Facebook is currently under intense fire for its role in and response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. This event seems a turning point in how positively many users feel about the network, and the financial consequences for Mark Zuckerberg’s empire could be dire. However, the impact of Facebook and other social platforms on how we communicate will be lasting, as a recent presentation we attended made clear.
Last month, we visited the Business Travel Show and Travel Technology Europe (hosted under the same roof at Kensington Olympia) and, like the travel-tech junkies we are, sat in on every keynote speech and panel discussion we could. One such speaker was Facebook’s Cyrus Akrami who, as the tech giant’s Market Development Manager for Workplace, was there to tell us about their move into the enterprise space.
Akrami’s convincing proposition that Workplace by Facebook is the business collaboration platform that everyone needs also drove home the importance of internal communication, an oft-neglected piece of the PR puzzle. “Effective internal communication leads to better collaboration,” he said. “It plays a crucial role in employee engagement, change management and productivity.”
We agree. Not only is an effective communication strategy vital, it’s also becoming more difficult to master. New generations entering the workspace expect to be able to communicate whenever and wherever they need to, from the device that suits them best. Whether your business is in aviation, travel, transport or another sector, workplaces are no longer bound to the constraints of the bureau walls and the way we communicate in our personal lives is transcending the boundaries of home and office. What’s more, our fast-paced global environment means that employees from different offices and across continents need to be able to share and communicate in real time, while forward-thinking leaders are leveraging the power of live video to radically improve top-down, open communication. Email is no longer fast enough to make the cut and enterprise social networking platforms like Workplace, Slack and Yammer are becoming the norm.
But it’s not just about the vehicle for communication. Employees want to be in on company goals, understand the plans for getting there and be confident about the value of their contributions towards them. They want to feel valued, listened to, and part of the team.
We’ve not yet mentioned the critical role a well-thought out communications strategy plays during a crisis, but I think you get our point. Putting time and money into a robust and innovative internal communications strategy is indispensable to your business’s success.