For employees, it sometimes feels as if a flood of information and news is rushing towards them through different media, like mail, apps, intranet, Teams, verbally, intranet, etc.. There are red numbers everywhere but where should you look? A flood of information through too many different channels creates chaos, causing people to miss out on news. How do you solve this as an organisation? In this article, I share how we, together with a communication manager, brought all communication flows under control.
By bringing your news and information flows in Workspace 365 in one place and by making clear choices for a medium, you gain control over the communication flows. For example, think about sharing important news about COVID-19 and the related protocols. Or how employees communicate with each other. Make sure there are clear choices for this and share them with employees.
Communicate as an organisation to employees
As an organisation, you are responsible for the provision of information and the facilitation of safe communication and knowledge sharing. There are a number of components that you can use within the workspace.
- Add intranet as a Shared Space
If you use the intranet as a news source for your organisation, you can easily add the entire page to the workspace as a shared space. This way, employees have all their information and news in one workspace. The advantage of this is that the visual appearance remains the same, you can integrate it in under ten minutes within the digital workspace.
- Add parts of the intranet as web content tiles
Some intranets offer the option of embedding parts of the intranet into other places on the internet (like your website or digital workspace). You can also use this option to, for example, integrate the news overview within Workspace 365. This allows you to use the Content Management System (CMS) of your intranet, while employees can view the news in their digital workspace wherever they start their applications, view information and open documents.
- RSS feeds from external sources and SharePoint
If it’s important for your organisation that employees are aware of external news, you can use an RSS feed. By integrating an RSS feed into the workspace, your organisation can keep up to date with relevant news. Different news sources and topics can be set per function. Internal news from SharePoint sites can also be integrated into the workspace by means of an RSS feed. RSS feeds allow you to integrate various types of information, such as YouTube playlists, Spotify podcasts, mailings and much more.
- Announcement Centre for important messages
Some organisations share all their news through the Workspace 365 Announcement Centre because they have moved away from their intranet. The organisations that still have an intranet choose the Announcement Centre to share crucial messages that must be read by everyone, such as measures related to working from home.
What can you do with the Announcement Centre?
The Announcement Centre offers options to display and filter news in various ways. For instance, you can add an image or video to the announcement. When announcements are Must-Reads, use the pop-up function. The message will appear as a pop-up and in the live tile for people to read again. The ability to like and comment on a post makes it interactive. As a communication manager, you can also see how often a message has been viewed. As an organisation, you can choose to display certain content per category/department. You can also make a general page with all the news. A kind of landing page with the company news from different channels.
- Management information per employee group
Within various applications, people also have information that helps them to make choices. For a director, for example, this could be the turnover figures and customer satisfaction scores, while for a healthcare employee it’s interesting to see which patients they will visit today. You can make all this information accessible within Workspace 365. This can be done with Micro Apps (available in the app store) or by integrating it into the workspace using iFrames.
Communication and knowledge sharing between employees
In addition to providing information, it is also important to help people communicate and share knowledge. Often investments have already been made within organisations in tools such as Microsoft 365 in which Yammer and Microsoft Teams are available. Would be a shame not to use them.
- Teams as a replacement for WhatsApp?
With the rise of WhatsApp, groups were created in all organisations (even hospitals and banks) in which employees shared sensitive information, beyond the control of the organisation. That is why we recommend using Microsoft Teams for direct and team communication. You can also integrate Microsoft Teams within Workspace 365 so that people can quickly access documents and find the right channel.
- Yammer for knowledge sharing and polls
We see Microsoft Teams as a form of synchronous communication, in other words, you send a message and expect an immediate response. Many messages are posted so that information can also disappear quickly. In contrast, Yammer, a form of asynchronous communication, where you, for example, place a poll to choose the next company outing or to share information that you want to receive responses to (also outside your team). Of course, you can integrate the Yammer feed within Workspace 365.