You have your Workplace from Facebook “launch” all figured out. You hired a partner to help you architect a four-week plan to make organizational change a success. The launch party cake has been ordered, the new corporate selfie sticks arrived, and the photo booth backdrop in is secured and ready for action at HQ. The CEO will send an eye-catching all-employee email announcement in the morning. Your Workplace from Facebook launch is sure to be free from adoption barriers, right?
This is an example of what we have seen when an internal communications team attempts to launch Workplace without thinking of long-term success. They put on their promotional hats, and worry about the details later.
Take it from us, a successful Workplace from Facebook community requires more than just promoting and “pushing” communications and events. Talk Social to Me has been at this for more than 10 years. It takes a lot of planning, and continuous work.
Here are the top 5 barriers to effective adoption we see:
Lack of an implementation and long-term engagement strategy
Back to our launch party scenario: What will motivate employees who are taking selfies and eating cake to work in Workplace? What will they see after they log in? Why would they want to continue using the community? Repeat after me: What’s in it for them?
You need to define value propositions for Workplace, of course. But also you need to determine long-term use cases. This is the single more effective (and easy) way to ensure adoption of the platform. You need to think of use cases that are globally relevant and solve for problems your employees face. You also need to have a plan for helping others think through their use cases and what can be made better by using Workplace. If employees sense a lack of ownership on the platform, they may view Workplace as just another top-down communications tool from corporate.
Failure to provide Workplace onboarding and training
It’s a widespread myth that you don’t need to provide training for Workplace from Facebook. Employees may be familiar with its Facebook-like interface, but have they ever used a social network for actual work? Doubt it. Trainings can happen during pre-shift meetings, or through short videos and guides.
Don’t forget to provide different, specific training for people managers. They are the key to ensuring their direct reports will adopt Workplace. Managers will need to know how to effectively engage people in a new, digital format. Go beyond the nuances of the tool, and give real-life examples of how to spark conversation and ensure connections are being made.
Little to no participation from senior leaders – or not including leaders from different functional teams
Senior leaders gave Workplace the green light, but it doesn’t mean they have the time (or will) to participate. Yet, their engagement on the platform is critical to unlocking full business benefits. To ensure their posts and interactions on Workplace are in line with your overall strategy, we recommend a customized coaching session with your leader.
A little effort from senior leaders goes a long way. SWOOP Analytics found that community interaction activity grew by 28% after a CEO had recognized particular employees on the platform. Employees who were recognized then additionally added 60% more community connections.
It’s also important to get the perspectives of other functional areas of the business. You will need “champions” in every area of the business who will roll up their sleeves and advocate for Workplace, talk it up, and role model desired behaviors on and off the platform. Don’t overlook the value of people managers. Employees are more likely to buy into Workplace if the individuals to whom they report find it valuable.
Treating Workplace like just another channel
Don’t expect employees to come to Workplace to read announcements, especially if you’re copying-and-pasting what you send in all-employee emails. You need to differentiate it. What workflows will change as a result of Workplace? Why would employees want to hear from a leader or colleague on Workplace on a daily or weekly basis? What everyday problems will Workplace solve for your employees?
5. Not listening to the voices of your people, and only to vendors or partners.
You can cake the advice of experts, but you also need to consider what’s best for your employees. Your organization is unique. If your vendor (or even your CEO) is pushing you to launch in January, but you have an all-hands meeting scheduled for February, why not wait for the business driver? We know it’s hard to say no to your CEO, but not doing so in a situation like this could put you at risk for long-term failure.
Workplace from Facebook is not a communications campaign. It doesn’t have an end date, so don’t treat launch day as an “end.” Should it be a celebration? Yes, but celebrate it as a new beginning. Successful implementations for Workplace (or any enterprise social network, for that matter) take lots of hard work and thoughtful consideration beyond hosting a “launch party.” If you need help increasing adoption after you’ve implemented Workplace, schedule an introductory call with Talk Social to Me.
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