So you have just started with Workplace by Facebook in your organization and have created a bunch of groups to get teams organized around projects or interest groups. This is great and people start to see the benefits of how Workplace by Facebook groups can help project communication and collaboration outside of email and meetings. Now, these groups are closed or even secret and they should be, but you also want to have places for employees to be able to either share content with everyone or engage with the rest of the organization.
You will quickly see that the 5 groups below will become the most popular groups in Workplace, the ones where people really feel the benefit of the platform and the ones where the company culture and the sense of belonging are the strongest.
1) The “Ask everyone in the company” Group
This is the group that we always found to be the most engaging from the get-go. As soon as your employees become active in Workplace and understand that they could reach out to anyone in the company they want to tap into this collective knowledge. The Ask everyone in the company group will allow them to do just that: post open questions to the community and see if someone has an interesting answer for them. We have seen store manager in Australia bring a very interesting point of view to R&D teams at Headquarters situated in Europe and people who would have never been able to get in touch directly through traditional corporate communication tools. This is where you really see the power of bringing the entire company into a collective exchange and networking environment.
By default, we suggest that you make everyone a member of this group by default so that all new members have a place to engage with the questions of their colleagues. When people are new to the platform they will be happy to find a place where they can share their knowledge an connect with colleagues they never met before.
We would also recommend having a small moderation team for this group in order to make sure that the questions asked are relevant to the business but are very quickly approved when posted.
2) The “Celebrate Success” Group
This is a group for everyone to share small and bigger successes. Often it is the case that a small team in a remote location achieves something that is worthy for the whole company to celebrate. Being featured in a local newspaper or on a local TV, getting an award, reaching a milestone, you name it. Again these successes would be awkward to share by mass-emailing the company but posting them in a dedicated group will allow people to quickly give a thumbs-up as an appreciation mark for the team sharing the good news.
The benefit of sharing even small victories has a tremendous impact on the collective morale of the employees inside an organization, it can inspire others to strive for the same kind steps to success. It reinforces the feeling that everyone is working and contributing to a collective goal.
Here again, making everyone a member by default is recommended however over time some moderation will be needed in order to make sure that the group doesn’t become a bragging contest. ESN community management is a subtle balancing game.
3) The “Industry News” Group
The Industry News group is a no-brainer to have a soon as you start with Workplace. You probably already have an industry newsletter or some kind of industry insight communication method in your organization. The advantage of replacing these newsletters with a Workplace by Facebook groups is that the curation is done collectively by all employees and will save you the cost of often expensive tools that do it for you. You will quickly see that there is a small group of employees that very much enjoy’s “breaking the news” of a competitor launching a new product or some other industry-relevant news to the rest of the organization. Giving these people moderation rights to the group will empower them and encourage them to become the official curators for everyone else. Compared to the two groups previously cited, however, we wouldn’t recommend making everyone a member of those groups by default. It should be a choice to subscribe to what is essentially a news stream.
We’ve seen that in a lot of organizations this group generated engagement on some critical pieces of information that enabled quick reactions and adjustments at the business and operational level. For C-Level executives, it can be an extremely powerful decision-making tool as they instantly get comments from the experts within their company on the news that will help make the right strategic choices.
4) The “Project Showcase” Group
One of the most common consequences of silos in large organizations is that you see teams in different departments or situated in different locations work on projects that have similar objectives. Despite the fact that you can argue that creating some kind of competition between different teams might increase the chances of having one of those teams achieve the desired outcome, the negative consequences in terms of resources wasted and employee morale usually outweighs the potential positive outcomes of a siloed approach.
A Project Showcase group on Workplace allows each project team that desires it to showcase a small summary of their project to the rest of the organization and maybe invite talents from different departments to participate directly or indirectly to these projects by bringing their own set of expertise. Making a call for participants to new projects actually increases the chances of success by making sure that all relevant stakeholders to this project are at least aware it exists.
As an example we have seen in a company with have worked with, employees from totally different departments but who had all an interest in chats and messenger apps to collectively work on a solution that would fill the requirements of everyone.
5) The “Idea Box” Group
Just like for the Project Showcase group, inviting people to share their ideas in a group prevents people with the same ideas to start working on them in parallel but rather help them join forces for better results. Additionally giving a place for everyone to make suggestions on how to improve everything in the company from the simple operational level to processes with a bigger business impact.
This group can be the opportunity for any employee at every level to contribute to potentially game-changing changes for the organization and the hope to get these ideas get the traction they deserve in a very limited time-span. As Starbucks CEO, Kevin Johnson outlined in his keynote speech about the introduction of Workplace at Starbucks, this allowed some Starbucks franchise managers to get their own beverage recipes to quickly be added to the official list of Starbucks beverages without going through month-long escalation and approval processes.
We hope this list has been helpful for your Workplace by Facebook project. Of course, there is a whole bunch of groups that could be very relevant to add to the mix but we believe those 5 could quickly propel important levels of engagement and reinforce the adoption of the platform. If you have any other suggestions, please mention them in the comments below.
If you need help with introducing Workplace in your organization get in touch with us. We are happy to come and meet you to discuss your project specifics with you.