How Workplace is enabling high fidelity communication and supporting employees in the world of remote work
by Karandeep Anand
With many countries currently experiencing at least some form of lockdown, businesses are waist-deep in uncharted waters. Companies large and small have had to transform rapidly as they attempt to continue operating, while keeping their employees safe. Yet many organizations are encountering a host of new challenges.
To support our customers through this unprecedented time, we’ve been listening to their feedback across industries and regions. What we’ve learned is that organizations most urgently need support in two main areas:
- Communicating critical information with their entire business in real-time, and making sure this content, both dynamic and static, is now easily accessible to everyone
- Ensuring employees across the organization feel supported and listened to as they grapple with the impact of the virus on their work and personal lives
To this effect, we’re announcing several new features to help businesses better manage the impact of the pandemic. These reflect the feedback we’ve received and are all geared towards enabling remote working and supporting essential workers who cannot work remotely, now and in the future.
We will continue to focus on these areas over the coming months, as well as investing heavily in enabling better team collaboration and powerful video calling experiences. We’ll share more on our strategy over the coming weeks.
Better information sharing
One of, if not the, biggest challenges for organizations in a remote working world is being able to effectively share accurate, real-time information with employees.
Employers have a huge responsibility to keep employees up to date to ensure they’re supported, safe and know what procedures to follow. Simultaneously, company leaders want to make sure their updates are helpful to employees, and that people are feeling heard and supported.
Knowledge Library: A home for static content on Workplace
The average employee wastes over 9 hours a week searching for critical company information like health and safety guidance or benefits information. We wanted to build a solution to fix this, to make official company knowledge, and static content in general, easily accessible to everybody at the moment they need it most. After all, it shouldn’t be hard or stressful to find the latest on a HR policy.
So we’re launching Knowledge Library, the new home for key company resources on Workplace. Knowledge Library is a single place to create, store and share static content like working from home advice or HR and expenses policies, so employees can discover and easily access the information they need at home or on the go.
And because it sits on the platform your employees are already using to communicate with each other and get work done, it finally brings your static and dynamic information together in one, easy to update place.
Knowledge Library is playing a critical role in helping XPO Logistics manage emergency logistics for the City of New York - ensuring employees have access to official information on a platform they’re already using.
Virgin Atlantic has also begun trialing Knowledge Library a few weeks ago. This is what Steve Clarke, Senior Manager, Communication Channels, at Virgin Atlantic had to say about it:
“We were able to deploy Knowledge Library in under a day to make sure our employees could stay informed about COVID-19. We use it to provide details on government regulations, as well as specific policies and FAQs related to Virgin Atlantic.
“We also provide support resources for employees. Knowledge Library helps us keep formal information centralized, while Groups are for sharing real-time news and keeping employee spirits high.”
Another issue many organizations told us they’ve been struggling with is adjusting their internal communications processes to accommodate a remote workforce and an increased volume of updates.
Businesses are finding that many of the mechanisms that worked fine when colleagues and leaders were located in the same building have become inefficient now that they aren’t. To help streamline the process, we’ve launched Draft for, a feature that allows individuals to draft posts on behalf of executives who can subsequently review, approve and publish. We believe this will help streamline accurate information sharing, while bringing together voices across the organization.
Track audience reach and engagement with campaigns
The final feature we’re introducing as part of our strategy to enable better internal communication is Campaigns.
Campaigns allow for tracking audience reach and engagement across a group of posts. This includes sentiment metrics, which can help you identify the content that’s most helpful to people so you can create more of it.
For instance, with Campaigns you can publish multiple posts on COVID-19 or ‘working from home’ then look at the impact on employee morale to ensure you’re providing the most relevant information. Campaigns will be available in May.
Supporting employee wellbeing
Our second priority is making it easier for distributed companies to listen to their people, provide feedback opportunities and focus on wellbeing.
Everyone has been impacted in some way by the pandemic. We want Workplace to provide a space for leaders and colleagues alike to listen and support each other. The organizations that get this right today will have a lasting and positive impact on their workforce.
With this in mind, we’ve expanded the capabilities of Safety Check on Workplace by introducing Safety Alerts. This enables organizations to send standalone alerts providing updates or context on an incident without requiring a response. Safety Alerts can be used for any important safety updates, not just drills or crises.
Alerts are already being used by our beta testers to keep employees informed of the evolving guidance during COVID-19.
Safety Check in Workplace
We’ve also created a new type of post – Q&A posts. These are designed to help organizations understand what’s important to employees, and to enable quick feedback.
People will be able to add and upvote questions, ensuring the top concerns across the organization get the attention they deserve.
Understand what’s important to employees with Q&A Posts
Care Reaction and Profile Frames
Finally, we’re introducing a new Care Reaction and Profile Frames in order to help those separated by the pandemic feel closer to their colleagues.
The new Facebook Care Reaction - an emoji hugging a heart - is coming to Workplace to help colleagues show care and support when responding to a post, message, photo or video. Profile Frames are a new set of work-from-home-themed frames that can be overlayed on your existing profile picture to help people be apart together.
Showcase your support with an ‘Apart Together’ frame, or signal the balance you need to strike with a ‘Work from Home Parent’ frame. Each is aimed at creating a greater understanding amongst colleagues.
Q&A posts are available today, Care Reaction and Profile Frames will be available to our customers in May and Safety Alerts will be rolling out in June.
This is just the first set of features we’ve developed to help Workplace communities with the urgent priorities they’re facing today.
You’ll hear more from us soon as we continue to develop new features that help make our working lives easier while we all come to grips with this new normal.