Today marks the one-year anniversary of the death of my business partner, best friend and co-founder of 300, the inimitable Phil Jenkins.
I wanted to take a moment to remember him, the joy he brought to my working life, what I learnt from him and encourage you to take a moment of gratitude for a colleague who’s shaped your journey.
If you knew Phil, I know you’ll have great stories of your own, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org !
For those of you who didn’t have the privilege of meeting Phil, he was warm, funny and could say the most inappropriately hilarious things and joyously could just get away with it.
“A true gent”, “young at heart”, “a whirlwind of utter joy"- just some of the ways Phil’s friends and colleagues describe him. After a chat with Phil you instantly felt happier, more hopeful and believed anything was possible.
He gave people opportunities and they never forgot: like Naomi: “Phil remains to this day one of the most welcoming, funny and kind bosses!”
He even cheered people up on the way to work, like Dominic: “I had the tremendous privilege of travelling into London with Phil for several years. Whatever the weather or time of day, he never failed to bring joy and compassion into every journey.”
Phil reinvented himself several times through life, from art school rebel, professional sailor, recruitment consultant, Masters student, photographer, digital marketing director, 300 business founder, and who knows what reincarnations were to come next.
Phil died at 56 years of age. Far too young.
But he left a lasting legacy.
When I was battling in the corporate world of communications he recognised something in me. He believed in me and my skills in a way that no one had done before. He was the best boss I ever had and the best human being. He brought out the best in me and I did the same for him.
Leaders need epic followers, we often forget that.
But the real magic at work happens when the follower becomes a partner.
And then you’re an unbeatable team.
Our Big Boss at the time described us as “a many headed hydra” which we took to mean Big Boss was mildly frustrated they couldn’t “divide and conquer”
(Ooh, and if said Boss in this newsletter list? We respected it 😉 )
Like many, we got frustrated with the corporate world, plotted our escape and 300 Communications was born. Fed up with working with big creative and comms agencies who just didn’t get the realities of corporate organisations we thought we could do better!
Over the last five years we’ve launched new communications platforms for clients, turned around dire communications and poor employee engagement, coached senior leaders to be epic communicators, launched amazing Bots to increase productivity and engagement, launched podcasts and much much more.
Learning to go it alone over the last year has been hard.
But I’m still standing.
And 300 is thriving.
That’s what Phil wanted.
Starting the company meant something to both of us and I’m proud to continue Phil’s legacy.
It’s been the toughest year of my life, personally and professionally.
I’ve had battles I didn’t expect to face.
And it’s hard having board meetings on your jack jones without your epic business partner!
Some amazing people have stepped up during that time who are definitely approaching Phil’s legendary status! My business coach and epic human being Jessica Lorimer. The clever Faye Levi who’s got a bit of the Phil strategy magic! And the dependable tech brain of Ricky Kalsi.
Change at work is hard. It’s not always welcome. I’ve had to pivot, evolve, adapt and change.
Phil’s unshakeable confidence and faith in me is part of me now and that’s his legacy living on.
If you’ve never had a Phil in your career, then hopefully you’ve been a Phil to yourself and been your own cheerleader! Or maybe it’s time to step up and be a Phil to someone else. People remember that support and appreciation. They don’t remember so much of what you did at work but they DO remember how you did it.
And that’s what I learned from Phil I guess. Be a decent person. I try every day and fail a bit better each day. Because you know, we all have to phone mobile phone and utilities companies from time to time.
If you’ve got a colleague who makes your life infinitely easier and more fun at work, please drop them a thank you today.
So here's to you Phil. Your legacy lives on in the wit you bestowed on us all, the projects you started and 300 has completed in your absence and the leaders that we're teaching how to communicate authentically and distinctively like you always did.
The pandemic, hybrid working and ‘quiet quitting’ frustrations all mean that employee engagement has taken a hit in recent years. In fact, whilst 86% of employees feel connected to their direct co-workers, only 14% say they feel connected to their business headquarters. More worryingly, just 3% feel connected to their C-Suite executives.*
That connection is critical to business success and profitability. We don’t need research to tell us that people who like their bosses are more productive but if we want the stats then take a look at LSE’s analysis of 339 independent studies on the topic. It clearly shows the relationship between employee satisfaction and stock market returns.
