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Workplace turns five!

Today Workplace from Facebook turns 5, hip hip hooray! And what a half-decade it’s been! In five short years Workplace has reached more than 7M users – connecting people across organizations all around the world. 

And we’re so proud to have been there from the start. In 2016 when Facebook announced their beta program for ‘Facebook for Work’ (what we now know as Workplace) our three co-founders Daragh, Dave and Mark dropped everything they were doing to start Enablo and became the first Workplace partner globally. 

Since then we’ve helped more than 180 organizations (and over 500,000 employees!) on their Workplace journey – and in the words of our CEO Daragh, we’re only just getting started!

Who would’ve predicted five years ago that Enablo would grow up to become the leading Workplace partner on the planet, having helped over 180 organizations on their Workplace journey?! We are incredibly excited by the partnership, particularly given the importance of platforms such as Workplace in today’s world, where distributed workforces and employee experience are at the forefront of every business leaders mind.– Daragh, CEO

 

What better time to tell someone all the things that make them great than on their birthday?!

For CXO Dave, a half-decade on and it’s still such a buzz to see the impact Workplace can have on the way organizations connect and communicate.

“I’m constantly wowed by these inspirational leaders who come along and launch Workplace wall-to-wall at their organization. Leaders, like Freedom’s CEO Blaine Callard, who are committed to connecting their entire workforce, reimagining the daily experience of work, and having open, real-time conversations with their employees.

Through the incredible organizations we work alongside, I’m reminded of the value Workplace brings, connecting every employee, aligning people to purpose and mission, and amplifying company culture and work ethos – and I’m lucky enough to see that firsthand here at Enablo too.”

It came as no surprise when we asked our CTO Mark to share what he loves about Workplace; the clue is in his title… technology. 

I love the challenge of not only connecting people with people, but people with technology through the use of bots and automation. From streamlining recognition processes, pairing up colleagues for coffee, swapping shifts, and everything in between – it’s amazing to hear how our customers are using solutions we’ve built to significantly improve their working lives and get stuff done.”

Workplace is part of the furniture here at Enablo – we’re on it every day, and we love it. We couldn’t do what we do for our customers if we weren’t passionate about it #walkthetalk. So, what makes Workplace so special? We asked the Enablers…

Five reasons we love Workplace

1. Staying connected and building relationships

 

“I started out working for Enablo in Brisbane where a lot of the team is based, then made the personal decision to relocate home to NZ to be closer to family. I cannot imagine working fully remote without Workplace. The fact that we have this sort of ‘digital HQ’ for our global team to come together, is such a fundamental part of how we operate. It’s how I get my job done and most importantly, how I stay connected, maintain relationships and build new ones with Enablers all over the world. How does work even happen without a tool like Workplace?”

Harriet, Marketing Manager (Tauranga, New Zealand)

 

“For me, it’s being able to connect and ‘see’ what’s going on with coworkers around the world. I’ve previously worked at other companies with teammates across the world and, for the most part, had no visibility into their work (or them personally). Workplace is the best for connecting the ENTIRE company. From a knowledge sharing standpoint, this is a big win.”

Shamus, Solution Architect, (Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA)

 

“What I like the most is the ‘working out loud’ component and being able to connect with my fellow Enablers, at a work AND social level. After dad duties, my morning routine starts with a coffee in one hand and my phone in the other, checking my Workplace notifications and feed. It puts a smile on my face most of the time, makes me laugh some of the time, and motivates me for the day ahead every time!”

Jonathan, Account Executive (Mullumbimby, NSW, Australia)

2. Helping new starters feel at home, right from the start

 

“Workplace made my remote new starter onboarding journey feel like I was right there with the team. From day dot I was part of the conversation through chat and groups, learning quickly how we organise ourselves and our work, and was able to collaborate easily and celebrate success with the team as soon as I was online!

What’s super powerful, especially as someone who’s joined the workforce remotely and while in lockdown, is that I feel comfortable and safe with expressing myself and my personality through a fully customisable profile, giving my new teammates a flavour of who I am.

Learning the ropes in any new role is challenging, now add doing this remotely in a dynamic rapid-paced scale-up! Workplace integrates with our other work tools seamlessly, fostering an effortless, efficient, and enjoyable digital employee experience!” 

