We really wanted to get a good overview of how Workplace has changed working life for everyone at EasyWeb, so we decided to have a quick catch up with a few people in the company who are all in completely different situations; from management to new starters to field based employees, they’ve all given us their own perspectives on the communications platform.
We first had a quick chat with our Head of Sales, Matt Wisniewski, to get a management perspective on the tool. This is what he had to say...
As a manager, you were one of the first people to hear about our plans to start using Workplace. What were your initial thoughts on the platform?
When I saw the new platform, I was really impressed, although sceptical at the same time as we use a lot of systems here at EasyWeb, I was wary people wouldn’t take to it. When I first started using Workplace, it was as straightforward as I thought it would be, user friendly and I was pleased that it provided us with something we didn't previously have...an Intranet.
How has Workplace helped to develop communication within your team?
Workplace has really improved communication. The chat feature means we are no longer reliant on skype but even more importantly we’ve been given the ability to share each other's success, ask questions and make group announcements giving everyone access to the whole company all in one place. It's also reduced the amount of emails in my inbox, which is great!
What do you think is the most useful feature of Workplace and why?
I know this isn’t an actual component of Workplace but the most important feature to me, is that we can all share ideas and everyone has access, it really opens up opportunities for us to develop not only as individuals but as a company too.
We then moved on to Account Director, Leanne Hayward, she’s one of the six field based employees at EasyWeb and is only based in the office a couple of days a month when we hold our sales meeting. So, we thought it’d be great to see how Workplace has changed her normal working day..
Before we moved to Workplace, you were one of the few people who were involved in a work related WhatsApp chat, to help you communicate with your team. How does communicating via Workplace compare to WhatsApp?
Communication is much clearer and easier to read, there is a system in place so I know that if I want to find something specific, I’ll go to the right group. Whereas, on WhatsApp I would just scroll up the chat, hoping that I’d find the relevant information soon. It also allows me to share and view my colleagues links and files, which is great if I need to quickly access something on the go, previously I’d have to wait until I got home and had my computer turned on to access certain files.
You only come into the office once a month. Since having access to Workplace, do you feel that you’re more in touch with the office’s day-to-day life?
Absolutely, by creating sections for social, sales and IT I can dip in and out of the most relevant and important information and when I have more time I can view the social messages and other items which are relevant but not important to my everyday activities.
Would you say communication has improved between yourself and your colleagues in different departments since the switch to Workplace?
Definitely, I feel so much more in the loop with what is going on with everyone. Everyone is so much more accessible too, it’s easier to go directly to the person I need to speak to, rather than communicating through others.
From Leanne, we went to our newest recruit, Gary Small, who joined EasyWeb just under two months ago as a Resource Executive. Gary doesn’t know what EasyWeb life was like without Workplace, so we thought it’d be great to see his take on the tool and also how it compares to the communication at other businesses he’s worked at...
What were your initial thoughts on Workplace when it was first introduced to you?
When I was introduced to Workplace I was really pleased, I use Facebook regularly and knew it wouldn’t take me long to get used to, since I already know the format. I had just started at EasyWeb and I was being trained on my job role, so it was one less thing for me to think about getting used to, giving me more time to focus on getting to know my job role inside out.
You’ve been at EasyWeb for almost 2 months now, do you think having Workplace since you started has helped you understand our office culture and be more socially involved than you would’ve been without this tool?
100%. All updates are easy to see, and you are alerted every time there is a new update. We also have separate groups for the social side, so you can easily view upcoming events, and get involved with organising future socials. For example, resourcing recently voted on where to go for our next team night out. This ensures that everyone is involved, and decisions are not made by just one or two people.
Oooh, what was the winner for your Resourcing night out?
Jamrock… it’s a little Jamaican restaurant/bar in Wellingborough. The food looks awesome!
Sounds good! Now, back to what we’re here for… How does using this communication platform within the company compare to other places you’ve worked?
It’s very different to anywhere else I have worked. My previous places have all tended to use emails to communicate company updates or social events, which works, but is not as efficient as workplace. Workplace also ensures your email inbox does not become clogged up, which is always a bonus!
From new to old, our chat with our newbie, Gary, feeds us nicely into our catch up with Ben Beveridge, the Senior Recruitment Consultant for our Agency division. Ben has been at EasyWeb for 10 years and has worked in various teams throughout the company. If anyone is going to know anything about how Workplace has changed company communication, it’s going to be Ben!
So Ben, do you feel like Workplace has improved the company’s communication? Especially within and between different teams?
Massively, over the past 10 years I’ve seen us try various different methods to improve communications, from basic intranets to online forms but we’ve always struggled to get people to buy into these. It was just another system we had to log in to. As a growing company we didn’t always have the head count to always warrant an internal communication tool. We all sat in the same open plan office and felt it was just as easy that news would spread via word of mouth. We now have teams based in 3 central offices, as well as a number of field based team members. Whilst we all get on great and speak regularly, it’s really important that every team feels part of the company and we are now able to share every success and idea we have across the entire business, rather than just with the people we sit next to or our line managers. If we have questions or problems we can openly ask for advice and share knowledge, everyone is quick to help to find a solution.
Workplace has really helped bring the business together and it’s great to have set groups you can assign yourself to and pick and choose what updates would like to receive notifications for, meaning as soon as something relevant is posted you get an alert. The app is a great tool as well, so even when you’re out of the office or working for home you still feel connected with everyone in the business.
How do you feel about using workplace now compared to when it was first introduced to you?
I was a little reserved about moving across to Workplace, I’m not the biggest fan of Facebook. When I heard Workplace is like facebook for work, I wasn’t sure how much I could buy into it initially. I was worried that people would see too many posts and feel it was difficult to find the information they wanted but how wrong could I be, it’s a slick user interface. Once you’ve got all you teams and projects set up it’s great to keep up with day-to-day announcements. Beforehand, we would just end up in a 10 way email with various replies coming in often out of order and becoming irrelevant or glanced over and missed. By moving this to workplace, you can have a straightforward conversation and you can easily see whole conversations, the order of the replies and even tag people in specific comments as well.
I’d highly recommend workplace as a communication tool for any business.
What is your favourite feature of the tool and why?
I’d say I’ve got two. Firstly, any new starters that join the business, it’s a great way for everyone both existing and new staff to put names to faces. It makes it easier for everyone to see what’s happening, ask for help and feel involved in a business from day one.
Secondly, it gives a great opportunity across the business to add variety to team ideas. Instead of keeping a discussion or a solution within the teams you work with on a daily basis, you can put that question to everyone in the business. Sometimes the most unlikely person will have the best solution.
I think it’s safe to say that overall our EasyWeb Employees are pretty impressed with Workplace and how it helps them to feel more engaged with the business’ day-to-day happenings, as well as helping them feel more involved with the social aspects of working life. After all, one of our company values is ‘Be fun! Enjoy what we do!’ and by the looks of it, Workplace makes it a little easier for us to do just that.
If you’re interested in finding out how engaged your Employees are at work, you may be interested in our free EasyWeb Engagement Survey. You can find out more information here: http://www.easywebengagement.com/
EasyWeb Group also offer a range of other services including free recruitment training, managed recruitment campaigns, Agency services and an Applicant Tracking System.
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Written by: Olivia Scott, Marketing & Events Administrator