Funnily enough, organisations with higher employee satisfaction had between 2 and 4% higher returns than the industry average.**
So just how do you create and crucially DEEPEN that engagement between employees and senior leaders, particularly if most people in your organisation never even get to meet the CEO and senior leadership team?
Well, if you’ve been alive recently you can’t have failed to notice the growth of podcasts.
In the UK alone, 6 million more of us listened in during the last three years. That’s about 15 million Brits each year tuning into a podcast. Everyone’s got one, from Michelle Obama to Ru Paul Charles, even my dog sitter has one. And if you don’t know who Ru Paul Charles is, stop reading this article and go listen to his podcast IMMEDIATELY. Then come back!
Now we’re seeing the rising trend of the internal corporate podcast. We’re working with all sorts of organisations that are using the unique benefits of podcasts to better connect with their workforce, drive retention and ultimately make more money.
Here’s six ways you can use internal podcasts in your organisation to drive engagement, retention and profit:
1. Promote internal career opportunities and talent initiatives
Podcasts create connection and are convenient for employees to listen to so they are perfect platforms to share non-urgent but critical information that can combat the great resignation, for example, by highlighting the awesome career opportunities in your business.
Interviewing people in key functional areas humanises their career stories and brings career paths to life - much more engaging than the ‘flow diagrams’ that most organisations share on how you get from A to Z!
Corporate podcasts are also great ways to showcase the diversity of roles in your business and a fantastic way to showcase talent and celebrate success - motivating and inspiring others to progress so that retention increases and the costs of new hires are reduced.
Learning & Development teams can also use podcasts to share updates on their latest training initiatives in an engaging and accessible way so their visibility increases and employees buy into new initiatives from the start.
In fact, podcasts are a great way to actually deliver learning and training. Some organisations have specific courses as podcasts and some have ALL their learning as bite-sized podcast episodes - saving time and money whilst increasing that all-important engagement.
2. Reach dispersed, busy sales teams (e.g. recruitment, estate agency, car retailers)
Podcasts are so successful at creating connection because of something called ‘parasocial empathy’. Scientists have found that podcasts enhance perceived intimacy with hosts by well, err, changing our brains! I’m paraphrasing but in essence this is what’s happening.
When we factor in that most people listen to podcasts with headphones on, the effect is amplified, triggering a greater feeling of closeness according to On Amir, co-author of a study in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.
That means podcasts are a brilliant way to reach skeptical people in the organisation, like hard-to-reach, dispersed sales professionals. Ideas, best practice and training can be shared in a non preaching way with top performers who may be missing the detail, or not following the company process.
There's also a chance for the sales director to explain why the company way is important and a greater chance of salespeople actually buying into this purpose and taking willing action. New starters and poorer performers can also learn how to improve, driving higher sales and profitability.
The beauty of podcasts is that time-pressured staff can also listen to podcasts whilst they’re doing something else. In fact, most of us listen to podcasts to ease the pain of unpleasant or boring tasks like doing admin and expenses or when we’re on the move, say doing the school run, driving to work or at the gym.*****
It gives people the choice to engage, when they want to and so drives productivity and engagement. You can even give sales professionals a platform as guests on the podcast to supercharge engagement. AND by getting them to share their top tips, they help the rest of the sales force, making the most of peer-to-peer learning and reducing training costs.
3. Supporting neurodiverse employees
Staff with Aspergers, autism or those with challenges like dyslexia may struggle with traditional learning methods, which typically involve reading copious amounts of text. It’s estimated that 6 million people in the UK have some form of dyslexia, it’s much more common than we think and different learning styles are often a reason why internal communications and training fail to hit the mark. The same goes for our colleagues with visual impairments. It democratises learning and gives everyone a change from the same old ways of doing things.
Podcasts are also great learning mechanisms for the creative brains and other freethinkers in the business from designers and developers to software engineers.
