Workplace – not just for the cool brands! By ICT MD Jos Harrison
With digital channels becoming an ever-increasing feature in our work as an agency, late last year I attended a Workplace by Facebook seminar organised by Facebook and the IOIC.
In my experience, when asked to invest in an ESN, the three main concerns from businesses are;
- Will people adopt and use it?
- Is it secure?
- And when the content is constantly moving how does anyone find anything?
Workplace has some great stats on the number of active users and groups in organisations using Workplace and I think that’s down to the fact that most people have or have had Facebook so they know how to use it – it’s familiar. And they have industry-leading security controls so there’s no need to worry about your data. There’s a search function for when you need to find something and it also integrates with repositories you might already be using or have a licence for like; Box, OneDrive, Google Docs etc.
You can set up Groups such as ‘Company news’ for your company newsfeed and you can also have one just for your team to share all the important and not so important stuff and they will get notifications on their phone. They don’t have to have a work phone either – it’s even secure on their personal one which your IT Security team will love!
My personal favourite feature though is the live video, just like Facebook live which you may have used or seen. You can just point and shoot your tablet or phone to broadcast your ‘Town Hall’ or a message from your CEO and invite instant feedback, questions etc. It makes it easy to connect your people with your leadership team and each other. It’s instant, giving your people real-time content and information at their fingertips, which is the way the world works nowadays and it shouldn’t stop when you get to work.
I’m starting to sound like a paid partner for Workplace but here at the ICT we’re 100% independent and we also like Yammer. In our internal comms reviews we make recommendations on digital channels that are right for the organisation we’re working with.
- Workplace delivers all the benefits you’d expect from an ESN e.g. employee voice, collaboration, connectivity with leadership
- It’s USP is ‘no training required’ due to the familiarity of the platform, which leads to better adoption, particularly by millennials who are ever increasing in the workforce
- Microsoft friendly – Facebook themselves use Office 365
- It’s built for mobile first
- The ability to live broadcast at no cost and interact with the audience is brilliant
- The pricing is good value at £2.16 per user per month (dropping to £1.44 after the first 1000 users)
- It’s not an ‘intranet killer’ – you still need a place where people can go and obtain content / forms etc. that’s standing still and easy to find and download
Major brands like Virgin Atlantic, Booking.com, Spotify, Dominos and Starbucks have adopted the platform. Ah yes I know what you’re thinking – they’re all cool / digital brands, would it be right for a more traditional corporate? Well RBS were one of the presenters at the seminar and they love it. And we do too – we’ve adopted it here at the Internal Comms Team as our in-house social network.