Challenging internal communication environments are not simply the domain of large businesses spread across multiple jurisdictions. SMEs have their own set of challenges, with workforces often comprising a combination of part-time and casual team members, and team members that often have no work email address and certainly no work laptop. Getting your message to the right people at the right is a constant challenge.
For SMEs, internal communications tools can often seem like a daunting, expensive and complicated product, however, platforms such as Workplace are easy to use, require little-to-no training and can connect everyone in a company, as all an employee needs is a mobile phone.
Three key benefits of using an effective collaboration tool are:
1) Keeping employees on the same page
The issue of having part-time or casual staff members for some SMEs means it can be difficult to disseminate information and ensure the entire time is abreast of the latest updates.
Content on Workplace is shared in chronological order and has a searchable archive, allowing staff to catch-up when they log on. Important messages can be pinned to the top of the feed to ensure the most important messages are not missed. Similarly, with these products generally being optimised for mobile and easy to use, it means that if staff need to quickly jump online and discuss a particular issue on their days off, they can still do so without having to come into work.
2) Supports gender diversity in the within the workforce
Internal communications tools are also particularly useful in promoting gender diversity and inclusion in the workplace, as it fosters a flexible working environment.
For many women, particularly those with young families, a barrier to equality in the workforce are rigid working hours. By implementing a means by which employees can collaborate online employers are providing the ultimate foundation to help support flexible working.
When working on adjustable schedules, technology is an integral means for people to stay connected, participate and remain collaborative, even when working remotely. Such technology should allow for a searchable archive of information that is accessible 24 hours a day.
For women and men on a flexible workplace arrangement it is critical that their business carefully considers how they can extend office culture to the online space so all are given the same opportunity to participate and contribute. Collaboration platforms provide the foundation for that online culture that supports synchronous and asynchronous communication through tools such as groups, chat and live streaming. In addition, for women working remotely, the value of video conferencing for one-on-one check ins or virtual brainstorms can be invaluable for their sense of purpose, belonging and ultimately career progression.
3) Allows for ideas to be shared through groups
Often the organisational structures of businesses mean that some employees feel that they don’t “have a voice”. Innovation is the lifeblood of business. But innovation only comes about in an environment where new ideas are welcomed and allowed to thrive. Unfortunately, many businesses are experiencing the opposite: communications failure is stopping valuable ideas from rising through the business.
What is clear in any business is that the best ideas can come from anywhere and providing all staff members access to a platform so they can express ideas in a way that feels comfortable to them, and will be heard by decision makers, is a critical step to connecting people and ideas.
Like many workplaces, SMEs have a variety of challenges when it comes to keeping their employees up to date on the issues that matter. Internal collaboration platforms such as Workplace can go a long way to helping business navigate those challenges and support the creation of a cohesive business.
Smart SMEs owners should be looking at how internal communications tools such as Workplace can best support their business and help team members to work smarter, help make better decisions, and take decisive action – all empowered by more social communications, information sharing, and ways of working.
Luke McNeal, Head of Workplace APAC