4. Showcasing corporate social responsibility (CSR) / environment, social and governance (ESG) initiatives
Nearly two in five employees responding to a survey by Robert Half said they’d look for a new job if their employer wasn’t doing enough on ESG issues. And ESG is particularly important for younger people, with 22% of 18-34 year-olds putting corporate values above salary.******
The immediacy of podcasts gives us a fighting chance to showcase charitable and ESG type initiatives, building the employer brand and giving employees the sense of purpose they crave from their employer nowadays.
And this is only going to grow in importance. By 2029, Gen Z and Millennials will make up 72% of the world’s workforce. As our employees of the future place greater importance on environmental and social concerns than their predecessors, organisations that can communicate their initiatives effectively, will become employers of choice.
Podcasts motivate and inspire, deepening engagement so employees can dive deeper into these initiatives. And those who want to can get even more involved, taking actions like volunteering, becoming champions to inspire others and ESG focused podcasts are also great ways to promote competitions and new initiatives, for example, inviting employees to take part in charitable trips and events.
As 30 percent of workers will look for a new job unless ESG activity is increased, according to one study******* it’s crucial that such initiatives are communicated well. As if no one knows or engages, it may as well not be happening!
5. CEO / senior leader podcast - how I have built my career, career moments, etc
A job isn’t just a job these days, most people have or want to have an emotional connection to the brand that they work for and their drive and productivity is driven by how they feel about the business and its leaders.
The humanising effect of a well-done podcast makes people feel understood by their leadership team. So a CEO or senior leader podcast is the perfect vehicle for increasing leaders’ visibility and closing the gap between the top of the organisation and its front-line workers.
The CEO can talk about how they built their career, key moments, how employees can own their career, toughest moments, how they deal with conflict and so on. Senior leaders can rotate between podcast episodes and cover the same topics or new issues.
People want a leadership team they understand and respect, that are human, who don’t speak in jargon or corporate language, who can motivate, inspire and convey empathy.
By avoiding the jargon and overly corporate language the podcast is a great way to showcase company culture, making people feel part of that culture, driving retention. I said at the start that just 3% of employees feel connected to their C-Suite executives so a podcast is a great way to close that connection gap.
6. Celebrate new initiatives or awareness days like Stress Awareness, World Diversity Day or Pride
Having a special podcast series can also help celebrate or draw attention to key initiatives such as the upcoming Pride month in June. Celebrating these awareness events using podcasting as a tool really helps employees to engage more actively with the initiative and helps to answer potentially sensitive questions that they might have in a simple and refreshing way. And we can really get to hear those personal stories of why these initiatives really matter to your leaders.
Here are some of the ideas that we created for clients to support better engagement during International Women's Day and beyond to drive retention of key female staff and create a more diverse talent pipeline:
We interviewed a variety of women in organisations to celebrate their achievements so that newer recruits were able to be inspired by the stories and challenges other women have faced, cultivating a strong sense of community whilst creating a strong talent pipeline
Podcasting’s mix of immediacy and intimacy means that employees better connect with career stories and by featuring women in nontraditional roles we helped organisations break the bias surrounding male-dominated functions like engineering and manufacturing - so that they can recruit more women into these roles, generate more referrals and work to ensure female talent stays in the organisation.
We worked with organisations to create podcast series with a clear purpose and strategy so that employees felt their company was doing more than paying lip service to key issues, building trust in the employer brand and increasing employee satisfaction
Worked with organisations' existing groups, like their women’s network, to use podcasting as a way to conveniently share initiatives and invite inspiring guest speakers so that content had a much longer shelf life, unlike a one-off webinar, which may get lost in the busyness of the working day.
Want help to create an effective awareness day podcast that can inspire, motivate and engage your employees?
Book your podcast for Pride Month in June or other awareness events...
A well-done podcast will get people listening to your message and drive that all-important engagement. Hiring broadcasting specialists to deliver your podcast alleviates the stress on already busy communications teams, without podcasting skills, so that you can quickly get your campaign sorted for International Women’s Day.
