Embrace Mobile to Open Up to Your Employees

We know that technology is changing just about everything -- and quickly -- but one major shift is flying under the radar.

 

Mobile use, which encompasses smartphones and tablets, is increasing at a rapid pace. That’s not only changing how your customers and clients find you, but how you manage and interact with your own employees.

 

Consider a recent statistic from a Fortune 500 IT services company: 29% of Millennials in the workplace expect an instant answer to their questions. Instant. Not in an hour, not tomorrow, but right now.

 

If everyone is in the same room, that’s not too tough. That’s usually not how it works, though. The landscape is shifting whether you’re ready for it or not, so it’s time to think about how to embrace mobile technology in a way that fits what your employees need.

 

Web designers and marketers will push the virtues of adaptive, mobile-friendly websites, but as a leader, you need to be adaptive, too. Just a few changes can improve communication with your team and make everything run more smoothly without causing additional stress.

 

Make Yourself Available

 

It might sound crazy to open a direct line of communication between you and all your employees, but that conduit carries tremendous benefits. Something as simple as a open WhatsApp group that allows questions to flow directly to you sends a strong message to employees that you’re there for them and willing to listen.

 

Up to 5,000 users can be added to a WhatsApp group, which means that everyone has a chance to speak and follow along when others do. It’s not anonymous, so the accountability’s there, and you’ll see who’s taking initiative to solve problems as you demonstrate that you’re on top of everything.

 

Embrace Transparency

 

Once you’ve got a channel of mobile communication with your employees, do that thing so many workers feel management seldom does -- be open and honest. Talk about your successes and challenges, show the dialogue, and let everyone in.

 

Paper-based monthly newsletters don’t do it anymore, and e-mail newsletters can be even worse. But real-time access to pertinent information? That’s appealing. Everyone loves to lurk, especially when it’s relevant to them.

 

Let Go

 

You don’t want to get too wrapped up in real-time mobile communication, and chances are your employees will be judicious about what they ask and when. But it’s important to remember that it’s not all about you -- it’s especially not about you, actually -- and that your best bet is to let conversations play out without your micromanagement.

 

If it’s a benefits or HR question, let your liaison with your PEO partner handle it. If it’s a numbers thing, let your CFO drive the conversation. You don’t have to do it all (and you shouldn’t).

 

And you’ll be surprised at who steps up to participate actively. Sit back, follow along, and pay attention to who’s handling conversations capably and who’s coming out of the shadows to provide value.

 

By embracing mobile communication channels, you open yourself up to your employees and empower them to be open, too. It’s cheap, it’s simple, and you’ll be able to nip a host of problems in the bud while you identify your leadership superstars. With value like that, it’s easy to see why mobile technology is becoming ubiquitous -- and why one of the best tools for your growth and productivity is already sitting in your pocket.

Rodney Steele