Most company handbooks have policies that seek to limit cell phones at work: ostensibly, to control inappropriate phone and camera usage. But, according to the latest statistics, there are an estimated 290 million active wireless subscriber connections in the United States: that’s a lot of phones to try to control. Maybe our policies and efforts should be about harnessing this technology to make employee communications and engagement easier and more effective. Companies might be better off obtaining employee cell phone numbers and texting information to them in ways that might improve two-way communications in the workplace: broadcasting pre-shift information, receiving absence-related texts, two-way texting in emergency situations, sending important management messages that contain You Tube attachments, conducting micro-training, and more, could all be accomplished using this technology. Then managers could follow up to confirm awareness in ways that promote face to face communications: that way everyone’s engaged. There’s no reason to have ineffective policies that few people follow, especially when there are creative ways to effectively use all of these smartphones at work. Try utilizing technology to improve employee communications and engagement today.
Peter Roskam (b. 1961): U.S. Representative for Illinois's 6th congressional district