If you’d like to set up a professional podcast for Pride, we are running a special offer to set up your entire podcast for you:
You’ll get access to:
A clear Pride podcast strategy and angle, bespoke to your organisation so that you can build greater community, trust and employee engagement
A professional, virtual broadcast studio so that you can create a high-quality podcast that employees want to listen to, creating increased buy in, engagement and higher retention
A professional interviewer so that the right questions are asked, the conversation builds naturally, saving busy executives time in the organisation and production of the podcast
A complete, done for you podcast, with all production and editing included so that time is saved, meaning you can sit back and enjoy the results.
The package includes four episodes with four guest speakers from your organisation to celebrate achievements so that newer recruits are able to be inspired by the stories and challenges other's have faced in your organisation, cultivating a strong sense of community whilst creating a strong talent pipeline
Advice and tips on the best way to get people listening to your podcast and how to communicate its arrival so that you can maximise your investment and achieve your goals of increasing engagement and retention
Design templates you can personalise for your organisation to advertise your podcast internally
Contact Caroline Watkin at email@example.com to talk about your podcast for Pride or other awareness event.
Lots of internal communications teams are telling me that they struggle to create engaging, valued updates for their business. BUT even when they have designed the perfect campaign, with every box ticked, they’re still faced with senior leaders and other employee groups who simply ignore all communications.
Kind of like the ‘quiet quitting’ trend in a way but these people are high performers who go above and beyond for the work but simply won’t engage in internal communications and the wider culture of the company.
They have a get out of jail free card if you like, whether that’s because of the tyranny of billable hours in professional services, commission culture driving top sales performers or operations directors solely focused on getting perishable products out the door.
Navigating the balance between creating truly relevant content that your people will value and at the same time figuring out ways to better partner with stakeholders who simply don’t see the point of engaging is a perennial challenge for many internal communications teams.
I take a closer look at the top five problems companies are facing right now with internal communications.
1. No CEO buy-in
The saying goes ‘the fish rots from the head down’ so if your CEO isn’t behaving in a way that supports great internal communications it’s unlikely your high-performing leaders will see the point either.
The perennial issues I see here are CEOs who either don’t see the point of being a visible leader themselves or, they pay lip service to internal communications because they don’t believe there’s any commercial merit in it.
Others are at the stage where they see there could be value for the organisation but they genuinely don’t think anyone wants to hear from them and are genuinely stumped as to what they’d talk about. Once they do get the value, many actually lack confidence in their ability to create engaging updates, the skills to come across naturally, or are simply a bit scared of modern workplace technology.
2. Too many internal communication channels
Even if your CEO is on board and the internal communications team has done sterling work to partner with the ‘disengaged doers’ of the organisation, there are often so many entry points to get work done that it’s simply too easy to ignore company communications.
And let’s face it, even the most engaged people in an organisation are simply not going to log onto several places if it’s not essential to your job. Employees want frictionless experiences and the workforce has much higher expectations of great design and ease of use.
When you consider ALL the places we expect people to check into it’s no wonder internal communications teams don’t see a return for their efforts. From clunky intranets, email, videos, Microsoft Teams groups, Yammer, Slack and WhatsApp, plus the average employee needs about 40 apps just to get their job done.
In fact, according to a recent report, an average enterprise uses 461 disparate apps — with each functional group relying on specialised functional apps designed to serve them better. The average number of apps for HR came to 90, Finance totalled 60 and even Sales came to 43*.
This means workers are using hundred of disconnected apps and performing hundreds of disconnected tasks to complete their projects. And because there’s often no central space or platform to access everything, internal communications is ANOTHER thing people have to do rather than a seamless part of getting work done.
*Source: Mary Meeker internet trends 2017.
3. Communications teams' excluded from board level conversations
Many internal communications professionals tell me that it’s hard to get a seat at the table and so it’s difficult to get their voices heard as a driver of business change. I’ve been there and it genuinely is the toughest thing about the role.
Senior internal communications professionals also bemoan the shortage of internal communications professionals with the skills to act as true business partners.
