Kollective: Uniting employees on business strategy through video
Communication is the key to thriving in the digital economy. It’s vital to an organization’s internal culture (supporting collaboration, transparency, feedback and strategy) and is an essential element driving customer engagement and business growth.
But for comms leaders, when it comes to uniting employees on business strategy, it can be challenging to ensure that everyone understands the organization’s vision, mission and culture.
One of the biggest challenges for internal comms is dealing with the multitude of channels through which employees communicate, including email, a pletheroa of collaboration tools, social media and updates via company newsletters. While it’s important that employees are able to communicate with each other in whatever way is most convenient, it means that information can become segmented.
Shift towards decentralization
Over the last decade, there has been a shift towards decentralization of the workplace to better reflect the globalised way in which people work. As a result, organisations have undergone a cultural change — with many companies now offering flexible and remote working — and this, in turn, has changed the way that they now communicate with their employees.
Given that many employees favor flexibility, and organizational structures have altered to accommodate this preference, it’s more important, but also more difficult than ever before, for internal comms leaders to ensure that employees are united in their understanding of business strategy.
This is a particular issue for global organizations, many of which have multiple offices and teams dispersed across different continents and multiple time zones.
Uniting overseas teams and remote workers on strategy
One of the most powerful solutions that an organization can employ to solve this issue is video. While video in itself is not new, it now has many different uses that can bring together remote workers and teams. The technology has also now advanced to the point where cost-effective solutions are available that can be rolled-out across an organization’s network, at scale, without cannibalizing its entire bandwidth.
Tools such as town hall updates (which provide employees direct access to the CEO insights) livestreams, messaging webinars and video newsletters all have a major role to play in updating company communication and aligning teams on aspects of the business that the company considers mission-critical.
Video is a powerful medium for engaging and creating real time connections. Employees are used to using video in their daily communications outside of work, and they want those same experiences whether they’re office-based, working from home or on-placement in an international office.
Using video to encourage collaboration and engagement
Through the use of video, comms leaders can build and maintain internal relationships, increase engagement and productivity, and ensure that employees in different offices and in different departments are all aligned when it comes to strategy.
With so many exchanges taking place via email and over the phone, we can often overlook, or undervalue, the importance of speaking face-to-face.
What is most notable when sitting and speaking with someone, is just how many communication cues are lost, or simply unavailable, when doing business only by email or phone. Body language, gestures and facial expressions are just some of the important indicators that let us know how a conversation is progressing, or where it may be stalling.
But video technology brings all of those visual cues back into play. It allows for conversations to flow more naturally, and is especially important in cross-cultural communication, where there’s greater potential for strategic goals to get “lost in translation”.
Unlike traditional communication updates, with video technology, comms teams can monitor metrics such as who has engaged with a message and who’s watched through to the end. This means content can be tailored based on these insights, so that it’s packaged and delivered in such a way as to have maximum impact.
Solving strategic communication challenges through video
So, for communications leaders to solve the strategic challenges that they face, and unite different employees, departments and teams on strategy, organizations must implement smarter solutions when it comes to the delivery of internal messaging.
Today, employees expect to be able to communicate at work as they do socially. That means having access to multiple communication channels across multiple devices, so that they keep in touch with teams whether out of the office, working remotely or from overseas.
However, keeping team members connected and strategically aligned in these circumstances can be challenging.
Videoconferencing allows organizations to sidestep these issues. Not only does it help foster a stronger collaborative spirit amongst employees, but it eliminates the slow, wait-and-reply nature of emails, lessening the likelihood of misunderstandings and of important information being misread, misunderstood or mislaid.
For comms leaders, video is vital to creating a rich culture of internal communication and helps them solve issues regarding wider understanding of business strategy among remote employees, overseas teams and different departments. Through video, strategic ideas and concepts can be communicated quickly and efficiently, and any pending decisions can be settled with minimum hassle.
As a method of internal communication, video technology is the best way for an organization to articulate strategy and align overseas teams and remote employees.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.