Why the future belongs to connected companies

by Mike Sharkey

Business leaders from some of the biggest global brands agree that the future belongs to connected companies. Here are four reasons why.

In connected companies, MDs can motivate people to build a better business together

In a connected company, people are closer, teamwork is faster and company culture is stronger. And when MDs think about connecting everyone in their business, they have these tangible results in mind. For Mindy Grossman, CEO at WW, bringing people together internally was the first step in transforming business performance.

"Culture and community drive business results", she says. "If you aren't connected, you can't do that. You have to build a community internally as well as externally."

That's why it's about more than technology. "The brands of the future have to take tech and marry it to meaning to help people live better-connected lives", she says. That's a win for people and a win for your organisation.

In connected companies, HR leaders can connect frontline workers and improve retention

Alexis Trigo, VP of People Strategy and Performance at The Warehouse Group in New Zealand, believes that creating a two-way avenue between the frontline and HQ is the critical benefit of being more connected.

"We've changed the way people can get back to the corporate office", he says. "They're the ones interacting with the customer. Their insight allows us to be more efficient with resources and delivering what customers want."

This two-way connection is essential for keeping people engaged. It can even strengthen positive sentiment amongst employees, helping HR leaders improve retention. "People will go where the variety is", says Alexis.

"The key is how you create that ecosystem for your talent. If you're connected, you give people choices on how they interact with your organisation."

In connected companies, communications professionals can create a culture and give people a voice

Comms leaders who give people a platform to share their ideas will reap the rewards. As Ashley Bellview, Director of Internal Communication at Booking.com, says: "The ideas don't sit with the few but with the many. To harness that energy, connected companies have to find a way to generate ideas from the group."

Using a collaboration and communication platform that connects people naturally brings them closer together, making collaboration faster and building a stronger company culture.

That culture may be built from the bottom, but it can be nurtured from the top by leaders who are present on the platform. This might require a change of approach. As Daniel Sundin, Director of Internal Comms at Petco, puts it, "Words don't matter as much as authenticity. Say your heart. People want to hear from you."

In connected companies, IT leaders can get information into the hands of people when they need it

By speeding up collaboration and knowledge sharing, IT teams can help connected companies move faster.

Paul Jones, Head of Emerging Technologies at AstraZeneca, reckons that IT bosses should be on the lookout for tools that can overcome traditional barriers to the adoption of technologies at work.

"I liked the idea of being able to deploy something easy, with minimal effort, without having to train people on how to use those technologies", he says. That leaves everyone to focus on the work. "We've seen a 35% uplift in the content we've shared from our intranet", says Paul. "It means we can get the right people having the right conversations much faster than we have ordinarily."

Learn four ways to connect your company in 2020. Download the ebook here.

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