Using Google to communicate with all employees

Ensuring all employees have the ability to have two-way conversations with the business is a key priority for organisations, and rightly so.

In the world of internal comms we use all kinds of terms for a part of our workforce – from frontline, to hard-to-reach, to remote workers, and it’s this group which often tangles IC pros up in making sure effective channels are in place.

Today I’m going to take a look at how three organisations are connecting their workforces thanks to Google. Yep, Google.

google_coRegular readers of my blog will know I’ve written about how companies are using Google for internal communication before – from Hangouts to Drive, Google+ to Gmail to unite their communication internally and bring their people together.

The companies I’m going to look at are All Saints, Woolworths and and I’ll share some videos so you can see in their own words how this is happening.

What do the companies want to achieve?

All Saints say they want to be seen as a “vertically integrated” company – in other words they want communication to flow at all levels and locations including stores, HQ and factories.

The fashion retailer is using Google to expand the work they do in real-time, particularly connecting stores to their headquarters:

Woolworths is Australia and New Zealand’s largest and most successful retailer. Internal communication is focused in stores, headquarters and branches.

They are using Google+ to create communities and a “sense of passion” in Woolworths, plus using Drive for store operations and communication: set out to disrupt the traditional furnishing industry model. From the outset the company established a culture that celebrates speed and innovation.

To help their teams connect, communicate and collaborate as effectively as possible they are using Google. One key area for them is connecting their people to senior management and the headquarters via Drive.

I love the shark chair at the start of this video!:

lyndonI asked Lyndon Fraser, @lyndonfraser, (pictured) Enterprise Account Manager at Google, to provide a summary of these three companies and the trends he’s seeing among communicators.

He said: “Our community of UK retail customers is continuing to grow by the day as retailers increasingly look to place already familiar technology into the hands of their workforce.

“There is a growing understanding that businesses must consider what it means to be digital within their internal workplace. There is so much focus on how digital is incorporated around external customer-facing strategies that sometimes internal systems get neglected.

“This is now being addressed with urgency in several UK retail businesses which is great to see and we’re happy to be helping them to collaborate and communicate more effectively right across their organisations.”

How companies are using Google for internal communication – some examples from Lyndon:
  • CEO – delivery of ‘Town Hall’ style videos can be easily shared across a group
  • Mobile Device Management (MDM) – enable Bring Your Own Device policy or simply apply to whichever corporate mobile platform you select
  • Kiosk Devices (Chromebook or boxes) – able to setup and provide access to low-cost devices for employees in break rooms to access and contribute
  • Easy sharing of knowledge – being able to comment and +1 makes the experience engaging and fun for all. Engage the energy, creativity, and commitment of ALL employees
  • Search – as more is shared, employees have access to the power of Google’s search (built into all Google products) to quickly find what they are looking for
  • Share the excitement, share news stories such as big contract wins so harder to reach employees feel part of the business hearing it from their employer FIRST instead of through the trade press
  • Brand alignment / Cultural Transformation – communicate the exciting news that they’re partnering with Google to ensure access to the most innovative technology available today and in the future
  • Streamline existing business processes e.g build a really engaging Employee on-boarding experience with online video tutorials, collaborative docs, Hangouts with training team etc.

Are you using Google for your internal communication? If so I’d love to hear your story. Check out my guest article guidelines and do please get in touch.

Further reading

Post author: Rachel Miller

First published 21 October 2014.

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