Digital workplaces are centered around making people more engaged and productive through technology and tech-based systems.One of the key components of a digital workplace is internal communication. If you get this one element right, all the benefits of a digital workplace will follow.
Here are five ways in which internal communication makes a digital workplace more productive:
1. Knowledge Sharing for Faster Problem Solving
Few things will make your company more productive, than effective knowledge sharing.
For example, support teams can internally share their everyday experiences with customers – adding to the knowledge base of every other team member. Subsequently, when similar customer problems arise in the future, they won’t have to reinvent the wheel to implement a solution. Similarly, sales teams would close a significantly higher number of deals if they have excellent knowledge of the nuances of every single product.
For this to happen, your people need to be able to actively share knowledge – within teams and across different departments. Most companies – small, midsize or large do not have mechanisms for doing so. In digital workplaces that have employees across locations, working from home or even from two floors of the same building, it’s even more vital to have knowledge sharing systems in place. Companies that ignore this, waste huge amounts of time trying to figure out answers that are already known to someone else within the company.
Your employees can use Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive to store your documented experiences. But genuine knowledge sharing happens when only you use internal communication platforms like Smarp (which integrates with all the above cloud drives) to share those documents. Then you can also have active discussions about different applications of the knowledge that you have acquired.
2. Facilitating Innovation for Remote Teams
Internal communication can play a major role in facilitating innovation in a digital workplace, by enabling employees to network with each other. This is especially helpful in a digital workplace where people are distributed across different office locations or are working from home.
How does networking help innovation?
Successful innovations are rarely developed in isolation from the outside world. To build new products, features, or processes that people actually buy, your people have to be extremely well connected to the customers’ needs.
Networking allows your people to be more aware of what’s going on in the company. For example, product teams can get valuable ideas about what customers are looking for if they actively talk to sales or support people.
An internal communication platform enables people from different departments to actively network with each other and share observations and ideas. Exactly what you need to kickstart innovation!
3. Building a Problem-Solving Culture
The most successful companies have cultures that are oriented towards problem-solving. When something goes wrong, they quickly focus their efforts on working towards a solution rather than wasting time on finding someone else to blame.
It’s only possible to build this type of culture if your people communicate enough. The better they know each other, the greater the sense of camaraderie, and the keener they will be to look for solutions rather than point fingers at each other. Consequently, they will solve problems way faster than teams where people are not closely knit.
Use an internal communication platform to encourage your people to communicate with each other! Note that it's crucial that a digital co-creation place is actively used on all levels of the company. It's not enough that management are the only ones who initiate discussions. Knowledge sharing within an internal communication platform needs to leave behind the traditional top-down information flow. Instead, knowledge needs to be interdepartmental, horizontal and vertical, which indicates that all employees use the platform actively. When it's used right, this internal platform will function as the best place to list and resolve problems that arose in different departments.
It doesn’t matter if you are talking about industry updates, company events or customer stories. What matters is that people get into the habit of using the platform to share their knowledge and have solution-oriented discussions. That habit will slowly help your people to shape a problem-solving culture.
4. Encouraging Disagreement
A consensus isn’t always a good thing. The last thing you want is to create a company where everyone agrees with what the top bosses are saying. Rather, every employee, regardless of their position, should be encouraged to voice their opinion if they feel that something is wrong. People should not be afraid to lose their jobs or fall out of favor if they point out a loophole in a quarterly sales projection, or a problem with the way a plan is being executed, etc.
An internal communication platform is the perfect tool to help people have honest discussions and introduce healthy levels of disagreement.
Your top leaders will have to actively take part in building this type of culture. They should encourage managers to post plans on the internal communication platform. They must also actively seek company-wide inputs – what are the flaws? How can the plan be refined?
Smarp has a social media-type commenting feature, which allows people to discuss the plan in one single digital location. The more you seek inputs, the more people will feel comfortable with disagreeing without fear.
Encouraging positive disagreement is one of the biggest benefits of a digital workplace. Something you should certainly not ignore! Especially when it’s so easy to implement by using an internal communication platform.
5. Boosting Employee Engagement
One of the key objectives of building a digital workplace is to boost employee engagement. It’s no secret that employees who are more engaged are sometimes 3 to 4 times more productive than average employees.
One of the simplest ways of boosting employee engagement, without complex HR interventions, is to initiate Employee Advocacy. That is, encouraging employees to be advocates for your company on social media. This is really simple if you use Smarp’s mobile-based Employee Advocacy tool which people can use even on the go.
An Altimeter Group Study shows that employees who engage in Employee Advocacy also become more engaged. They develop a stronger bond for their company, work more productively and are also likely to stay longer with the company.
And you know what’s better?
Employee engagement and Employee Advocacy are a virtuous cycle. The more engaged your people become, the more likely they will be to become your advocates, and the loop continues!
Internal communication platforms like Smarp make it super-simple for a digital workplace to run efficiently. Adopt it, and your company’s productivity will soar!