How to launch Workplace well, and other tips from a tech deployment expert
Introducing new technology and unfamiliar processes can ruffle feathers within any company. As OrangeTrail founding partner Jaap Linsen has learned, it also teaches you a lot about the human tendency to trust our peers, resist change, and believe in the power of community.
OrangeTrail works closely with companies to improve their internal processes by pairing them up with leading social technology platforms, including Workplace.
We sat down with Jaap to hear his advice on what companies can do to set themselves up for long-term success with Workplace, and other insights he’s picked up along the way. Jaap also shares the inside scoop from OrangeTrail’s recent deployment of Workplace at global brewing icon HEINEKEN.
What worked best for HEINEKEN
OrangeTrail played an important role in the recent rollout of Workplace at HEINEKEN. Jaap and his team provided HEINEKEN with knowledge and support for the launch and adoption of Workplace to 65,000 employees. To hear the full story, as well as how HEINEKEN benefits from using Workplace, read OrangeTrail’s article here.
During the deployment processes, there were three distinct teams that adopted Workplace the fastest:
For HEINEKEN’s vibrant packaging community, Workplace was the perfect collaboration platform on which to come up with practical solutions to logistical problems. One example included using a drone to read labels on boxes stacked right at the top of packing shelves in warehouses. This creative solution was shared on Workplace, and had real business value for the team.
HEINEKEN’s global HR network got stuck into using Workplace by inviting all HR professionals to contribute to their annual talent acquisition program, called Go Places, within a group. HR staff from all areas have been contributing their wishes for the program and improvement suggestions in Workplace.
HEINEKEN’s communications team was quick to move conversations onto Workplace and set an example for the rest of the business. “HEINEKEN is famous for its marketing and communications, so that team was quick to understand the marketing side of Workplace,” Jaap adds.
The 3 ingredients of a successful Workplace launch
For OrangeTrail, there are 3 essential components of any successful Workplace launch. Companies must give people:
1. A reason to visit
For HEINEKEN, master brewer Willem van Weasberghe led the charge on bringing people over to Workplace. Willem initiated an all-staff brainstorm on Workplace, asking people to share who they’d most like to connect with and why. He also highlighted the benefit of collaboration for their global network of brewers, who have gone on to form a ‘Brewers Guild’ group where people share tips, inspiration and ideas.
2. A reason to stay
Next, companies must set up what OrangeTrail calls ‘content architecture’ on Workplace. This involves:
- Creating a core number of important groups.
- Making sure each group has ample content in it to start people off.
- Assigning an owner to each group, and ensuring that these owners have basic training in community management (setting engagement goals, posting regularly, etc.).
- Making sure that each group owner posts content frequently, at least for the first 2 months while Workplace gains momentum.
3. A reason to come back every day
People will only come back to a tool every day if it’s actually important to their job. As Jaap puts it, “If your ambition is to get people to be on Workplace every day, you need to get people to actually work on Workplace, not just read other people’s posts and chat.”
What not to do
“The biggest mistake companies can make when using Workplace is to stick to broadcasting,” says Jaap. Live broadcasting with CEOs and senior management is a great way to get people onto Workplace, but it’s not enough to make them stay.
“Some companies make the mistake of thinking that Workplace is just another comms channel or intranet. But using Workplace successfully means that you have to change some habits – whether that’s a change in leadership communications, or in team communications, or across the board. It doesn’t have to happen all at once, but we see some companies take the first step and then just use it to post messages and hope that their staff will like it. That’s not where the power of the platform is.”
The power of peer-to-peer learning
To increase understanding and adoption of the mobile version of a sales app, HEINEKEN hosted some collaborative JAM sessions which led to a surprising discovery. “What they really noticed was that people were much more willing to accept ideas and improvement suggestions from their peers than from a trainer.”
With Workplace, HEINEKEN has replaced in-person training from costly trainers with interactive online training, such as these JAM sessions. This has shortened the cycle of learning and resulted in a significant cost benefit to the business.
Just because you know Facebook, doesn’t mean you know Workplace
Although Workplace is easy to use and similar to Facebook, this ease of use can be deceptive. “Some people start using the platform and think they know what it’s all about straight away because they’re confident using Facebook.”
The dynamics of getting work done using Workplace are very different from the general use of Facebook, Jaap explains. “People know how to share personal things on Facebook, and it’s ok to share some personal messages on Workplace as well. However, people aren’t familiar with the way you can do work on Workplace. If you don’t show them how Workplace might just look like Facebook and you will miss out on a lot of business benefits.”
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