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Is anyone using Workplace by Facebook?

Started 13 days ago

We relied on this platform heavily during my time with my previous employer because it was intuitive and easy to use for our people and our senior leaders. The live streaming function is good, and it really encourages social communication among the users.


Does anyone use Workplace by Facebook? If you do, is it your main intranet or a supplement to the main internal comms platform?


I have only seen case studies for Starbucks, and I would love to hear from another organisation who may have a different perspective.

 

Not using it, but worked with a few clients who evaluated it and decided to go in a different direction. Mostly because it was too singularly focused. It looks good and evaluated well as an engagement platform but fell down on other componenents of what was needed from a cohesive digital workplace platform. Didn't have the strong document sharing of SharePoint/Teams, didn't have the collaboration tools, video libraries....  Most of the clients I have worked with of late are O365 so with the digital workplace in a box partners (e.g. Beezy, Unily...) that sit on top and have strong integration, Workplace just didn't make sense.

That all being said, have not deployed it/used it at work so can't speak to longer term use. So take everything I've said with a grain of salt re: your question about actual usage :-)

You are right, it is not a great library and it does not integrate well. In addition to that, the people who look after data protection in our organisation did not like Workplace very much and I could see why. Thank you for sharing!

I'm sure there are ways to do it right, but in the implementations I've seen (including Yammer), it ends up being the few talking to the few

 

My health care system in the US has been using Workplace as a supplement for a bit less than a year. Our intranet is not mobile-enabled so having a platform to communicate with non-wired employees, and one that they can download to their personal devices, has been helpful thus far.

Really interesting that it is used in healthcare - when I was a carer, I was not given a mobile and the homes of the clients I visited had very bad network coverage. But at the same time, Workplace is much more mobile than other intranets I have worked with and ironically, it is best for remote workers. As people have said already, it all comes to how well you prepare to roll it out. 

We use it. It has been transformational in our company. I liked it because it didn't try to do too much, it did what it was good at. It wasn't trying to be an intranet. In fact, the more they go down the route of trying to be more intranetty, the more I dislike it! It has democratised communication where we work. Not everyone uses it so more work to be done there but it's a good tool.

We have a closed Staff Facebook group which has rocketed from around 400 people, to around 1000 during the pandemic and it's been an absolute godsend.

We had a large no. of staff who had to be moved to working from home in a matter of days, some of whom had to rely on using their own computers/laptops, and we had lots of teething trouble getting them online, servers crashing etc. Being able to update them via Staff Facebook, when they couldn't access their email or intranet, has been a huge game changer for us. Now, even our Chief Exec has joined the group! (Just to lurk, we haven't managed to persuade him to comment yet!)

Although I would be reluctant to join a regular Facebook group myself, it is great to hear that it has worked well in a time of crisis. It is a more open tool, and I completely agree that it is not a substitute for a traditional intranet. 

Hello Anastasia

There is an opportunity for us (as Comms professionals) to take a step back and consider our overall communication channels strategy in light of Covid-19. Once we understand employee communication needs, we can identify the best possible technology to support our outcomes (rather than considering technology first).

Whichever option we choose to meet that need, it should be introduced in way that recognises human behaviour. Here is a framework for introducing technology that may be useful.

From my experience, these are important aspects in ensuring our communication channels are effective.

That makes sense! Thank you for sharing your LinkedIn article Karen.

That's a pleasure Anastasia. Let me know if I can help any further. Happy to have a Zoom coffee :-)

I've created an instance of Workplace and had a good play with it.  On the positive side, it's quite like Facebook so the learning curve is not massive.  On the otherhand, like any social tool, how well it works (in my opinion), depends on how well it integrates with or sits alongside your main intranet.... and MOST significantly, depends on how much work you bother to do on culture and behaviours.  If staff don't feel comfortable "working out loud" in your organisation anyway, the chances are that any ESN tool is going to have tumbleweed blowing through it before long.  On the other hand, if leaders like it, and embrace it and display the right behaviours, ESNs can be revolutionary in leveraging the collective knowledge of your people.