Organizations of all sizes and cultures see the value in preparing for emergencies. In fact, recent research indicates that a whopping 86% of American organizations have an emergency communications plan in place. Undoubtedly this is the case because time and again they have been proven to be the backbone of a facility’s communication infrastructure. However, utilizing an emergency communication plan with a mass notification system greatly increases efficiencies within your organization.
As technology continues to drive advancements in communication, mass notification systems can become more efficient for you by keeping pace. More moderns ones come with enhanced features and capabilities that could only be imagined a few years ago.
With the increased prevalence of mobile devices and easy-to-reach communication channels like text messages and app pushes, today’s mass notification systems need to be communication systems, not just notification systems.
7 Red Flags You Need to Upgrade Your Mass Notification System
But is your current notification system up to date with recent technology and software advancements? These advancements may make you realize the need to enhance the overall effectiveness of your communication system. Here are 7 signs that indicate you need to upgrade:
1. Your system allows only one-way communication
Long gone are the days of one-way notifications, where you could send messages and only hope that your target audience will receive, read and act on them. Those systems could only allow you to broadcast top-down messages. But what we have now are systems that allow you to have two-way interactions with your recipients. During a disaster, the employees can feedback if they need assistance or provide insights into the disaster especially if they are close to it.
Dispersed, two-way communication presents a valuable opportunity for companies to understand their workforce better, ultimately leading to better-informed managers and more effective management decisions. Be informed that one-way communication systems are way past their expiry date. If you’re still holding on to such one, don’t be left behind; upgrade!
2. The communication is not reaching all intended recipients
In practical terms, a mass notification system should relay information quickly and efficiently, largely due to the fact it is multi-channel. It allows recipients to choose the way they want to receive their notifications. In that case, if ever an employee says, “I didn’t receive your message” that’s a wakeup call that your system needs an upgrade. For sure no matter how great that system may be, it is of no value if communication is not received. Establish why some employees are not receiving messages. Could it be that they receive notifications via email and their address has changed? Or is the system itself not delivering messages to certain recipients? That’s a clear indication that your system is crying for an upgrade.
3. You have no way of communicating with offline employees
Considering the international, diversified, and highly mobile nature of modern personnel, mass notification systems should empower you to communicate with far-flung staff. But recent research revealed that the majority of organizations had not effected a solution to contact offline employees, such as those who are traveling, working remotely or who are not connected round-the-clock. If you are one of them, you need to upgrade!
4. Your system uses only the traditional channel of communication
The chances are high that phone and internet services will be interrupted in the event of a disaster. That means your communication system should not be limited to those two channels. A modernized system should allow you to send messages across various channels synchronously. It should distribute information rapidly, and people can be informed via a variety of devices and channels including landlines, mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and desktops using voice, text and e-mail messages and social media updates. In the event of a disaster, increasing the channels of delivery increases readership and response time. If your system is not multi-channeled, don’t wait for a disaster to happen before you upgrade.
5. Your system does not give you any analytical feedback
The latest systems can allow you to receive and analyze vital feedback from recipients in real-time and to see detailed analytics on how to optimize your future communications. For instance, they can display charts and visual meters to show progress at a glance including when the alerts you sent were opened and when they were responded to.
Better still you can use such tools as surveys and polls to improve engagement with your personnel. Such feedback is vital to help to know if your investment is working and also identify areas where there can be an improvement in communication. If your current notification system doesn’t have these features, why then should you get trapped in the past? It’s time to move on. Upgrade.
6. Your Organization has Undergone Changes
Ask yourself: Has there been changes in your organization over the past year or decade? If so, what are these changes? It could be anything from expansion hence recruits, adoption of newer technology, change in management, or even rebranding. Or probably you now need to communicate in multiple languages. Have these changes impacted your staff, your goals, or the overall running of your business?
If yes, then the next logical question for you would be, Is your business adapting to these changes or are you falling behind? Specifically, is your mass notification system up-to-date with your current organization’s status and standards? If it doesn’t, then you’re not getting value for your investment. You’re better off upgrading your system.
7. Your system doesn’t have map views and geofencing capabilities
A major trend of the latest mass communication systems is geofencing, that is, a system with “location-aware” capabilities. This is a significant feature recognizing that, by their nature, disasters are location-based. For many, this is a game-changer as these systems allow you to establish physical areas as virtual fences and target your messages to people within those areas, both when they enter and when they exit the geofence.
It’s no fiction that these systems can provide on a map a virtual headcount of how many people are in a given area of a facility and provide valuable insight into their proximity to danger. By a simple click or selection on the map, you can geofence an audience, thus sending an alert just to those people on the fenced area. Just think of how this feature can be lifesaving in a fire incident or a mass-shooter scenario! If this geofencing feature is an eye-opener, you need to consider upgrading your system urgently.
Avoid a Mass Communication Miscommunication by Staying Up-To-Date With Advancements
In the words of famous 19th Century Danish Poet Søren Kierkegaard “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” Don’t get stuck to an antiquated notification system. Use the flaws of your current system to upgrade to modern, comprehensive communication systems. Pocketstop’s RedFlag mass notification is a modern, state-of-the-art communication system, packed full of features that make communication easy and efficient for our clients. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
RedFlag is a powerful system fully integrated with multiple communication channels. It is not only easy to use and easy to manage; it also comes equipped with options that go beyond traditional sirens and fire alarms. It has been designed and programmed with business continuity planning in mind giving our loyal customers streamlined communication options that allow seamless communication to pre-defined audiences across a range of options.