An exciting two-day trip to the capital Berlin, stimulating conversations about impressions gained, getting to know like-minded people over a glass of sparkling wine. This is how I imagined my first conference on the topic of ‘Employee Experience’. But thanks to Corona it turned out quite differently in the end. But how do you organize a ‘happening’ in digital space, where the central focus is on meeting, exchanging and experiencing? And how can this be transferred to internal corporate communications?
The VOICES 2020 of Staffbase is dedicated to internal employee communication. Staffbase is a company that offers digital solutions in the form of employee apps or social intranets to make communication digital and efficient, to bring information to the workforce and to promote contact and exchange among each other. The timing could hardly be better, because thanks to the COVID-19 situation, more and more companies are forced to digitalize their communication in a fast run. 1 In order to prevent this digitisation from becoming an ejection seat, various studies, case studies and practical lessons learned will be presented at VOICES 2020 by guest speakers, some of them of high calibre, such as Mark Levy2. The motto of this year:
“The further away employees are, the closer internal communications must get to them.” –Martin Böhringer (Staffbase)
Despite Corona, the organizers show how digital communication can work
However, the major event had to be spontaneously redesigned due to the corona pandemic. But according to their own statements, the principles of employee communication can be applied to all levels of communication with larger groups of people. So Staffbase moved the conference into the digital space without further ado in the spirit of the #NewNormal. Via Zoom, the guest speakers and Staffbase staff members present their findings of many years of work despite the adverse circumstances. In addition, the event, which otherwise costs several hundred Euros, is made free of charge and available for everyone. In some places, however, the event may seem a bit like a promotional event for the company’s own tools and services. But between the ideas of the own app for employee communication, exciting basic studies on the success factors of internal communication, strategy templates for crisis plans and insights from practice are also presented. The goals of internal corporate communications: disseminating information regardless of location, creating proximity and trust from a distance3, promoting exchange among employees and creating a sense of belonging can be implemented better than ever before with the help of digital, dedicated tools and hold great potential.
One insight: Unfortunately, experiences cannot be completely digitized
Sure thing: The topic of employee experience and the very important aspect of internal communication is currently gaining immense importance. The role of companies is increasingly a cultural and social one. They must take fear seriously and reduce it, create a sense of belonging and take mental health into account – today more than ever. In the course of this day, it will become very clear to me just how important internal communication is for this. But unfortunately I realize just how important personal face-to-face communication, exchange, discussion and above all experience are for this, even after I leave the zoom meeting and devote myself to my everyday life. Because the conference is already almost forgotten when I warm up my lunch to sit down for the next Zoom Meeting shortly afterwards.
If you would like to view the recordings of the keynotes of Voices 2020, you can do so here: https://insights.staffbase.com/voices-2020-aufzeichnung
Cover picture: Screenshot of Staffbase’s VOICES 2020, 23 April 2020 In his keynote “The Shift from HR to EX: The Role Internal Comms Plays in Creating Engaged and Productive Employees”, Mark Levy (former Head of Employee Experience at Airbnb, now Employee Experience Consultant) explains the increasing importance of Employee Experience and shares his practical experience as an EX consultant.
This article is independent and was not commissioned or otherwise financed by Staffbase. All links in the article are for information only.
- Jens-Uwe Meyer 2020: How Corona will change the world of work in the long term. https://www.manager-magazin.de/unternehmen/artikel/durchbruch-fuer-digitalisierung-corona-veraendert-die-arbeitswelt-a-1305535.html
- former Head of Employee Experience at Airbnb
- see also the interesting article by Gabri Herrmann on this subject: https://employee-experience.de/2020/naehe-ueber-distanz-schaffen/