Communication to minimize the distance
Without an intranet and with no effective way to reach all employees, there was no other way but up for Hareid Group’s internal communication. With different locations and physical distances between management and employees, the company provides a good proving ground for a tool like Workplace from Facebook.
The first thing that greets us when we arrive in Hareid is a fantastic building right next to the sea. The view alone can get the most urban consultant to consider buying moving boxes.
We are introduced to a dedicated project group. The company offers electrical services and products for many different industries. They have clear goals for what Workplace should do for the internal culture and communication flow. The goals include shrinking distances, sharing knowledge, as well as creating commitment and job satisfaction.
We got to meet a selection of employees in an early stage workshop as well as through several interviews. They told us about busy days and that information comes mostly through their closest supervisor. A lot of time is spent on getting hold of colleagues, and there are frequent meetings. Knowledge-sharing is one of the key things they are looking at. Most people already use Facebook for internal coordination. Even after this first day, we understood that Workplace would be a great fit for them and really help them achieve what they were looking for.
We recommend to all our clients that we run a workshop and conduct internal interviews. It provides a unique insight into what employees want and what might constitute the company’s core challenges.
When installing electronics in large ships, it is difficult to have time to check your mobile. Inside ship hulls, cellphone coverage can be poor. Going up on deck to send someone a chat message becomes a hassle and seems inefficient.
If a company has technical challenges, solutions should be found right away. Can you set up some extra routers, or is it simply better if the staff get some time each day to go through their groups and messages?
What about the social?
Another factor at Hareid, as with several other companies, is an individual way of working. You are mostly in contact with your closest colleagues. Both in the interviews and the workshop, employees expressed wishes relating to the social aspects of working in Hareid.
Workplace has room for social groups, events, and chats. It is important to allow employees to use features that promote this. At the start, some may think that social groups may take a lot of attention, but in our experience, this is an evolutionary process that usually balances itself out
Can the boss spy on what I do?
Changes in the way you work are seldom painless. Most people think that changes can be difficult, even if you want the result of the change. Employees want more information but are worried about releasing information. During and after launch, several employees got in touch with both the project team and us at Cloudworks.
Privacy and surveillance concerns are not uncommon. However, it is easy to forget that most electronic tools used at work have specific requirements when it comes to privacy and any requests for access.
At Hareid Group, the employees activated the accounts in record speed. A road trip on launch day helped us to meet most of the staff and help them on to Workplace. Most employees also chose to post a profile picture on the first day. The posts that are published are read by a significant number of employees, even though the employees are careful about posting too much.
Utility and change
Unlike implementing many other IT systems, extra effort is required immediately after launch. Employing Workplace is the highest level of organizational development. Mid-management and the project team are crucial to getting employees to see the value. It is a good idea to figure out what the employees want and which goals the company has. Employees need to be reminded of what they are supposed to do on Workplace. If you manage to take the lead as a leader and show by example how to best utilize Workplace, and in addition show value – then the working life of the employees is improved.
One thing is certain, Hareid Group has finally found an effective way to communicate with their employees.