How can you take advantage of the Digital Workplace to improve your internal communication actions?
1. Build on the company's values and sense of belonging.
The mission (i.e. the reason for the existence of a company) and the vision (the long-term goal that the organization sets for itself and the means it uses to achieve it) are the pillars of any corporate culture.
This mission and this vision are materialized, on a daily basis, by values, embodied by the leaders, but also by the projects carried out, the products or services marketed... These values encourage cohesion and the involvement of employees around principles shared by all. They play a key role in the construction and affirmation of a corporate culture.
According to a survey conducted in June 2020 by Walters People and entitled "Employee expectations: what is changing with the Covid-19 crisis", the values and culture of a company come second in the criteria of candidates (41%), behind the attractiveness of the position and remuneration (75%).
There's no doubt about it: it's important to be clear about your corporate values for two reasons: to attract and retain talent. And according to a 2019 Mission & Culture study conducted by Glassdoor in four countries (US, UK, France, Germany) explains it. According to it, 77% of respondents consider a company's culture before applying for a job. And 79% consider the company's mission before applying for a job.
Within the Digital Workplace, the company's values must therefore be given a front row seat and high visibility. This should not only be on the homepage, but also in the exchange and collaboration spaces, communities, news feeds, through surveys, etc.
2. Highlighting successes (but also understanding failures)
Internal communication departments have the task of keeping abreast of all (or almost all) of the initiatives launched by the teams. Moreover, they must highlight those that are most successful. This highlighting of success, whether individual or collective, is a source of motivation, but also of commitment for the rest of the staff.
By identifying with colleagues who have been successful in their projects, employees become more involved. Moreover, by mimicry or inspiration, they innovate more easily, pursuing tasks they would not have felt capable of before.
It is equally rewarding to highlight failures. Why was a market not opened, why was a product launch postponed... The analysis of the real causes allows the whole company, whatever the hierarchical level, to take ownership of the context of a project that has a priori "failed" and to avoid reproducing it. In short, to improve collectively.
3. Have a sense of timing, play on the news
A Digital Workplace is in essence the heart of the reactor of many organizations. It is where everything is done: exchanges, collaboration, knowledge management, access to business tools and various portals... Communication management teams must therefore take advantage of this central role. How can they do this? By offering content that meets the challenges, i.e. with high added value, constantly updated and in the right timeframe.
If a major political, economic or health event occurs (a Covid-19 pandemic, for example), it is imperative to react to the news and adapt to the situation. Of course, by disseminating information related to the constraints that this crisis implies (wearing masks, gauges, compulsory teleworking, etc.), but also, and above all, by taking an interest in the daily life of employees: their possible connection difficulties, their tips and tricks to work better and keep morale up, their new methods for prospecting from a distance, the solidarity initiatives undertaken, etc.
4. Be transparent in all cases
According to the Edelman Barometer "Trust and the Coronavirus" published in 2021, 51% of French people want more clear information about their company's actions. This desire for transparency concerns questions of security, strategy, investments, etc. The time when only the management committees were aware of the major decisions linked to the company's long-term survival is over. Strategic decisions are shared with the greatest number of people, without any filter.
50 billion contract that slips through your fingers at the last moment, for example...), employees, used to this transparency, will show solidarity with their employer and stick together. If not, there is a risk that everyone will pull the rug out from under themselves, in a protective reflex.
5. Focus on interactivity, above all
The Digital Workplace is the ideal tool for disseminating the company's messages and values, in a rather top-down sense. But it must also, at the risk of missing out on its mission, collect feedback from the field, from employees. This means encouraging comments and reactions within the communities, organizing regular surveys and satisfaction polls, the results of which are then analyzed, communicated and transformed into concrete actions.
According to the Intranet & Digital Working Observatory carried out in 2021 by the firm Arctus, the fluidity of internal communication (52%) comes in second place among the main challenges of digital for companies, behind improving operational efficiency (61%).
But internal communication must also be thought of in a transversal way. Any employee should be encouraged, if he or she so wishes, to post any type of information (idea, remark, suggestion, etc.) to colleagues in his or her department or to the entire company. They can also do so in groups specially designed for this purpose. Their contributions must be made in accordance with a charter of good conduct that they have accepted in advance. No censorship by the manager or the communication department should be allowed to hinder the message.
6. Recreating moments of conviviality, even at a distance
As the health crisis has led to a more hybrid way of working, many managers have been faced with the challenge of preserving the informal exchanges that bring so much benefit to their teams.
Some of them have introduced new regular meetings such as lunches, coffee breaks or virtual aperitifs. Others have relied on surprises by celebrating - at a distance - the signing of new contracts or any new individual or collective success.
Still others have proposed to recreate - remotely - the conditions of face-to-face work. How can this be done? By organizing silent working sessions during which certain employees connect by video conference and work on their files separately, while having the freedom to ask a question to one of their colleagues.
An Ifop / Wittyfit study explains the importance of promoting well-being at work within the company. Indeed, 81% of employees consider this to be their company's priority issue. This figure has increased by 25 points in just two years, according to the firm specializing in surveys and market research.
7. Gamification as a trump card
There is nothing like using games to encourage virtuous behavior among employees and to convey messages in an original (because playful) way. There is a wide range of possibilities when it comes to gamification. Within the Digital Workplace, a points system can be set up to reward employee involvement in communities of practice or in certain groups. These points can then be transformed into badges.
Similarly, before a major announcement or a video conference by one of the company's leaders, a whiteboard workshop can be offered to test the teams' knowledge of the topic to be discussed. And after the announcement has been made, the employees can be invited to meet around a game. The objective will be to validate the appropriation of the message, but also to co-create new offers, for example in the context of a new strategic direction or an acquisition.
As we can see, there are many ways of optimizing the internal communication strategy within a Digital Workplace. Whatever option is taken, simplicity in the devices implemented must systematically be favored. The Digital Workplace is a unique space for work and exchange, so it must be preserved and not unnecessarily overloaded.
Things to remember
📌 Highlighting corporate values;
📌 Highlighting the successes of the teams;
📌 Back to the news
📌 Be transparent
📌 Let the staff take charge
📌 Creating moments of conviviality
📌 Use gamification.