Now is the time for an enterprise social network.

Date posted: 19 March 2020  |  Posted in: Communication, Employees

In the current crisis, millions more of us are working from home. But how can businesses keep everyone connected when they’re no longer in the office?  This is when enterprise social network platforms such as Workplace and Yammer will really come into their own, helping to maintain communication, collaboration and connectivity when everyone is working apart. If you haven’t already got one in your organisation or your intranet has no social functionality, now’s the time….

Facebook Workplace is my personal favourite and I had the pleasure of using it again when leading internal comms for Comic Relief last year. It gets great adoption because it’s based on Facebook so people instinctively know how to use it – it’s familiar. (There is a potential downside of the similarity to Facebook though – some people hate Facebook or see it is somewhere to go occasionally which can mean it’s a struggle to get them to engage with it)

Workplace is based on Groups – you can set up ‘official’ Groups such as ‘Company news’ for your company newsfeed and ‘People News’ to introduce new starters etc. And anyone can set up a group and invite people to join.  You can also have a private group for your team to share all the important and not so important stuff, invaluable at times like these when teams are widely dispersed.

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 Q&A session with your CEO, inviting instant feedback, questions etc. (Just make sure the light is good and get a tripod to keep your device still!)  It makes it easy to connect your people with your leadership team and each other.

In summary:

  • Workplace delivers all the benefits you’d want and expect  e.g. employee voice, collaboration, connectivity with leadership, reduction in email traffic
  • It’s USP is ‘no training required’ due to the familiarity of the platform, which leads to better adoption, particularly by millennials
  • Workplace Chat (based on Messenger) provides instant messaging
  • It’s Microsoft friendly – Facebook themselves use Office 365
  • It’s built for mobile first and is secure on personal phones as well as work phones
  • The ability to live broadcast at no additional cost and interact with the audience is brilliant
  • The pricing is good value with a monthly cost per person of $4 for the core version and it’s free to charities and education. There’s also a free basic version which is great for small businesses
  • It’s got great analytics so you can measure engagement
  • 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.

Finally, it’s really easy to get up and running quickly on the platform so if you’re looking to get something in place at speed with everyone suddenly working from home, it’s a great choice.

Slack has also been mentioned a lot on LinkedIn a lot in the current environment. Here is my recent blog on the platform with my view on it as an internal communicator: https://internalcommsteam.co.uk/communication/slack-an-internal-communicators-view/

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