Saturday, 23 March 2013

'simply' a wonderful week

This week has been 'simply' a wonderful one at simply-communicate, being surrounded by everything internal communications and employee engagement.

All the resources from the recent SMILE 2013 conference (held on 11th March and focusing on the varying uses of social media inside the organisation in order to facilitate employee communications and engagement) have been released. 

I had written a previous post on SMILE 2013 conference reporting the interesting case study of SAS Institute's use of The Hub, the SocialCast internal social media platform which helped the company to foster global collaboration.
By accessing all the resources you would find much more material about the conference.

Also, during this week the full results from the simply Upwardly Mobile survey have been given. According to the survey's results an important proportion of professionals involved in the industry (69%) do believe mobiles would make their organisations more agile. Certainly, I am interested to see how mobiles will be used in future to foster internal collaboration and communications. 

In fact, 40% of professionals although are not currently using mobiles inside their organisations, are thinking about adopting them. Indeed, mobile channels could really change the way we communicate internally, especially with our more remote colleagues. 

At present, professionals would consider the use of mobile channels especially for news (78.6%), people directory (69%) and social media conversations (64.7%). However, there are many more other considerations for using mobiles (including all the intranet, maps of the company site and even training). 

There seems to be some challenges in adopting these tools, especially in terms of budget (68.9% of respondents do not currently possess a dedicated budget) and security concerns (66.8%). 

However, many benefits  in using mobile channels to communicate internally with staff have been highlighted by respondents (e.g. timely connections and communications with dispersed employees and/or with particular colleagues who do not have an easy access to PCs; new forms of recognition by sending personal text messages etc.). 

This may indicate a future increase in the adoption of these tools, in creative and productive ways (e.g. by allowing colleagues to get access to corporate videos and other media, get relevant content aimed to foster a sense of belonging to their particular organisation despite the colleague's site of work, etc.).

It is for me very fascinating to see how our organisations are constantly evolving and with this requiring to change the way they communicate internally with their staff. There seems to be a much more understanding of the importance of creating meaningful dialogue and relevant conversations as well as building an internal community in order to facilitate collaboration and engagement.

In that respect, internal social media seem to play more and more a huge role and with this the leaders' role and commitment seems to be once again invaluable. Relating to this aspect is an interesting article on Philips all-digital Leadership summit run in Netherlands last month. The event saw the involvement of Philips' 750 executives and -  conducted with an element of 'gamification' as well as the support of 'digital buddies' - it aimed to develop more communication skills for leaders. Ultimately, it proved to be beneficial to employee engagement as well.

Writing on social media, this week saw Twitter seventh birthday and on that occasion many people recalled their best tweets' memories. On that day I was tweeting news and content on internal communications and employee engagement with the aim to help develop further knowledge on the subject and add value to the community of interest

My understanding is that social media can be powerful and productive tools for our organisations if used in a collaborative way, with a collaborative mindset and clarity on results we are trying to achieve: making the connections, exchanging meaningful information and content could help to add and build value to the network.

Indeed, this does not mean forgetting or undervaluing the importance of face-to-face time and interactions. In that respect, this week an article by Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, reported on Yahoo telecommuting ban (action which created quite a lot of conversations among those interested in internal communications and employee engagement). In Tony Hsieh's view, Yahoo decision of banning telecommuting was a way to encourage more offline staff collaboration.

I believe that in the current times the two, face-to-face and digital communications, can combine and work powerfully together if both organised in an accountable and productive way. 

Indeed, depending on any particular company with its specific history, geography, culture, size, goals and circumstances there will be varying degrees and nuances in the ways organisations would deal  internally with both face-to-face and digital communications. For example and from my 'simply' personal experience, during this week it was wonderful and productive to work closely to my colleagues in the London office and see them everyday. At the same time it was as productive and important to collaborate throughout internal social media with colleagues based outside the country.

Not one size fits all, is a way of saying often heard but still worth remembering. 

My understanding and belief is that the final and common aim in the adoption of these internal communications should be the one of fostering meaningful and relevant dialogue, conversations, understanding, collaboration, recognition and productivity for the benefits of both the whole organisation and each individual.

In respect to these themes and more other topics relating to this fascinating subject, during this 'simply' wonderful week I have started working and writing on some new articles. More news about this 'simply' fascinating journey will come with future marginalia.

At present I wish you a 'simply' wonderful weekend!

If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough”
(Albert Einstein. Quote reported on the computer screen of the 'simply' wonderful simply-communicate Publisher, Marc Wright)