That can mean that the function struggles to show the relevance of company communications to leaders and people’s jobs across the organisation.
4. Struggling to make communications engaging, interesting and valuable
So if internal communications teams can’t influence their key stakeholders and functions across the organisation and those important conversations don’t happen, it means internal communications is completely disconnected from business strategy.
It also means it’s disconnected from the kind of the culture the organisation wants to build. That’s when internal communications becomes ‘window dressing’ or a dull news function rather than the glue that links the business together, adding real value.
No matter if you have the world’s best editorial team writing your comms, if you can’t connect what business leaders and the organisation want and need, internal communications simply will not be engaging, interesting and VALUABLE. You may hit engaging and interesting but if it's not working towards a bigger purpose or organisational narrative it’s kind of pointless.
5. Staff focused on delivery, not leadership
Now, we’ve all had a tough few years and just getting a product out the door or a service delivered frankly takes a bloody heroic effort. From Covid to supply chain challenges, cost inflation and recession, it’s been pretty relentless. Then we expect people to engage in internal communications, fill in all the forms and have a good work-life balance!
Even before the world went bonkers, every organisation had its ‘untouchables’ or high performers, who simply sidestep contributing to company culture and internal communications because they are too important to distract from billing or delivering.
Yet when organisational change happens and you REALLY need these people to engage it’s a hard habit to break. And when these key leaders are unwilling to be visible and communicate to their teams it can impact retention and becomes a business critical issue.
So when you have inexperienced internal communications teams unable to business partner with these tricky stakeholders, the problem intensifies. It's an issue that needs addressing if the business is to carry on changing and growing.
Are you struggling with these issues? You aren’t alone.
Book a call with me to discuss how organisations are increasing engagement through better internal communications AND increasing stakeholder buy in. bit.ly/book-an-insights-call
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be more than happy to answer your questions personally.
Check out our Future of Work podcast episode!
Check out our Future of Work podcast episode if you are interested in what people want from work and how this influences your communications technology choices.
Are you considering what communications technology you need in place to drive productivity in a hybrid work setting? Or are you dead set on a new intranet but haven’t considered the alternatives out there? Perhaps you’re wondering how other companies are organising company knowledge and can’t see the wood for the trees in your business?
If you’re going in circles then come on in and find out how to make the right choice for your organisation, the reasons why intranets fail so often and the different models companies are adopting to replace or modernise the traditional intranet.
Caveat: this is NOT just for techies, we cover the people, culture and business aspects of choosing communications technology and intranets. In fact, we take a deeper dive into why the needs of people matter when making communications technology choices.
We also discuss how the rise of consumer technology is impacting us at work and why the future of work matters when considering your next intranet move.
Whether your intranet is a thorn in your side OR your crowning glory, this episode will give you the lowdown on what’s next for the modern intranet and workplace technology. And if you’re in the ‘why have an intranet’ camp there’s plenty here to drive the conversation with your business.
In this episode we’re discussing:
The legacy of early intranets and how old thinking still impacts organisations today 3:37
Definition of the ‘intranet’ - knowledge repository or news channel? 4:22
What are the alternatives to an intranet? 5:56 OR
The benefits of social technology vs an intranet 6:41
The rise of the personalised news feed v static intranets 7:37
How does your organisation type influence your technology choice? 8:58
What are the factors you need to consider when choosing a new intranet solution? 8:58
Why some companies are ditching the intranet in favour of social collaboration 9:19
The biggest reason intranets fail and how you can avoid this 10:52
The three most popular models for organising company information 11:17
The disadvantages of an intranet & why companies replace them every 3-5 years 14:00
Is Microsoft Teams the answer to everything? 15:05
Who you need to get involved in the decision and why 23:32
The ESSENTIAL thing you need to do avoid making a comms technology mistake 28:44
The rise of ‘shadow’ IT 30:39
New to market ‘intranet’ options that are changing the game 33:36
Why forgetting front line workers is a mistake 34:34
Key resources mentioned in this episode:
Book an exploratory chat with Phil & Caroline
We’re offering insights sessions so that you can gain clarity on the right tech solutions for your business and hear market insights from similar organisations.
