How Collaboration Will Save Company Culture
I wear a lot of hats at PGi, but one of the closest to my heart is managing a team of corporate communicators. Part of that job entails creating and nurturing the internal culture at PGi, bringing all of our 2,100+ associates together under the same vision, mission and core values.
For any organization, creating a healthy, vibrant culture is key to attracting top talent, driving loyalty to retain your existing employees and motivating your associates. However, increasingly global workforces, flexible work schedules and mobile, on-the-go employees have made creating that culture more difficult than ever.
These are all good problems to have. They’re signs of growth and progressive workplace policies. But how do you maintain a consistent, nurturing company culture amidst all this distance?
Collaboration is the Key
Collaboration is the key to company culture. How, when, where and why we work together defines the culture of any organization, period. In fact, 63% of CEOs cite “creating a collaborative environment” as a top factor in drawing the most out of their employees.
But our increasingly distributed and flexible teams have presented a wealth of new challenges to collaboration. It can be difficult to feel like part of a team if you’re not on the same continent as your coworkers. It can be tough to share in your company’s mission and values if your only exposure to them is through canned emails rather than hearing them first-hand from your leadership team.
Technology can play a major role in bridging these gaps. Here are three ways that collaboration technology can save your company culture:
1) Increase Your Leadership’s Visibility
Getting your employees fired up about your company’s mission, performance, products or simply overall strategic direction can be a tough proposition when dealing with a distributed workforce. The ideal scenario is for your CEO or other leadership to present this information first-hand at company retreats or town halls, but these can be expensive logistical nightmares.
Webcasting is a simple, self-service way to provide virtual access to your executive team, increasing their visibility and having far more impact on your employees than an email or newsletter. You can even host a hybrid event by having an in-person audience and using technology like webcasting by TalkPoint (a PGi Company) to stream the event live around the world, bringing all of your associates together under one (virtual) roof and letting everyone see your leadership on video when they hear their message.
2) Give Everyone a Place to Gather
One of the toughest parts of a mobile or flexible workforce is the lack of easy collaboration and conversation around documents, files, presentations or even just ideas. Email may still be the go-to, but it can often be cumbersome and overwhelming, as attachments get confused and new messages flood in non-stop.
Online team workspaces can fill this gap for your company. They provide a virtual gathering place where files can be stored and kept up to date, comments and revisions can be discussed and yes, even the occasional gif, YouTube video or meme can be shared. Having a central location for these kinds of interactions goes a long way towards making even the largest organization feel smaller and connected.
3) Bring People Together in Real-Time
Finally, the ultimate in collaboration is working directly together in meetings, brainstorming together over an idea or document in real-time. However, distributed teams may only be able to get into the same room once or twice a year thanks to high travel costs and hectic schedules.
Web conferencing solutions like iMeet® and GlobalMeet® have solved this problem, providing intuitive, face-to-face virtual meetings—the next best thing to being there in person. Whether it’s a scheduled call or an ad hoc brainstorming session, true collaboration is never more than a click away, even if the person you’re meeting is on the other side of the globe.
All of these solutions—virtual events and webcasting, team workspaces and web conferencing—work together to create a collaborative culture and ecosystem within any organization. These tools will bridge the gaps and connect your teams better than any email ever could.
This article was written by Sean O’Brien and published on the PGi blog.
Sean O’Brien is the strategic voice of PGi, managing the company’s internal and external communications, including his role as the primary spokesperson for PGi. He works directly with PGi Chairman and CEO Boland T. Jones, President Ted Schrafft and the executive team to craft and communicate PGi’s vision, strategy and corporate objectives.
PGi has been a leading global provider of collaboration software and services for over 20 years. PGi’s cloud-based software applications let business users connect, collaborate and share ideas and information from their desktop, tablet or smartphone, enabling greater productivity in the office or on the go.