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Texting 101

23 ways to use text messages to communicate with employees

Fatima Puri
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Text messaging is a relatively new way to communicate with employees, but it’s quickly becoming a go-to tool for employers. Most people have their phone on them 24/7 and are more likely to reply to a quick text than to answer a phone call or email; most text messages are read within three minutes of being received.

Texting is especially effective when communicating with hourly employees because they require more constant communication and collaboration than those in an office setting. Employees who are on the go work more off of their cell phones than behind a computer screen. If you work with these employees, texting might be the best way to connect with your employees.

23 ways to use texting to communicate with your employees

1. Send a weekly schedule update

Hi, team! I just sent out the new schedule. Let me know if you have any questions.

2. Share a schedule update

Text message example of sharing an update with employees
Sharing a schedule update with an employee.

3. Let employees know about an open shift

Team, we have an open shift available this Thursday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reply here if you’d like to claim it. Thanks.

4. Ask employees if they can pick up a last-minute shift

Can someone pick up a last-minute shift today from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.? 

5. Share directions to a job site

Good morning, team. I’ve attached a PDF of directions to today’s job site. Please review it thoroughly, and as always, you can reply here with any questions.

6. Give employees more details about a job site 

Heads up that you can park here for today’s service, but the customer requested that no one park in their driveway or on the neighbor’s side. [Picture] 

7. Answer employee questions while they’re on the job

Answering an employee question via text while they’re on the job
Answer employee questions via text while they’re on the job.

8. Ask employees to confirm job location

Hi, Terrance. Can you send me a quick pic of your location? I want to make sure it’s the right site.

9. Ask employees to confirm job completion

Hey, Nick. Can you text me a pic of the garage once it’s done? Thanks!

10. Share a change in payment time

Hi, team. Due to a bug in the system, payroll won’t be going out until Friday morning. We apologize for the inconvenience.

11. Share a change in logging work hours

Hey, y’all. Because the payroll system is down, we need everyone to manually log their hours and email them to Christa for processing. Christa can answer any questions. Thanks!

12. Give information on clocking out

Team, please manually write down your clock-out time while we work to get the system up and running. Thanks.

13. Let employees know payroll is out

Payroll just went out. Please email Sarah with any concerns. Thanks!

14. Share a change in customer or company protocol

Hey, everyone. Due to the spike in covid cases, we are once again implementing a mandatory mask policy. This goes for both vaccinated and unvaccinated employees. Everyone’s health and safety come first.

15. Tell employees about a cancellation due to a weather change 

Hey, team. We have paused construction due to the inclement weather. Please stay off the roads, safe and warm!

16. Alert employees to outstanding paperwork

Hi, Pearla. We need you to fill out your previous employment history before sharing your resume with local hospitals. Let me know once you complete it or if you have any questions. Thanks!

17. Alert employees to referral bonuses 

Good morning, team! We have a ton of open positions we need to fill ASAP. As a reminder, we are offering a $200 referral bonus to anyone who can help us fill these positions. Thanks!

18. Text employees about a group event

Thanks for the hard work, team! Lunch is on us today. We have tacos, chips, and salsa in the break room.

19. Send a code of conduct reminder

Hey, team. Just a reminder that bathrooms are closed to customers due to the pandemic. We have the bathrooms sanitized hourly but need everyone’s help to keep them clean.

20. Send a thank you message

Thank you all for a killer month. We couldn’t have done it without everyone’s efforts. 

21. Remind employees about a day off

Hey, team. A reminder that we will be off on Monday for Labor Day. Have a great three-day weekend!

22. Remind employees about company contests 

Hey, y’all! Don’t forget we are starting our steps challenge tomorrow in an effort to be healthier. We have prizes for first and second place (and they’re really, really good!)

23. Send an annual certification renewal reminder

Hey, everyone. Don’t forget to complete your yearly Sexual Harassment Training. Please email Christa with a copy of your certificate as proof of completion. 

When NOT to text your employees

While texting your employees is convenient for most parties, it has its limitations like any other platform. Texting is best for short, concise messages with a direct call to action. A phone call or email might be better if you send a detailed message with multiple task items.

You also want to be careful of how often and when you text your employees. Texting employees for work-related issues outside of work hours can disturb their work/life balance and give them a negative employee experience. You may also have to compensate them if you ask them to do work in these text messages outside of work hours if they are hourly employees. You can learn more about texting employees outside work hours in our article “Texting employees off the clock.”

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