By Luke McNeal, Director, Workplace by Facebook
A successful business is a business that gets the most out of its prized assets – its people. As a result, productivity is a primary focus for any leader of a business, large or small.
With 77% of companies believing email is now an ineffective form of communication and 45% of employees saying instant messaging tools increase workplace productivity, collaboration and communication tools are rapidly becoming part of the foundation of forward-thinking companies.
This phenomenon is a part of a broader industry trend in the fight to breakdown rigid hierarchies, and a greater emphasis on soft skills, that are combining totransform leadership in the workplace.
That being said, owners and leaders of any business are busy. It’s not always easy to find the time to communicate and collaborate with employees, especially when the organisation includes deskless workers spread across different locations and geographies. To combat this, leaders are implementing new workplace technologies to make their organisations flatter, create collaborative relationships and ultimately, build more productive communities through improved company conversations.
Use of Groups to streamline company interactions
As emails become burdensome and out of date, data intranets and information silos are hindering knowledge sharing. This means that leaders are looking to new workplace technologies to streamline company interactions. With internal communications being the backbone of any business, it is becoming increasingly important for business communications to be able to cut through everyday noise and enable leaders to share and quickly disseminate mission critical messages. In addition, communication within Groups allows for targeted and strategic engagement where teams can workshop and problem solve in a flexible and dynamic environment.
Chat functions to facilitate two-way communication
The breakdown of one way communications is integral to giving employees the opportunity to voice their opinion about the activity occurring in their place of employment. When leaders implement the use of chat functions, we have seen the increase of collaborative projects, staff engagement and the sharing of opinions. As immediate access to leaders through chat functions is so open, transparent and easy, remote workers are all involved in one conversation, working towards one business goal. Additionally, chat functions allow for leaders to take the pulse of their organisation and therefore better identify where issues or processes could be handled better.
Mobile friendly to include the frontline worker
The frontline worker has historically been a tough employee to continually motivate and engage and we know from our Deskless not Voiceless research that while 86% of employees feel connected to their direct co-workers, only 14% feel connected to their business HQ. When team members are isolated or disconnected from a greater purpose, morale tends to decline and as too does staff retention. With the implementation of collaboration tools, leaders are able to both motivate and engage those on the frontline as they remove issues of timezones, rosters and geography. With most workplace technologies often mobile-first, there is no need for a desktop, a laptop, or even a work email to participate in the company conversations.
24 hour accessibility to help connect a disparate workforce
Businesses with a disparate workforce, spread across multiple cities, states and timezones have even an greater set of challenges when it comes to building a productive community. Its typical that major organisational announcements will slowly trickle down from a few at the top and may not reach those on the front line. Whilst this is certainly one way of getting the word out, it is definitely not the most effective. At Workplace we often find that our Live Video feature is a favourite of leaders as it allows them to engage in conversations with individuals or large groups of people, at any time. When leaders utilise live video to get their messages across, it allows them to connect with employees at all locations across their organisation, no matter their level. For small business owners who are time poor and have a workforce that implement a roster, whereby team members are available at different times, Workplace by Facebook allows for an on demand version of the recording for employees to catch up on later. Similarly, with not all organisations having employees with a desktop computer and an email address, it can allow leaders to connect with their teams as they can access the information via their mobile phone.
Workplace technologies are making businesses more productive
As business leaders work to break down the silos that can come with leadership positions, they are changing the way that they communicate which in turn is enhancing productivity. Utilising the tools offered by workplace technologies, leaders are able to flatten rigid structures and increase transparency, all the while encouraging collaboration and innovation in businesses both big and small. By finding better ways to connect their organisation, business leaders are also finding better ways to connect with their organisation.
As Head of Workplace by Facebook, Asia Pacific & Japan, Luke leads the Workplace teams around the region, scaling platform adoption across diverse industries and markets. Workplace by Facebook is a SaaS platform bringing Facebook’s consumer technology to the Enterprise and transforming the way companies work. https://www.facebook.com/workplace