Dan Vetras, CEO, Kollective
For businesses to thrive in the digital economy, communication is key. At the heart of this is an organization’s internal culture, where traits like collaboration, transparency, feedback and strategy must come together to drive employee satisfaction, customer engagement and business growth.
But uniting employees on business strategy can be tricky, especially when it comes to making sure everyone understands and embraces the organization’s culture, vision and overall mission.
Long gone are the days when information was posted on a physical message board. From email to messaging apps, social media to company newsletters, with so many channels available for internal communications, information can quickly become segmented.
Plus, as 5G gains traction across the world, working from home could become indistinguishable from being there in person. Advances in this technology could even have wider impacts than simply allowing those working remotely to feel more a part of the team by reducing business travel and closing the gap between cities and rural communities, for example.
In the world of work, as in our personal lives, face-to-face collaboration has the edge. So, despite the tech industry aiding this, there are still some current limitations to what remote collaboration can achieve. While it’s important that employees are able to speak with each other openly and in whatever way is most convenient, this presents a unique challenge for modern businesses.
In the last ten years, workplaces have become more decentralized to better reflect the globalized way in which people now work. Assisted by technologies that allow for higher broadband speed, lower latency and greater capacity, for example, businesses have experienced a cultural change where remote or flexible working is now the norm. In turn, this has altered how employees communicate and are communicated with.
With organizational structures altering to accommodate this preference for workplace flexibility, it’s more important, and also more difficult than ever before, for internal comms leaders to ensure employees are unified in their understanding of business strategies.
This is a particular issue for global companies with numerous offices and large teams that are dispersed across different continents and time zones. So, with this in mind, what’s the best way to reach remote audiences with consistent messaging in an engaging and informative way?
Uniting every employee on business strategy
One of the most effective communication tools a business can employ to resolve this issue is video. While far from being considered a new technology, there are many different ways that video can bring remote workers and teams together. It is also a cost-effective solution that can be easily rolled-out across an organization’s network at scale and without cannibalizing its entire bandwidth.
Video is a powerful way of engaging audiences and creating connections in real time. This is already the case in day-to-day life with employees using and watching more video than ever as consumers. It’s not unreasonable, then, to imagine that they want those same experiences in the workplace –whether they’re office-based, working from home or on-site in an international office, for example.
From town hall updates to livestreams, webinars to video newsletters, visual internal communications all have a major role to play in sharing news and aligning teams on mission-critical aspects of the business.
In terms of the next stage of this, 5G wireless could take video to the next level, enabling even higher speeds, a new generation of remote collaboration features and universal access from any location.
Video as a collaboration and engagement tool
With so many business exchanges taking place via messaging apps, email and over the phone, we can often overlook or undervalue the importance of speaking face-to-face. Body language, hand gestures and facial expressions are just some of the important clues that indicate how a conversation is progressing, or where it may be stalling.
When speaking over the phone or using email, those communication cues are unavailable or lost. In contrast, video technology brings these visual signals back into play, allowing conversations to flow more naturally. This is especially important in cross-cultural communication, where strategic goals can easily get “lost in translation”.
Video can also help build and maintain internal relationships, increase engagement and productivity, and ensure that those working across different departments, offices or even countries are all aligned when it comes to the business strategy.
Through the use of video analytics, comms teams can monitor metrics such as who has engaged with a message and who has watched it all the way through to the end. These insights can be used to tailor information so that it’s packaged and delivered with the goal of having maximum impact.
Using video to solve strategic communication challenges
To help comms leaders solve strategic challenges while uniting employees, departments and teams on strategy, it’s essential for organizations to implement smarter solutions for delivering internal messaging.
Today’s employees expect to be able to communicate at work the way they do socially. This requires access to numerous communication channels across multiple devices, allowing workers to keep in touch with teams wherever they are based. However, keeping team members connected and strategically aligned in these circumstances can be challenging.
Video tools allows businesses to circumvent these problems by fostering a stronger collaborative spirit between employees while eliminating the ‘wait-and-reply’ nature of emails. At the same time, this lessens the potential for important information to be misread, misunderstood or mislaid.
For comms leaders, video is vital to creating a rich internal communications culture across offices and continents. Through video, company plans can be communicated quickly, efficiently and at scale, meaning any pending decisions can be settled with minimum hassle.
Video is the best communications method for an organization to articulate strategy and align remote or overseas employees – and with technologies constantly evolving, making this process smoother, faster and more immersive, the future looks bright for video collaboration.