These opportunities are limited - so if you’d like our insights and a transparent conversation about how we could support your goals, book here now: bit.ly/book-an-insights-call
If you have any questions on the modern intranet, other workplace technology or communications strategy please feel free to email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org we’ll be more than happy to answer your questions personally.
Check out our Future of Work episode!
Don’t forget to check out our Future of Work podcast episode if you are interested in what people want from work and how this influences your communications technology choices.
Dealing with journalists can be daunting. This free guide pulls together some key advice for working with journalists from press to online and broadcast. Created by 300 and PR expert and BBC presenter Martyn James.
Media expert Martyn James joined 300 for a Q&A style webinar on managing company communications on Tuesday 31 March.
Martyn James is a media relations specialist, broadcast media expert and regular TV and radio commentator, including Rip Off Britain, You & Yours and BBC Breakfast. Here’s a summary of what we learnt from Martyn.
Don’t focus on deflection Martyn talked us through his unique, ethics-focused approach to media relations and communications. In simple terms, it means focusing on actually answering the difficult questions posed by your staff and journalists rather than ‘spinning’ an answer.
Avoid bridging technique This is the ‘dark art’ of the Tony Blair era! It involves turning the question around to: “what people really want to know is.” Martyn said this technique just does not work and disengages the audience. If we think about our frustration when we hear politicians do this on Question Time we know it’s a turn-off.
Articulate what you do well and your danger areas Instead, Martyn recommends spending time thinking about what your organisation does well and not so well. Look at the areas where you might be in danger and address those questions head-on. This will actually engage your audience rather than talking down to them.
“Remember you will be tarnished with the crimes of your overall industry too so make sure you articulate your difference.”
Martyn James, media expert and broadcaster
Honesty – tell people what you can not tell them! Key to communications is honesty with your audience. If you can’t share sensitive information tell people why. If you don’t have visibility, tell people rather than bluster. People can handle the truth far better than you expect.
Real Life Example: Caroline Watkin, 300 co-founder, shared an example of Richard Francis, CFO at Netcentric, who managed many buyouts including when Day Software was bought by Adobe. When he was at Myriad, they faced a difficult financial situation and he told the staff he wasn’t sure if they’d have jobs in three months’ time, but could promise an amazing experience that would be great for their CV. They loved this approach, and everyone stayed.
Do the right thing and do the next right thing… How you say things makes a big difference. But focusing on doing the right thing makes more long term business sense and means we can communicate with authenticity. Many CEOs argue against it because they think it costs more. Even when times are tough taking the long view wins out.
“The stories of doing the right thing become company folklore and build customer loyalty.”
Caroline Watkin, 300 Co-founder
Say one thing and say it well Simplicity is key. In a crisis, the normal comms principles still apply. Every email, every post, every video, every team message; decide the key point and build your message around that. Put the key messages upfront. Make it easy for people. What’s the one thing you’d like people to remember?
Get your key point across in less than two sentences You should be able to explain what your firm does in one sentence/breath in order to get your message across to journalists and in fact, any key audience.
Understand the journalist’s role and point of view The average salary of £27k. Junior reporters often start out at £12k. They work under immense pressure to meet deadlines. They are processors of knowledge rather than retainers of knowledge and have an agenda for their publication or broadcast that’s different to yours. Understand them to avoid frustration.
Empathise What is your audience going through? What are your staff going through? What would you want to know if you were them?
Be adaptable Things are changing repeatedly so keep on your toes and be ready to change your approach, don’t stick rigidly with a line if it’s becoming clear the story has moved on.
Two years ago I made the permanent transition from office-based to home-based. To be honest, it hasn’t always been easy, and despite the upsides, there is only so much office banter you can have with your dog (sorry Benji).
Now, most of us are “work from homers”, so I thought I would share my top 10 tips for staying sane and productive in these times of isolation. It’s a good time to relook at your routine and see if we’ve fallen into bad habits…
Start and finish at the same times you would in the office. Ditto for lunch and breaks.
