Studies show that companies who have formalized employee engagement programs see an average of 26% higher annual revenue growth than those who don’t have formalized engagement programs. (Source: Aberdeen) Today, human resource directors can’t just fill requisitions and integrate new benefits programs. Driving employee engagement is just as important to successfully onboard and retain employees. Whether it’s communicating about new benefits programs and policies, visibility to projects and groups, or soliciting feedback on company events or charities we support, it’s vital to know that employees are getting the message. It’s also helpful to understand people’s perceptions about what the company is doing inside and outside its walls.
Our company has tried many different collaboration tools over the years, yet none of them have fulfilled all the items on our wish list. We want bi-directional communications with our 170-member and growing staff. We don’t want to add to the email clutter and drain productivity. We needed a central place for sharing information and soliciting feedback that is easy to use and provided controls around security and content. We wanted a medium to encourage fruitful discussions about our company that will strengthen our culture.
We are now getting much closer to this type of interactive employee forum, using Workplace by Facebook. This new enterprise social collaboration platform from the global social media leader is changing the game for how people communicate within companies, across many different facets.
SADA Systems not only uses the tool for our own internal communications, but we are also a Workplace Launch Service Partner. We are one of the few service providers with the expertise to help companies successfully implement Workplace. We help on many fronts, from planning and design to developing policy and governance, and delivering change management and training.
Today, an astonishing 1.7 billion users globally already know and use the Facebook platform. This gives Workplace an out-of-the-box advantage compared with other tools. It’s simple, fun and familiar to most people. We all know that user adoption is one of the biggest challenges for companies implementing new technologies.
Here are some ways that Workplace is helping our company today:
- Access to an inclusive, interactive tool where people can quickly share information and ideas, and gain insight from others’ comments.
- User control. Employees must follow the groups designated by their manager and corporate leadership, but otherwise have the freedom to opt in or opt out of other groups and notifications.
- Real-time feedback for the HR department and the executive group on key announcements. This helps us get a pulse on the sentiments of staff, and quickly acquire information to aid in decision-making.
- A streamlined onboarding tool for new hires. HR uses this to share orientation information as well as getting-settled information – helping employees navigate the local community, transportation, housing and more. It eliminates a lot of work on the part of HR in responding to emails and phone calls.
- Testing out new ideas. We frequently ask for feedback from our employees regarding things like events from our Culture Club or new benefits programs we want to implement. In the past, we used other survey tools for these types of activities, but participation wasn’t ideal. Now we find that employees feed off each other’s comments and those ongoing discussions provide even more useful information.
- Easy reporting. We can crunch the data from Workplace in a number of different ways, by topic, by group or department, or by date. We can see exactly how many people saw the content. That is imperative for my job, especially when communicating highly sensitive information or an item that requires immediate action, such as during the annual benefits enrollment period.
Our employees love using Workplace. They like to read others’ comments on popular topics and frequently tag new information to coworkers they think will benefit from it. We strive to be a highly-transparent company and Workplace allows us to operate that way more easily, every day. With the mobile app, it’s even more convenient for our people to read company news and updates on the go. As a consulting firm, we have a lot of employees who are in the field working with customers and not sitting at a desk. These employees can receive quick information and give instant feedback.
This free flow of information helps employees feel that they are part of a tightknit culture, no matter their role or location. We believe this will transfer into higher retention – and you can’t put a price on that in today’s marketplace.