– Von, Experience Director (Sydney, NSW, Australia)

3. Delivering real-time information that’s actually relevant

 

“In a world of synchronous communication tools and mass communication via email or newsletters, my favourite thing about Workplace is groups. 

With groups you can bring teams with a common focus together, enabling relevant communication to flow to and across teams based on their role, function, or interest. It means the communication is always relevant and you get to connect with the team that helps you get the work done. In previous roles, email and newsletters have been the main comms tools, and you’d often get an email that read ‘stop reading if this is not relevant to you’. And of course it was a one way dialogue. 

Workplace is real-time comms, it nurtures teams through open dialogue, it inspires incredible work culture and employee innovation and engagement. For leaders and employees – it’s empowering.”

Peter, VP Marketing (Sydney, NSW, Australia)

“No more emails – we use Workplace to bring together Sales, Experience, Marketing and the Executive team to collaborate, make smart decisions, and deliver huge value to our customers, and each other!”

Von, Experience Director (Sydney, NSW, Australia)

4. Flexibility – irrespective of where you are and what time it is

 

“I wouldn’t be able to get by without the mobile app. Having access to all of my work on my phone enables flexibility. And I’m connected whenever I want to be. I think the ‘want to be’ is key here.

A lot of folks may look at work/life balance as an on/off switch, but in an asynchronous world where you can do just about anything from just about anywhere, the balance looks different. Modern work requires great communication and great time management, it does not require a specific schedule, time zone, or location. The Workplace mobile app enables all of us to truly have a better work/life balance, across continents, without missing a beat.”

Nick, Experience Manager (Springfield, Illinois, USA)

5. The ability to switch off – it’s not about being ‘always on’

 

“Workplace is crucial for me to stay connected with everyone across Enablo and get work done. Being remote, it also helps me to replicate the feeling of being in the office whilst working from home. It allows me to quickly reach out to colleagues, post a good cat pic or share what I am working on.

That being said, to me it’s equally important to be able to switch off during focus time or when spending time with my husband and the kids. Workplace’s Do Not Disturb feature helps me to maintain my work/life balance and it prevents me from checking Workplace in times where I need to spend my attention elsewhere.”

Lotte, Experience Director (Melbourne, VIC, Australia).

There from the beginning

For some of our Enablers, Workplace was transforming the way they worked even before they joined the Enablo #dreamteam. In a previous role at The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), our Customer Success Director Mel championed the rollout of Workplace back in those early ‘Facebook at Work’ days. 

 

We were the first government department in Australia to use Workplace and became a shining example of a government agency leading by innovation in the internal communications arena, and giving the voiceless a place to communicate.

Staff engagement scores increased as a direct result of launch, and almost overnight every single employee could see a connection between the strategic goal of increasing the value of primary industries in NSW and their own BAU.” 

After five years leading the charge with Workplace at DPI, Mel now spends her days spreading the Workplace love amongst our customers. Customer satisfaction driving even more customer satisfaction – it doesn’t get much better than that! 

Check out the seriously cute video Mel made with her kids to help people get started on Workplace!

 

 

Five ways Workplace is making an impact with our customers

Our customers are some of the world’s most well-known and innovative organizations, and there’s nothing we love more than hearing how they’re using Workplace to transform their culture and the way they work. In fact, we even have a Magic Moments group on Workplace where we proudly share customer success stories with each other. 

1. Workplace for connecting the frontline

With COVID-19 causing the closure of international and state borders in March 2020, the Virgin Australia Group was forced to stand down 80% of its workforce. Despite this, their culture has remained strong, something the team attributes, in part, to launching Workplace from Facebook at the height of the pandemic.

Before Workplace came in, we were really struggling to communicate with our people. We had people in all different parts of the world, working for different brands and in different functions. How do you make sure there’s a consistent message going out to those people? We ran a survey with our frontline workforce, which accounts for 70% of our staff, and the feedback told us that only 30% actually made time to read their emails.”

Emma Mehaffey, Former GM Culture and Employee Experience 

Workplace has fully transformed that. We have over 92% of people who have claimed their account and 85% of those are active on Workplace on a monthly basis. Depending on the type of content, we can have up to a 100% of total views for that content too. We’re actually reaching our people for the first time ever.

