A popular form of company communication was the bulletin board

These are normally located at convenient employee gathering points. It should be noted that the influence of technology, employees on the move, and remote workers have probably undone the viability of bulletin boards. However, there are baseline lessons that are still valuable for internal communication. In this post, I outline these attributes, starting with the positive influences:

  • It’s fast to “publish”. We can easily pin information on a bulletin board.
  • There are no formatting rules. Bulletin boards host a variety of notifications and content in all shapes and sizes. Content matters more than form.
  • The content is easily accessible. This includes for employees who don’t operate their own work PCs.
  • Employees don’t all know each other. Therefore, a bulletin board is a great host for shared activities such as sports events, social organizing, and transportation. It helps create a sense of community.
  • Active bulletin boards create inquisitiveness. Individuals scan them for new notices. This satisfies their need to know what’s going on around them.
  • There’s no extraordinary skills required to review a bulletin board, it applies to all levels of employees.
  • There’s no serious capital investment, and little operational cost.

However, bulletin boards do have their own set of challenges

  • They are not dynamic. Information does not auto expire, so busy boards soon fill with unwanted clutter. Too much information kills information.
  • If not physically maintained, content becomes outdated. The strength of its open approach is also its downfall. Usually, there’s no single authority to keep it current and well organized.
  • There’s no categorization, which makes locating information very inefficient.
  • Remote workers may never have access to a bulletin board.
  • Company matters and community topics can easily overlap each other, meaning that one or the other loses attention.
  • There’s no audience targeting. Content that only applies to a specific group of employees is visible to everyone. Furthermore, company efforts such as opinion polls can’t be facilitated as there’s no automation process.
  • The reach and impact of every notice cannot be measured.

These positive and negative attributes can impact what we need from a digital tool. An effective digital platform should make content targeting logical and easy. For those employees on the move, a mobile device offers a convenient way to access updates and instructions. Notifications to desktop and mobile devices are great attention alerts, while automation should keep information organized and current. A digital platform, by design, assumes there’s an authority that maintains its administration and intended purpose. User profiles should support this. Most importantly, work related matters and community topics need to coexist without one taking attention away from the other.

Conclusion

Tool requirements differ from company to company. There’s no need to overcomplicate digital communication, or to assume that only a high investment will yield positive returns. For many, bulletin boards served a valued purpose for decades.

By Published On: May 4, 2021Tags: ,

About the Author: Martin Brandt

Martin Brandt is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer for JamAngle.