Frontline Employee Communications: 3 Reasons Not to Use WhatsApp

Jan 15, 2021 10:11:52 AM

Employee experience

Personal messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are now such an integral part of our day to day lives that they might seem like the obvious choice for communicating with your frontline teams.

They’re easy to use, they’re cost-effective, and you can almost guarantee that your employees will already have the apps on their phone. 

But upon closer examination, they might not be the best solution.

Personal messaging platforms, convenient though they are, can be detrimental to keeping your frontline teams in the loop. Not only can informal channels put confidential information in jeopardy, but they can even put the entire organization at risk. 

If you’re currently using a personal messaging platform for your internal communications, here are some challenges you might be facing:


1. It’s difficult to keep confidential information and company data secure

Frontline employees often work in industries with very high turnover rates, such as retail and hospitality. With employees leaving the company so frequently, it’s important to have a strategy to deal with the issue of confidentiality.

Unfortunately, employees who have left your company can still be present in WhatsApp groups. Even when removed from a group, all messages and pictures received will stay on their phones, Google Drive or Apple iCloud through backups. 

Not only that, but there’s also a GDPR issue at stake with the likes of WhatsApp - anybody can be added to a group, even without their consent. And after a recent update in their privacy policy, it has become virtually impossible for users to opt out of sharing their data with WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook.


2. Personal messaging platforms create rigid silos that prevent information flow

Admins have little control over the information being shared via private messages or groups they are not part of. This can lead to information ending up in the wrong hands, as well as a lack of visibility into the frontline employee experience.


3. It’s hard to keep employees in the loop

Using personal messaging platforms, it’s impossible to flag messages and updates as urgent, making it harder to keep frontline employees in the loop. This is now even more critical, as guidelines are constantly changing and employees often have to implement new tech or new operating procedures with just a few days’ - or sometimes even a few hours’ - notice.

It’s also impossible to send targeted messages to each role type and department, unless you’re using multiple segmented WhatsApp groups - an inefficient tactic that can be very hard to manage. Personal messaging platforms simply don’t have the capabilities to ask employees for feedback or get an accurate reading of how your frontline workers might be feeling, meaning HQ can’t keep their finger on the pulse.

And let’s be honest with ourselves here, there’s a reason we mute our notifications for all the WhatsApp groups we’re in. 


But there are other ways you can communicate internally thanks to the implementation of a professional internal communications tool.  


Why every organization needs a dedicated internal communications tool for their frontline teams 

A purpose-built frontline employee communications tool is essential for businesses that want to thrive in 2021. 

It has all the qualities that make the likes of WhatsApp so popular - intuitive and easy to navigate, with push notifications and the ability to add photos, videos and GIFs - while still being professional.


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It provides secure messaging, be it 1-to-1, group chats, or targeted messaging, so that the right people always receive the right information. 

An intuitive news feed allows updates to be shared to specific groups, and important updates can be pinned to avoid getting lost in the data stream. And unlike personal messaging platforms, leavers lose access to the app and any sensitive information immediately.

Having your own purpose-built communications platform also gives you a level of analysis that you wouldn’t otherwise have. Metrics such as adoption rate, user activity, and comments give you greater insight into how your frontline employees interact with the organization and with their colleagues.


RELATED: 7 Surprising Employee Engagement Metrics to Track for Frontline Employees


And of course, it means that you always have a reliable point of contact - such as your own customer success manager or customer support team - to deal with any queries or problems you might be having.


By giving your frontline teams the right internal communications tool, you can keep everyone in the loop and keep the personal and professional separate.

Want to know more about how YOOBIC can help you empower your frontline teams with a secure and user-friendly internal communications platform?