 

I know there’s people that have actually chosen not to look at mainstream social media. Instead, Workplace is their place to go because not only do we commit to sharing accurate news articles, we also share verified news information updates straight from the leadership team. 

 

I actually don’t know where we would be right now, considering the events that have gone on, if we hadn’t done it.” 

Luke Evans, Former Leader Employee Experience.

2. Workplace for providing real-time updates

Before Workplace, Harcourts relied heavily on email, face-to-face meetings and phone calls to communicate important information. With Workplace, agents receive critical information as it happens, and can look at it anytime, even if they’re on the go.

This became even more important as COVID-19 saw the Harcourts team struggling to keep up with the ever-changing government guidelines. In one instance, the Queensland Government announced changes to restrictions with less than 24-hours notice. Agents were already out of the office at open homes and there were group auctions planned for that afternoon. Office teams had to get the message out quickly and work with agents to bring buyers and vendors together in a way that complied with restrictions but also enabled successful auctions. The Harcourts Ascot and Clayfield team used Workplace to get the message out, and their agents quickly responded and adapted accordingly. As a result, they were able to hold multiple successful auctions that afternoon.

“On what was quite a stressful day, Workplace helped me to connect with my office-based team members. I knew exactly what I needed to change and how I was going to execute my open homes and auctions for that day”. 

Matt Williams, Sales Agent- Harcourts Ascot & Clayfield

3. Workplace for Executive visibility

We want our leaders to be able to communicate with confidence and in a way that is authentic to them – Workplace provides that channel.  From a communications perspective, that means we need to ensure leaders have the capabilities, skills and access to the right tools and information to be as successful as possible on the channel.

 

We have a Workplace-first policy, so all of our communications, including executive communications, are published on Workplace first. It’s actually easier, simpler and much more efficient for leaders to use Workplace. 

 

In terms of both social and business interactions, our executive team are getting real-time feedback from their team, they’re able to engage with them much more effectively and they are increasingly getting access to the questions and conversations that normally happen ‘offline’.

 

So, the value is becoming really evident.”

Melissa O’Neill, Global Director of Corporate Affairs

4. Workplace for connection during a time of isolation

Planning to launch Workplace to all users in March 2020, The Coffee Club faced major challenges with the onset of COVID-19 forcing dining restrictions, cafe closures, and large numbers of teams being furloughed. But, rather than hitting pause, The Coffee Club’s leadership saw that it was even more important to stay connected in these turbulent times, and forged ahead with their launch plans, rolling Workplace out to over 3,000 users across head office, franchise partners and store team members by the end of July.

The Coffee Club reached their onboarding target within three months and now have approximately 80% of their people active on Workplace. A follow up employee survey conducted six months after the launch of Workplace has shown that 85% of team members in store now receive updates regularly, 77% feel connected to team members in other stores and 68% feel connected to staff in head office. 

“The positive effects that the platform has had on our network, at one of the most challenging times in its history, has been profound and we continue to see growth in engagement and connection each week.”

– Nick Bryden CEO, Minor DKL (The Coffee Club).

5. Workplace for innovation

One of Freedom CEO Blaine Callard’s favourite moments since launching Workplace was when he was able to help a colleague use Workplace to crowdsource product development feedback, receiving 40 pieces of feedback within the space of an hour.

“Workplace is definitely more than a communication tool, we’re using it to drive our business forward. We can use it to receive direct feedback from our frontline who deal directly with our customers day-in-day-out and who, in many cases, are our customers. This feedback on product development and market research in real-time is invaluable,” Blaine says.

In order to drive innovation, Freedom’s General Manager People & Transformation, Natalia Trapl, and team created a ‘Fresh Eyes’ group on Workplace. This is a place where they ask all new starters what’s working, what could be improved and why Freedom was their employer of choice. So far a number of new ideas and changes have been implemented off the back of these raw insights and the team are excited for the new ideas to come. 

The group is a testament to the level of trust that the Freedom leadership team have in their frontline team members and immediately gives newcomers a voice in shaping the change agenda at Freedom.

And there’s plenty more where those came from – you can find more good stuff from our customers here

Happy Birthday Workplace, it’s been an incredible first five years, and we can’t wait to see what’s next! 

 

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