Are you in an email communication rut? 20 alternatives for better comms

Ding. Ding. Ding.  Email. Email. Email… For many compliance professionals, communication takes place only one way – via email.  It’s estimated that the average employee receives 121 emails per day.  While email can be a valuable way to communicate en masse about compliance policies and requirements, it’s not always the best way to communicate.  What else can you do?

There are a variety of great ways to communicate to the whole employee population.  Not only can some of these channels be more effective than email, but by varying the way you communicate, you’re more likely to engage your employees and pique their curiosity.  If you’re in an email rut, how can communicate more effectively?  Here’s a checklist of 20 communication channels that you can use instead of email.  Why not try:

o   Videos from compliance

o   Videos from the CEO / managers

o   Intranet messaging

o   Screensaver messages

o   Via e-learning platform

o   Live meetings

o   Live training

o   Whitepapers

o   Podcasts

o   Cartoons

o   Webinars

o   Call-in Q&A

o   Live chat within a Go-to-Meeting, Zoom, Adobe Connect or other live remote medium

o   Posters in the office

o   Skit / flash mob / unexpected gathering or performance

o   Blogs

o   Commenting in the comments section on the internal communications system / intranet

o   Yammer / Facebook for work group

o   Manager cascades / toolkits

o   Hashtag set specifically for #Compliance-related posts on your internal systems

o   Infographics

As you make your communication plan, pick out differing ways to reach your employees.  Choose the most pertinent topics, then choose the medium that best fits that topic. 

For instance, let’s say that you need to communicate on two topics by the end of the year: (1) the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to employees handling European personal data; and (2) the $100 limit on gifts, and the requirement to add any gift given or received to the hospitality log. 

While email could be used to communicate about GDPR, it might be more effective to create a white-paper that affected employees can refer to easily, which will include much more detail than an email, as well as more graphics.  Likewise, instead of sending an email about the gift policy, perhaps you can put a notice on the screensavers of all employees.  It could say something as simple as, “Remember, if you buy or receive a gift, it has to be under $100 and you need to log it in the hospitality log.”  One succinct sentence used as a screensaver can be seen over and over again throughout a day, instead of ignored in a pile of email.

With a little planning and creativity, you can make your communications significantly more effective and more fun for your employees.  People pay attention to the unexpected, and by mixing up your communication channels, you’ll keep them on their toes, and paying attention.