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How Technology Helps Build Community in Your Workplace and Beyond

Technology is transforming the ways we develop community within the modern workplace. How we interact, converse, recognize and even socialize is informed and shaped by the social platforms we use every day.

The human capital management (HCM) industry is in the midst of this evolution as well. Platforms like Inspirus Connects now embed user-friendly features that seamlessly allow employees to recognize, reward and engage one another in ways that foster a welcoming and inclusive community within your organization. These features can also be used to encourage company values, like giving back to your local community.

Here’s how to leverage technology to foster community within the workplace and beyond.

Elevate the Social Experience to Foster Community Interaction

Social features such as liking, sharing and commenting underpin many engagement platforms, but designing an intuitive user experience that encourages employees to incorporate recognition into their daily routine elevates the ability to engage others and develop community. The Inspirus platform incorporates social features that users are already familiar with, such as liking, commenting and sharing, as well as having a personal wall that continually updates with current messages, announcements, and upcoming events.

"Social features such as liking, sharing and commenting underpin many engagement platforms, but designing an intuitive user experience that encourages employees to incorporate recognition into their daily routine elevates the ability to engage others and develop community. The Inspirus platform incorporates social features that users are already familiar with, such as liking, commenting and sharing, as well as having a personal wall that continually updates with current messages, announcements, and upcoming events.

Users can acknowledge their fellow coworkers for birthdays, service anniversaries and completion of a project or life events, like the birth of a baby. We know life is busy so for those who are sending recognition we offer video recognition and a variety of e-cards that are geared towards specific events. We’ve also included the ability to schedule messages in advance or use reminders to send recognition in real-time by tapping on the reminder on their wall and sending a quick message. Recipients of recognition can scroll through their wall, which contains recognition messages they have received as well as news and event updates. Platform administrators can create customized recognition e-cards, and news or event banners to drive branded content that reflects the community values of their organization.

We want to give the customer complete control over communication opportunities so that they can brand, message and offer very predictable experiences for their employees within our platform. “An organization’s culture unfolds in little snippets of wall posts, which represent all of these individual moments that these employees are experiencing either directly or within their community,” says Davis.

Using Community Features to Give Back to the Larger Community

The news and events feature can be a great way to notify employees of upcoming social activities, volunteer events, or donation campaigns (such as a blood donation drive) to encourage employee participation and engagement. Upcoming community events, reminders and sign-up forms can be promoted through e-cards or animated gifs to help build excitement and participation, in tandem with a communications plan to spread the word about upcoming volunteering and donation events.

Recognition plays a role in building community. Not only can employees send recognition to one another after a community-focused event, organizations can promote community engagement and new platform features through recognition. For example, administrators can create incentives using video recognition by sending an announcement stating that the company will donate $1.00 to a non-profit organization for every recognition video sent within a specified period of time, say 1 month.

Community features create an opportunity to develop employee experiences that benefit everyone including the organization while developing a robust community both inside and outside of the workplace.

“When you go into community and you see all of this activity happening, it’s usually fairly addictive in a positive way,” says Davis. “To scroll through your wall and see that people are attending an event and think, ‘I’m interested in that, too and I want to be a part of that…’There’s really no limit to the possibilities.”

How to Promote Charitable Giving

The Inspirus platform’s community features can be used to not only create community within your organization but also to promote events and campaigns that serve your surrounding community as well. Here’s how to create a communications plan to help your employees rally around giving back.

Target Audience: Who do you want to inform?

Determine if this campaign is targeted towards your organization’s entire workforce or specific office locations, which may be the case if a local non-profit organization is involved.

Key Messages: What do you want them to know?

Share the most important information your audience needs to know (event dates, specific information about a campaign, what participants will have to do, etc.) as well as the bigger picture goal and reasons why this campaign is important. For example, We’re donating $1 to Sodexo’s Stop Hunger Campaign for every recognition message sent during the month of January to help end food insecurity in our local community.

Communication Methods: How do you want to tell them?

Information can be communicated in multiple ways, including announcements and RSVP options in the news and events section of an engagement platform, as well as campaign flyers and sign-up sheets posted around the office.

Who is Responsible: Who needs to communicate this?

Keep in mind who may be the best spokespersons to communicate a message. Depending on the structure of your organization, official, company-wide communications could be sent from leadership or HR, but follow-up messages and RSVP reminders could be sent from department managers to add a more personalized touch.

Deadline: When do people need to be informed?

Be sure to include important dates, such as the RSVP deadline, event date and any additional dates that are tied to the event.

Feedback: What can we do to make events more effective?

A post-event survey can be a great way to determine what’s working and what can be incorporated into the next event or campaign to keep employees motivated about participating in future volunteer opportunities.

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