team will share insight and provide tools to successfully implement Beekeeper. Once you start rolling out our team communication tool, share with us the impact on your internal communications, employee engagement, and team productivity! From here, we can work to build out communication strategies for the year.
We want to know what you’re interested in seeing. This helps us shape our demo so we can give you a clear understanding of how Beekeeper can work for you. This demo includes an overview of Beekeeper as a mobile team communication app and a desktop platform.
Beekeeper is the chosen internal communication tool for a large number of companies across a wide range of industries including Hilton, Seaboard Foods, and Dominos. Find out how your company can implement Beekeeper’s internal communication tool to improve workplace productivity.