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Why We Implemented Workplace From Facebook
October 16, 2016

Five years ago we implemented Workplace from Facebook with the goals of communicating better, reducing friction, increasing focus, and putting the right data in front of the right person in a timely way. So, how did that work out?

Five years ago we implemented Workplace from Facebook with the goals of communicating better, reducing friction, increasing focus, and putting the right data in front of the right person in a timely way. So, how did that work out?

WL FY22Q1 Why We Implemented Workplace blog (2)

Let’s start at the beginning with the question,

“Why did we implement Workplace from Facebook?"

There is no shortage of enterprise communications and messaging tools, each of which has strengths and weaknesses in functionality, and when it comes to selecting such a tool, the decision often comes down to criteria other than features and functionality.

For example, at a high level, we chose Workplace because we believe our company values and culture align well with Facebook’s mission to “give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected”. In our business, we are always asking ourselves, “How do we communicate better, reduce friction, increase focus, and get the right data in front of the right person in a timely manner?”. If we are going to be successful in making an impact on our people, customers, and partners, we want to work with organizations whose purpose matches our own.

In addition to alignment with our values, there are three functional reasons we chose Workplace 5 years ago and still recommend it to companies today.

Reason #1: Connecting people with a social layer on top of our work

The term “social" gets a bad rap at work. For many, the term implies frivolous, time-wasting fun. This is an erroneous assumption for two reasons.

First, people are social at work whether there is a social network or not. Where do you think the water cooler metaphor comes from?

Second, well-cited evidence from the Gallup organization on high performing organizations shows that employees who are engaged say they have a best friend at work. In fact, Gallup found “a concrete link between having a best friend at work and the amount of effort employees expend in their job. For example, women who strongly agree they have a best friend at work are more than twice as likely to be engaged (63%) compared with the women who say otherwise (29%).” Any attempt by organizations to discourage socializing will likely lead to disengaged employees.

Not only should organizations not be afraid of a workplace in which people socialize, but they should make it as easy as possible for employees to interact with each other. According to Gallup, companies should

  1. Promote open communication and collaboration
  2. Encourage people to get to know one another
  3. Promote and participate in social activities

When you consider we have 8 offices on 6 continents and Rocketeers who work from non-office locations, we need a way for dispersed teams to feel connected. Workplace makes it easy for employees to engage and build relationships.

Tools to make it easy

Workplace’s Insights dashboard tool allows admins to analyze Workplace usage. This is especially useful when launching the tool because it can shine light on which departments/teams are adopting the tool more readily, and those that might need a nudge.

Connections, another dashboard tool, helps you see which teams or departments are collaborating and sharing ideas across the organization. For example, in the last 28 days at ServiceRocket we’ve seen:

WL FY22Q1 Why We Implemented Workplace blog illust. (1)

One final point I want to make here. Even though I used the term “social network,” I do not think of Workplace as a social network. In my view, it is a communication and messaging platform that allows us to communicate better, with less friction, and get the right people talking about the right things, at the right time.

This brings us to the second reason we chose to adopt Workplace from Facebook.

Reason #2: Messaging and Communication

We deliberately built a company with distributed offices in eight countries as a means of continuously supporting customers and finding the talent needed to fulfill our company mission, which is to be “the most reliable partner in the acceleration of your company’s growth”

In order for this distributed strategy to work, communications must be the glue that binds everyone together. In fact, an open and frequent communication flow is the only way this strategy can work.

For executive teams trying to communicate their company vision, mission and values, one of the biggest challenges is engaging people around those messages. After all, research shows only 37% of employees say they have a clear understanding of what their organization is trying to achieve. That is not good.

Workplace solves this problem by making communication accessible, relatable, engaging  and, perhaps most importantly, bi-directional.

Here are four ways it happens:

1.  Executives can post an update to communicate any message they want and ask for input from their entire team. Employees can comment on it and executives can follow up, clarify, or otherwise continue the conversation.

WL FY22Q1 Why We Implemented Workplace blog screencaps

2.  Executives can comment on other’s posts or make their own post such as giving an employee Kudos. This has the potential to be so powerful and motivating because it is coming from a company leader. Imagine the impact a CEO’s Kudos post can have on a front-line employee for doing their job well.


WL FY22Q1 Why We Implemented Workplace blog screencaps kudos

3.  Executives can post a video selfie to communicate any message. Smartphones and mobile apps make it easy to record high-quality videos and upload them for all employees to watch (and interact with). The video selfie helps leaders ensure their message is getting across to employees directly, without the filters of management layers and communications teams that can change the message with each layer it passes through.

90% of communication is through body language and with a video selfie recipients can hear voice inflections, see when leaders become more animated, and see the passion in their leaders face while they speak.

WL FY22Q1 Why We Implemented Workplace blog screencaps video selfie

4.  Executives can post recordings of all-hands company meetings to ensure everyone can participate. Q&A can occur asynchronously in the comments, which is not always practical in a large in-person meeting.

WL FY22Q1 Why We Implemented Workplace blog screencaps All Hands

For more ideas, check one of our top performing blogs on the subject: Communicate better: only 14% of your employees understand your company strategy.

Reason #3: Work. Yes, Actual Work

The main obstacle for any enterprise social network achieving widespread adoption is the perception that it is  not a serious work tool. Rather, it is seen as a place to communicate separate from work.

When we implemented Workplace, we knew it could not be just another place to communicate. It had to be the place for people to collaborate and share ideas about their work. So one of the first things we did was create groups for each team and groups for projects like Finance Gurus, Growth Team, Kudos, or Free Music Fridays.

Groups in Workplace by Facebook

In Workplace, people not directly involved in a project can follow along and even contribute. New ideas from new sources often bubble up with engagement in the form of “likes” and “comments."

There are lots of other use cases but the three listed here were the main drivers in our selection of Workplace. And we continue to see positive results.

Workplace from Facebook Is Where ServiceRocket Works

Five years in, most Rocketeers can’t imagine life at ServiceRocket without Workplace. It allows us to collaborate with anyone within the company, regardless of their team or geographic location or time zone. It retains valuable context around conversations for everyone to review, is readily accessible, visually engaging with photos and live-streaming videos, and keeps everyone connected.  Yes, we use Workplace to celebrate social events like birthdays, anniversaries and funny dog videos, but we also use it to collaborate in ways that drive innovation for ServiceRocket and our customers.

Rob Castaneda via LinkedIn post, Why Workplace Will Win.

Learn how  ServiceRocket can help you implement Workplace from Facebook to improve communication, drive engagement and foster collaboration.

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