Put on your game face, get dressed in your normal work clothes and get out of your sweatpants (unless they used to be your work clothes).
Tidy your workspace – clutter will distract you, set yourself up to focus. It’s worth stopping for 15 minutes and having a reset – even if you’re very busy you’ll feel the benefit.
Make sure you have access to the tools you need to do your job. If you’ve been putting off upgrading your internet connection and getting a decent-sized computer screen, now’s the time. Even with the end of lockdown in sight we’re all going to be doing more flexible and remote working.
Use video meetings whenever possible. It’s so important to see your team. If you’ve been putting it off, make the change today.
Make sure everyone else in your team is on the same page and agree on how you are going to work together. It’s good to check in and see how everyone is finding the current set up.
Use a platform like Workplace to collaborate and access essential documents.
Schedule in a video team chat at least once per day. Find out how your colleagues are doing, check in to see if anyone is struggling, share some jokes, your Spotify playlist, etc.
Don’t be afraid to share your feelings. You may love being at home, but it still may also be the worst thing that could happen to you. Don’t keep those feelings to yourself, you will be surprised just how many people feel like you.
Connecting with all your employees can be tricky in any business but in the recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) industry it can be nigh on impossible. With staff at client sites, service centres and increasing numbers of desk-less & mobile workers, getting the simplest of messages to staff is so hard that it often remains a source of frustration for years.
That was certainly true of our experience at one of the world’s leading RPO providers. Until we came across Workplace by Facebook: a communications and collaboration tool built for the future of work.
Ok, so here’s my twelve reasons why you should put Workplace on your shortlist:
Reason 1 – it’s mobile-first
Every client site is locked down in a different way, so finding a platform that works at multiple, often geographically dispersed locations is impossible. Workplace’s mobile-first design and delivery means you needn’t be held back by client firewalls.
As long as staff have a smartphone they can access all communications, documents and even the org chart, bringing your onsite workers into company culture for the first time. Crucially, the mobile experience is seamless.
Reason 2 – staff don’t need an email address
In our experience, many RPO staff use their client’s email, so connecting them to any new tool is a hard slog. Workplace setup can be done without email as a unique identifier and is simple to deploy.
Workplace is typically adopted by 80%+ of users within 30 days and the launch experience is straightforward. So you need less of IT’s time.
Reason 3 – find all of your people all of the time
No more: “where’s Linda today” and no more detective work to search for Linda’s latest landline or email. You can simply see when she’s online and easily message, voice dial or even video her direct.
Workplace lets you keep pace with change, regardless of client desk moves or how many times you switch staff between sites.
And the built-in organisation chart allows you to see what staff do, where they are in the hierarchy and who reports to who.
“Safety Check is a great feature that allows you to check that all your staff are safe in the event of an emergency, regardless of location.”
Reason 4 – create and build community
It’s easy to feel a little lonely and disconnected if you’re in a service centre in a remote location, far from headquarters. Workplace allows your staff to feel part of a much bigger, dynamic organisation. Staff can connect to a number of communities: the whole business, everyone at their client site or service centre and / or their team. Or slice and dice to aid the collaboration you need e.g. connect all service centres around the world.
“Reach all your staff, create community, build affinity with your brand, better serve clients.”
Reason 5 – collaborate, share, save time
With such a spread-out workforce, often geographically diverse, it’s all too easy for staff to reinvent the wheel. Workplace by Facebook provides a forum to ask for help, enabling everyone to share knowledge and best practice. Many answers to frequently asked questions and processes can be automated too e.g. HR policy questions or client onboarding.
Reason 6 – virtual leadership
Workplace enables senior leaders to create engaging communications; from simple posts to Live Video broadcast, extending visibility and reach to the whole business – making sure important messages are heard. For example, your CEO can update everyone on the way back from strategic client visits.
Reason 7 – share documents
Don’t be frustrated by staff who can’t access your intranet (if you’ve ever tried to give staff access to your intranet from a client site we sympathise!) use Workplace to easily give everyone access to the latest pitches and proposals.
