Using collaboration to improve EX and boosting CX

Facebook spruiks the benefits of its corporate collaboration platform Workplace with customers at annual Transform Sydney event

employee-manager-engagement-100661159-orig.jpg
employee-manager-engagement-100661159-orig.jpg

Transforming the employee experience aids communication, improves transparency and boosts engagement and this, in turn, drives improvements in customer experience.

That's the message from Facebook's Transform Sydney event held this week, where the social media giant put its employee experience (EX) tool, Workplace, on show. 

The Transform Sydney event highlighted customer examples from large retailers including Bunnings and Coca-Cola Amatil through to emergency services like Ambulance Victoria. Group director of public affairs, communications and sustainability at Coca-Cola Amatil, Liz McNamara, spoke of the benefits of engaging a mobile, sometimes disparate, workforce using the tool and of its ability to provide visibility throughout the entire business and its workforce. The business, despite a few early sceptics, has found good take-up.

“We were able to deliver a tool people already knew how to use … and we’re now at 85 per cent adoption. It’s the power of it as a communication tool," she said. "You can’t underestimate the power of a Like in recognising the work someone is doing ... it's very rewarding."

Digital and marketing communications specialist, Ambulance Victoria, Lauren Przedworski, noted the value of knowledge sharing within the service and with external medical teams. Digital-based collaboration is particularly valuable in the area of critical care, and boosting communication and strengthening collaboration within its workforce covering regional and urban groups.

"We took on Workplace because we needed to change for the digital age," she explained. "A changing workforce, increasing demand for our services and people's jobs had changed, they're always on the road... and our internal surveys showed our communication needed to change, because people who aren't engaged won't perform as well." 

Workplace has been likened to taking the office intranet and email newsletters and giving them a social makeover, with the platform built around news feeds, groups, videos, photos and interactive elements such as comments and likes. According to Facebook, Workplace has over 2 million paid users from over 150 companies with more than 10,000 users each on the platform. The pitch is the tool helps connect disparate workforces, flatten structures and increase productivity and collaboration in businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Also at the Transform Sydney event was CEO of Bunnings, Mike Schneider, who spoke about how Workplace had has solid take-up within its employee base and brought employees closer together for information sharing and support as an enterprise social media tool.

"It's starting to replace other forms of communications such as email and intranet and brings communication right to the device of a team member in the aisle with a customer," he told attendees.

Industry research suggests the employee experience is more important than ever with the march of technology further into the way we work. Forrester’s latest Guide to the Future of Work has found that, while automation will impact on all areas work, employees will become even more valuable, contrary to popular belief. 

“They will be the critical cultural glue and internal force in the future of work," the report stated. "While there will be fewer employees, they will be self-initiating, adaptable and culture ambassadors. They will keep the core organisation whole and maintain the soul of the company’s front and-center [sic] gig economy workers who will come and go, while robots will make more and more decisions.”

Facebook said its platform helps build stronger connections between employees and democratises employee culture, giving, what it says, is a voice to everyone from the CEO to the intern, and for desk-bound and mobile workers alike.

"It acts as a cultural glue, connecting people together in the ways that make most sense for their business, creating a culture of openness, feedback and diversity of thought,” said Facebook Australia and New Zealand managing director, Will Easton.

In creating its Workplace platform as an organisation-wide communication and team collaboration tool, the social media giant believes that it helps enable a positive internal culture, which are critical to innovation and growth, and bridges divide that might otherwise stand in the way.

"This is particularly relevant today, where five generations – from baby boomers to generation Z – work together," said director, Workplace by Facebook for Asia-Pacific and Japan, Luke McNeal.

"Technology can help connect entire workforces and close the gap between employees, regardless of age, job title or location. But it does require organisations to be thoughtful; teams won’t automatically find themselves neatly prepared for the future of work. It’s an evolution. But we believe that those who will be most successful will be the future-gazing companies that give everyone a voice."

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