15th Nov 2022
3 Min Read

Digi digest | Three golden rules of digital platforms

Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart
IC & Engagement

Build it and they will come, right ... RIGHT?

I think by now you all know how I feel about the 'Field of Dreams' digital strategy. But just in case you don't, here's a picture of the Tony Stewart Side Eye® ...

Creating a thriving online space for colleagues to collaborate and communicate isn't a case of launch and hope for the best. And yet, it's something I see time and time again in organisations.

In this Digi Digest, I'll share my Three Golden Rules for digital platforms. Grab a brew and dive in ...

Okay, so you've convinced the CTO, the CEO, the CIO, and IT to invest in your brand-new employee experience platform, congratulations!

Super-happy employee communities beckon; you just need to send out that ‘all staff’ email, have everyone log in to the platform and watch as they start connecting, communicating, and collaborating, singing the praises of the internal communications team and your fantastic new digital employee engagement platform.

Now, we all know that that isn't the case. But I continue to see internal communications teams struggling with the rollout of these platforms, or the long-term behavioural change and investment in those communities by their people, despite all the time, money and faith that’s been invested.

Launching a new platform is a complicated journey but it does offer big rewards, so it’s vital to get it right. Here are my three golden rules of digital employee experiences.

Link it to the business strategy

If you've already had the budget signed off for the platform, it's likely you've done this already. But if not, make sure that you have a direct line of sight between what your business is trying to achieve, and how your platforms can help achieve it.

For example, if your business is growing, what can this platform do to support the recruitment needs, culture scaling or the awareness and understanding of the importance of that growth to each individual employee?

Link the business needs with your plans for the platform to keep a steady focus.

Imagine what good looks like

“Our platform will allow people to connect and collaborate like never before” is the kind of ambiguous pseudo-vision that often trips platforms like this up right at the very start. You need to get clear about what good really looks like for your business.

Sticking with our growth example, does that mean employees recommending job opportunities within the platform to support those growing ambitions? Is it communities of colleagues sharing recipe ideas from the different regions that we've just expanded into to help support our culture ambitions? Is it Q&A sessions with our leaders to help our people understand what that growth means to them, and the business as a whole? Be specific, be intentional and be clear.

The clearer you can be at this stage of the process, the more your stakeholders and your leaders will understand what you're trying to achieve with the platform, and the more likely they are to get behind it and get involved.

Do things differently

The beauty of these platforms is that they allow us to try out new things. If we wanted our internal communications to stay the same, why bother changing, right?

If your platform allows you to share video, create two-way dialogue with your employees or implement gamification or trophies, lean into it. Try out new features and experiment with how these different functionalities could support your business goals and objectives.

Fancy a chat about your digital platforms? Let's connect.

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