Technology makes it very easy for teams to communicate with each other today, whether it's directly one-on-one or through a community board or group. Yet with all these tools, Gallup found that 85% of the American workforce is actively "disengaged" or "not engaged" in their work. These employees are not your organization's worst performers, yet they're not giving you their best effort or their best ideas.
Last fall at WebSummit 2016, Sean Ryan, VP of Workplace by Facebook gave a talk called, "The next generation workplace." In it, Ryan talks about the urgent need for companies to reinvent themselves so that companies are less siloed and more connected, less top down and more peer-to-peer, less hierarchical and more open. At the beginning of his talk, Ryan acknowledged the topic that always comes up when people talk about collaboration at work...whether email will survive. Ryan's point is that whether email will live or die is not a very interesting question. Email is going to die anyway, he asserts. Anyone who has teenagers understands this. They don't use email.
At a recent Workplace by Facebook User Group in Palo Alto, ServiceRocket founder and CEO, Rob Castaneda, shared his ideas for how to use live streaming at work to improve communication, increase employee engagement, and otherwise being a more effective leader. This is an important topic since communications is a critical skill in executive leadership and in organizational performance. But don't just take my word for it. An article in Harvard Business Review calls poor communications the "silent killer of big companies" and describes successful companies as those that adopt communication methods that enable executives to get closer to employees, put in place communications systems that promote dialog, rather than monologue, and engage employees to become more active participants in the communications process.
Employee engagement requires a lot of work, especially for distributed organizations. There is almost nothing better for employee engagement than high-frequency face time between management and employees having open conversations around the mission of the company and each person’s contribution to it. For most organizations, that requires lots of travel, and no matter how much an executive team travels, there are still the other 360 days of the year when there is no executive visiting an office.