Reason 8 – streamline staff onboarding
Manage staff on-boarding and connect people to your culture from offer to acceptance. Create forward-thinking HR strategies to support staff through their career, automating processes for better experiences. And with more of your clients using Workplace, you’ll need to be the expert in using Workplace for your clients’ recruitment processes.
Reason 9 – bring all of your apps together
Workplace gives countless possibilities for off the shelf and custom integrations, allowing you to bring all your apps and services together in one place – e.g. logging help desk calls, integrating leave request systems and CRM tools. Like Salesforce and Hubspot.
“With 30,000+ organisations already on Workplace, increasing numbers of your forward thinking clients are using the platform too.”
Reason 10 – improve client service levels and experience
By facilitating collaboration across the business you can better serve clients. Engaged employees who work together have the information they need to go the extra mile for clients.
And by creating a “multi-company group” between you and each of your clients you can streamline communication, aid collaboration and create a different dynamic to your client relationships. Your client doesn’t need to be on Workplace by Facebook to collaborate in this type of group.
Reason 11 – connect wherever you are in 46 languages
With voice, video and chat your staff can easily keep in touch whether they’re in the office or travelling. And auto-translate ensures communications reach everyone – that’s more languages than Microsoft Teams and Slack.
Reason 12 – build employee affinity with your brand – not just your clients’
Keeping your brand’s mission front and centre is hard when your on-site staff are immersed in your client’s culture. The ability to easily create engaging posts, articles and video brings your brand to life and really does foster a sense of belonging.
Find out more about my personal experience rolling out Workplace for recruitment process outsourcing companies and how Workplace can transform your business – contact me at email@example.com or call me on 07946 524 304 for a chat.
“We won Best Workplace Launch in 2018 for our rollout of Workplace at the Robert Walters Group, of which Resource Solutions, one of the world’s leading RPOs, is a part.”
When Molly Bedingfield, creator of the Global Angels Foundation, first went to the Itinyi Valley, the women were walking ten to fifteen kilometres a day to fetch water for their families.
Moved by Molly's passion for transforming disadvantaged communities, we went with her to document her story and the lives of the women in the valley.
We created a book and photography exhibition following Global Angels’ story of hope as they work tirelessly to transform this forgotten community in Tsavo, Kenya.
The book captures the journey of helping the people in the Itinyi Valley not just survive but thrive. Written by 300 co-founder, Caroline Watkin, through Molly’s eyes the book lays out the beauty and struggle of Itinyi Valley, its people and the wildlife they live beside.
Telling the peoples' story
Stunning photography is captured by specialist portraiture photographer Afshin Feiz. Designed and typeset by Phil Jenkins, creating the book and exhibition was both a rite of passage and huge personal undertaking for us all and we couldn’t be more proud of the results.
About the project
To showcase Global Angels' unique mission and work in the Itinyi Valley.
Engage potential corporate sponsors and other supporters to drive fundraising.
Explain Africa's complex challenges in a personal, engaging way. Bring to life the solutions so sponsors understand how they can get involved and the difference they can make. Global Angels use the book in meetings to talk people through their story.
What we did
Travelled to Kenya on three occasions to work with the charity on the ground
Wrote the story, told through the eyes of the founder, Molly Beddingfield
Photographed the people of the valley
Designed and typeset the book
Secured sponsorship enabling us to produce the book free of charge
Sourced a unique exhibition space in the heart of Covent Garden
Curated the exhibition and organised a launch event
A passion, pro bono project where we donated all our time and expertise
A beautiful book that has resonated with potential sponsors, current sponsors and individual supporters facilitating Global Angels growth as a foundation. A photography exhibition that grew awareness of the foundation.
Receive a copy
This 86 page, A4, hard-backed book contains an inspirational story and stunning photography. Hopefully, you will buy a copy! To purchase a copy for £30 please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
100% of the cost will go directly to Global Angels to help the community in the Itinyi Valley, Tsavo, Kenya.
The Global Angels Foundation is an international charity transforming disadvantaged communities around the world. Our goal is to develop, fund and replicate highly innovative and sustainable solutions across the globe.