Connecting Teams? Three Steps to Success

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12.2 percent.

Yep! 12.2%. That’s the portion of the Australian population currently involved in business startups (Statistia 2018). In fact, thee Australian startups ecosystem is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the global market.

Maybe this is you!

While startup businesses take all forms, and certainly in Australia where a vast majority are involved in fintech, teams will typically be working in a decentralised manner: remotely, flexibly, and certainly across multiple offices as the business itself grows. 

Corporations - and businesses of all sizes for that matter - are doing the same thing. With the International Day of Flexible Working just passed, it’s now more important than ever to recognise how geography and environment are affecting the contemporary workplace.

Check out the video we produced for Flexible Working Day for VMIA

Take that knowledge, wrap it up, and pair it with this:

As we wrote about in our first blog for this month, Carly Sime for Forbes recently reminded us of the five key team dynamics that Google has found sets the teams that thrive aside from those who don’t:

  • Psychological safety (feelings of security and trust within a team)

  • Dependability (the team’s ability to rely on one another)

  • Structure and clarity (in terms of roles, responsibilities and goals)

  • Meaning of work (tasks of personal importance and significance)

  • Impact of work (a genuine belief in the value of the work)

So. How on earth are you going to achieve all of this when your team is working in as many different locations as ‘to do’ items on your Slack board? Despite all of the new research, the immeasurable importance of person-to-person communication is still widely recognised.

Our answer? Video. Animation. A ripping internal communications strategy. 

In a nutshell: using the incredible, multifaceted and beautifully complex power of video to bridge your teams and their workflow, no matter where in the home, city, country or world they’re located. 

And your ideal partner in crime? Pickle Pictures. Here’s how we can help.

STEP ONE: Bolster your internal comms

Video for internal communications is one of our favourite topics.

The writing’s on the wall: a strong internal communications strategy is a hallmark of good leadership, strong business sense, and healthy employees.

In December 2018, Paul Koulogeorge, Forbes Communication Council member and Vice President Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations at the Goddard School, urged us to improve our leadership by improving our communications.

What exactly did Paul mean? And what exactly do a host of other big names in business mean when they ask us to do the same?

 We, for one, have interpreted it like this: the better your internal communications, and the more clued-in you are to technology’s impact on this, the more likely you are to succeed in the market.

A better, stronger, actually-decent internal communications plan can help you:

  • Better connect your employees (e.g. via video conferencing platforms specifically tailored to the interests and needs of your business)

  • Make your business more efficient across multiple offices (e.g. using video to record and share meetings, to distribute instead of typed/text-based meeting minutes etc.)

  • Strengthen your data management processes as whole (see: let’s get rid of that paper and those millions of unfiled digital folders and start capturing, storing and disseminating knowledge in a way fit for the contemporary setting!)

The best thing is the consistency and efficiency you’ll see across your business, from setting to setting, no matter where you’re employees are located. 

If you’re keen but not sure where to start with building your revised or brand new internal communications strategy, that’s why we’re here. To help. It’ll be easier than you think, we promise!

STEP 2: Boost workplace morale

In a word, the research is conclusive: office organisation affects employee morale and productivity, so the time is more-than-nigh to make sure we’re getting it right. 

This means that if your teams are working separately (or, at the very least, if you’re managing employees who are often working offsite), you’re going to need a content strategy that focuses on strengthening morale.

How you gonna do it? As we’ve shown before, video is your secret weapon. Here’s why.

It’s a fab tool for onboarding comms.

Aside from their initial interviews, onboarding comms are often the first opportunity new employees get to really ‘sit with’ the interests, needs and values of your organisation. Key messaging in your internal comms strategy is, well, the key here. It has to be. 

Onboarding comms are a healthy initiation ceremony. The power of exposing brand new employees to important information like vision, aims, mission statement, workplace culture, support and training services and wellbeing initiatives cannot be underestimated, and the role this plays in helping your staff feel safe, secure and invested is huge. 

And what better way to value employees’ time and investment in the business than onboarding with video? It’s engaging, time efficient, and exciting!

Check out SnapComms’ latest list of onboarding tips for new hires. In short, they include:

  • Bringing the company to life

  • Establish the source of truth

  • Speak the way staff want to listen

  • Build internal brand

  • Encourage contributions

Video, with its power to combine a variety of media including visual, sound, text-based elements in a single, beautiful and effective piece of content, is not only your most effective way of achieving all of this, but likely your most financially viable.

Moreover, video gives you the tools to create consistency and unity in your training processes. 

When video and animation can do incredible things like make corporate/new knowledge universally available (and for free), provide anytime, anywhere training for front-line staff, offer video-enabled coaching services, and capture and distribute meeting information, key messaging, content, notes and actions in a mere few seconds (thus valuing your employees and their time), what hasn’t every organisation introduced video content into its suite of training programs?

Some may say it’s the cost. For others, perhaps it’s a fear of the unknown. The fact is that today, video content is more useful and affordable than ever. 

You can do it, and we can show you how.

STEP THREE: Listen

The one thing that we coach all of our clients to do after instituting a new content strategy flaunting the beautiful benefits of video, animation and video-based marketing strategy is to listen. 

What does listening mean, exactly? 

Well, it’s not always done with the ears, that’s for sure. Once your strategy is in place and you’re trialling the wonderful ways in which video can connect your employees, your job is to monitor, process and - most importantly - take on board the feedback that your employees’ actions indicate to you. 

Why? You do, of course, want to be certain to monitor the great changes about to take place in terms of your workplace communications, morale, and connections between employees.

As Liz Ryan for Forbes reminded us in this oldie-but-a-goodie synopsis of cultivating feedback culture in the workplace, when you start really listening, you have to be brave:

“You have to say "thank you" for every piece of feedback, because building trust is your number one priority. You can't feel put-upon or sulky because employees complain and don't see how hard you work to take care of them.

You have to be open to feedback, the same way we tell employees that they have to be open to feedback. Being the boss means being even more open to feedback than anyone else! You will learn a lot when you start listening to your teammates.” 

Collecting and metabolising this feedback on your new strategy and comms can be a team-building activity too! You might ask employees to:

  • Feed back, as a team, via submission of a team video

  • Set up a confidential hotline in collaboration with your HR team

  • Create a confidential Dropbox or Google Drive repository for video format feedback

Like corporate content and the messaging options you have when it comes to engaging in the wonderful world of internal comms, there are many paths you can take.

But the most important thing - above all - is to make sure you’re focussed on your employees’ wellbeing and connection to their work, and to each other. Video does this efficiently, effectively, and likely on a budget you never thought possible.