What we can learn from a day without Facebook

7 October 2021

By Rebecca Mitchell

This week’s Facebook failure got us thinking about a world without email communications. Would you be ready for an outage?

 

Earlier last week it felt like we’d all been transported back in time, when Facebook and its family of apps, Instagram and WhatsApp, went down and we had to resort to more “old fashioned” forms of communication – we really do now consider SMS text messaging old-fashioned!

It got us thinking – how would we cope in the business world if we all lost access to what, for many, is still considered our staple method of communication – email?

Imagine you couldn’t send or receive emails for an entire week internally among your colleagues. How else would you keep the lines of communication open and your key updates out there – especially in a world where so many of us now work remotely?

It’s amazing how many organisations still rely on email as their preferred method of employee communications, and yet these days there are so many other engaging and effective ways to keep everyone in the loop; whether a team collaborating across multiple sites on a project or needing to communicate a new benefit or updated code of conduct.

With this in mind, let’s pretend for a moment email is off the table, and look at some other ways to keep the lines of communication flowing:

 

Make it dynamic

The company intranet has evolved in recent years, with a plethora of platforms and solutions now on offer that can help you tailor yours to best fit your organisational needs. However, we hear and see many that could benefit from being more dynamic – moving away from a simple storage of documents, towards a home for a variety of content mediums to suit all types of personalities. Podcasts for the listeners, live and on-demand townhall style events for those who like watching content and interactive content for those who like to get involved. If managed well, intranets can contribute heavily toward a more vibrant company culture.

 

Get ‘appy

These days most of us are comfortable using apps, and among the Gen Ys and Gen Zs of the working world, they’re pretty much a preferred method of communication. A bespoke or off-the-shelf employee app allows everyone in an organisation to exchange ideas and collaborate, and can be a really simple and effective way to communicate organisational goals and key news. It can repurpose content from the intranet, or be With apps, you can also utilise push notifications, empowering employees to choose whether they want them or not – great for those off grid without a work email!

 

Set your sights on sites

Many who don’t have dynamic intranets are turning to employee microsites as a way of creating engagement and communicating in real time about a particular topic. The beauty of a microsite is that you can tailor it to be whatever you want it to be – a place to share anything from invitations to take part in a share plan or ESG activity, to wellbeing content and support. When an intranet is outdated and lacks creativity and customisation, microsites are great to spin up to increase engagement. As well as sitting stand-alone, they can often be integrated into your intranet to benefit from sitting in the same single-sign-on (SSO) environment and connected from the main navigation to get the best of both worlds – when they are stand-alone from the intranet, they certainly allow easier access to those who are off on leave and still need to be included and kept informed.

 

Keep it real(time)

With intranets and microsites, we need to notify colleagues when to visit to see new content – this is where emails tend to be the default option, but why not turn to chat. Whether it’s Teams, Slack, Yammer, Workplace – social platforms are great for encouraging day to day interaction between employees and can be organised by using dedicated channels for specific topics. When Facebook went down, many tuned to Twitter to talk about it – so perhaps we can keep it social and in real-time if emails were not an option.

 

… and back to email

Email is by no means dead, it’s just worth considering there are lots of other exciting and innovative ways to keep conversations flowing with your colleagues. And just in case emails do ever suffer a Facebook-style outage, there’s no harm in having other channels at your disposal to use alongside or instead.

To learn more about adopting a broader multi-channel approach to your internal communications, get in touch – we can help with launch communications and embed a new channel.

Rebecca Mitchell

Relationship & Project Manager – Chartered CoSec and share plans expert

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