Communication tools connect generations and provide your people with a voice, writes Julien Codorniou, vice-president of Workplace at Facebook.
The way we work has changed. Over recent years, we’ve moved from letters to email, desk phones to mobiles, and offices to remote working, thanks to enhanced and flexible connectivity. In the modern workforce landscape, 80% of employees around the world don’t sit at a desk.
We are now in the midst of further transformation as new generations enter the workforce. Generation Z comprises true digital natives, members of whom have been exposed to the internet, smartphones and instant messaging from their earliest youth. They have very different expectations of how their employers should operate, communicate and collaborate.
Creating an inclusive and productive culture
Our challenge is to connect generations to create an inclusive culture and increase business productivity. However, Facebook’s Deskless not Voiceless study, which explored the communication practices and challenges between frontline workers and business leaders, found that while 95% of leaders understand the value of workforce collaboration tools, only 56% have implemented them.
This disparity presents a huge opportunity for a significant number of organisations to provide a platform where employees of all positions, ages and backgrounds have a voice. Doing so should be seen as a competitive differentiator.
Connecting people to the leadership team
Collaboration tools can help bring the entire organisation together. Individuals entering the workforce today want to feel connected to their companies, know who their CEOs are, and what their organisation stands for. Communication tools almost double the number of people who feel connected to the leadership team, from 14% to 25%. Generating this feeling is surely essential, especially when you consider that 61% of generation Z plan to leave their jobs within two years due to a personal or career priority disconnect, according to the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey.
Having communication tools at an organisation’s core not only attracts great talent, but it empowers and retains it; it can drive ideas sharing across the business and be that spark for organisational innovation.
Ideas should come from everyone
Innovation is in many ways the lifeblood of business, but it can only thrive in environments that welcome new ideas from anywhere and organisations that have processes in place that allow them to grow and develop. Our research found a common consensus among (98% of) business leaders that ideas should come from anywhere within the business.
Despite this, we also found that one in four employees said their ideas were stifled by poor communication. What if the next big idea for your business lies within that quarter of employees who feel voiceless? Will it be lost? Communication tools don’t just enable more conversations and benefit the company culture, they change the things employees are able to say and provide a platform for ideas to be shared.
People are the beating heart of all organisations and companies can future -proof themselves by ensuring their workforce feels valued and connected. As new generations enter the workforce, there is an opportunity to evolve and transform, and in the process, create an environment that empowers all staff and drives innovation.
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