The Workplace as We Know It Is Changing: What Does This Mean for Employee Engagement?
“Your company’s culture might be changing at this very moment.” This is the opening of an article by Kayla Matthews published on talentculture.com, and they’re wise words. Matthews goes on to discuss five key changes hitting workplace culture. Our question is: what do these changes mean for employee engagement and, more specifically, communicating in the workplace? In this post we will apply this conundrum to three of the points raised by Matthews.
In the Future There Will Be…More Freelancers and Remote Workers
“Technology has made it possible for workers to do their jobs remotely from home,” explains Matthews. A report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 23% of employees reported doing some of their work remotely in 2015, up from 19% in 2013.This in turn means that “company cultures will start to accommodate long-distance collaboration.”
But what form will this long-distance collaboration take? On a daily basis, there are several aspects of company communication to which all employees should have access. These include internal news and announcements, company blogs and publications, and group discussions that may take place on intranets, or enterprise social networks such as Yammer.
In an article focused on engaging staff at every stage of the employee lifecycle, Advance Systems emphasizes the fact that “many of those who are actively looking to switch jobs or enter the workforce for the first time after graduation want to know they will have the opportunity to develop a schedule that works for them.” The challenge for businesses therefore lies in centralizing all company communication, and making it easily for all employees (however spread out they are) to stay as up to date remotely as they would be if they were at company headquarters.
We completely agree with Matthews when she says “the days of strict guidelines and intimidating demeanor are over […] new workers want to be given a reason to work for a company. They want to inspire others while being inspired in the process.” Give-and-take inspiration…how can companies achieve this?
The answer lies in opening up the sharing of ideas; creating a vent of innovation that runs throughout the company, allowing the expertise of those in senior positions (which may take the form of keynote panels, blog posts or executive publications) to filter down throughout the organization, and enabling the insights of individuals at all levels (including suggestions, pertinent content found on the web and feedback from their own experiences) to bubble their way all the way up to the very top.
…More Meaningful Work
By 2020 Millennials will make up at least half of the working population and, as Matthews points out, “they grew up with the internet and social media, where their voice can always be heard.” This therefore applies to their working life, too; they want to have an impact on the organization at large, to have a stake in company communication.
The implications of this go beyond the traditional interpretation of employee advocacy; it’s not just about making company communication available for all employees to share on social media. It’s about inviting them to contribute to the information that circulates, both internally and externally, and finding a way to integrate employee-generated content (be it photos taken at events, written insights or relevant third-party posts) into the company’s central content library.
These Are the Challenges…What’s the Solution?
All this is by no means straight forward, but there is a way to bring these three threads together, in order to prepare for the workplace of the future. It involves centralizing company communication on an employee advocacy and engagement platform – a platform that also allows for innovation and collaboration throughout the business. Let’s take the three challenges we have discussed, and look at how the Sociabble employee advocacy and engagement platform responds to companies’ needs:
Centralizing Company Communication – Sociabble centralizes and drives traffic towards all company communication channels (both internal and external), so employees never miss a thing. The platform organizes content onto themed channels, acting as a one-stop communication and engagement hub that offers an intuitive user experience.
Driving Transversal Innovation – On Sociabble, user-generated content (UGC) can be imported from the web, or created from scratch. This enables all employees to share ideas, insights and expertise with the entire organization, while content sources can also include the blogs and / or social media accounts of executive management. Content can be set as public (available for sharing on social media) or internal (posts stay on the platform, but can be liked or commented on).
Making Work More Meaningful – From photos taken during meetings to videos at company events or relevant articles found on third-party websites, Sociabble makes it easy for all employees to share their work and experiences with the rest of the company. What’s more, platform administrators can decide which UGC is made available to share externally, expanding the scope of brand communication by incorporating messages that come directly from employees.
To find out more about how we work with companies to drive digital, cultural transformation, contact us.