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Studies show that employees working in environments with digital tools were 51% more likely to have strong job satisfaction, and 43% more likely to be positive about their work-life balance than those who have less access to workplace technology.
Employees recognize this opportunity for increased efficiency and personal connection and, as such, pockets of collaboration continue to pop up in enterprises around the globe.
Workstream collaboration is unique in its ability to connect an organization, from CEO to intern. Tools like Workplace by Facebook, Microsoft Teams, Yammer and Slack often look similar to our familiar social media tools and offer more natural avenues for conversation than the archaic email exchange.
Features of collaboration, like threaded conversations, the ability to mention other stakeholders and direct messages, make working and sharing ideas across an organization more accessible than ever before.
According to a study by Hewlett Packard and Aruba, employees in digitally connected organizations were 60% more likely to say they are motivated at work and 91% more likely to praise their company’s vision.
Enterprise collaboration simultaneously enables top-down communication while also giving everybody in an organization a voice, no matter the pay-grade. A McKinsey study showed that connected workplaces allow for more dramatic organizational change, such as self-organizing teams, than those without next-generation platforms. Sharing of information via a group feed breaks down organizational silos and real-time feedback, such as likes, comments, and reactions, fosters a community of collaboration.
The majority of the U.S. workforce (51%) is not engaged, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report. However, companies that do have highly engaged employees experience 41% lower absenteeism and 59% lower turnover (in low-turnover organizations).
Projects and deliverables move along swiftly with features like private groups to discuss projects and manage information, as well as chats to instant message, voice or video call your team no matter where they are located. It’s no surprise that McKinsey observed a 20-25% increase in productivity of knowledge workers in companies that leverage enterprise collaboration.
Across the board, the organizations that achieve the most successful adoption of the platform take the time to address risks before there is a problem.
For example, if your compliance team hasn’t already asked how collaboration and GDPR work together—you can bet they will.
Legal and discovery leaders need a way to address legal hold situations as they arise. The ability to efficiently complete eDiscovery processes or internal forensics is essential to this team. Additionally, these teams need access to not only the message in question, but any surrounding conversational context as well.
Compliance leaders need to understand how these communication tools will comply with industry regulations and GDPR. From healthcare to financial services, any organization that wants to launch these platforms also needs a way to enforce existing data removal and retention policies.
Human Resources leaders want to make the organization a safe place for their employees. They’ll look for safeguards that ensure employees behave appropriately within these digital platforms, protecting the company culture and an employee’s psychological safety from harassment or other toxic behaviors.
Information Security leaders need to mitigate the risk of a data breach or an accidental exposure of confidential information to the wrong person. In order to remove the red tape and move forward with wall-towall collaboration adoption, you need a solution to address these requirements, specifically built for collaboration data.
Tools like Workplace by Facebook and Yammer encourage informal communication, which can lead to increased innovations and information sharing—but also can make toxic behavior or inappropriate messages easier to send to another employee.
If not addressed appropriately, these risks can put a halt to your collaboration rollout and hinder employee productivity.
The two primary buckets of human behavior risks are psychological harm (e.g. sexual harassment, discrimination and bulling) and risk of information breach (which could be malicious or out of ignorance)
A straightforward community management strategy is a great way to address a lot of human behavior risk, and something that should be done with the key stakeholders involved in your digital workplace rollout.
As a champion of collaboration, you need to partner with your legal team to ensure the success of your rollout. Getting your general counsel onboard with these new tools is essential to wall-to-wall enterprise collaboration adoption.
Public and private conversations are quick-hitting instant messages with informal, chatty characteristics. This results in great outcomes such as increased innovation, decreased silos and higher rates of response, but also an easier environment to hit ‘return’ on a message and send potentially risky content in a chat environment. While it feels private, it can still result in legal ramification.
Introduce norms that protect your employees, customers, and IP. Educate employees that sharing credit card numbers is probably not a good idea in these areas and if you are in a regulated industry, like healthcare, sharing patient information in the wrong areas can still qualify as a HIPAA violation.
Pairing collaboration with a monitoring solution that scans public, private and chat messages for keywords or patterns of concern. This will surface unsafe sharing and you can notify your legal team of potential risks.
When there is a pending litigation, legal teams need to gather all relevant data that might be for a prosecution or defense. This can include financial data, email communications and phone records, as well as public and private conversation content.
Pair your collaboration tool with a solution that allows legal teams to build an archive of all content (including revisions and deletions!), enact legal holds to preserve content from individuals of interest and easily extract relevant content by author or keyword.
Cut your legal team a break by purging conversation data you no longer need, leaving them with less data to dig through in the event of early case assessment. A regular data purge also prevents lingering conversations that no longer has business value from getting in the wrong hands.
Most companies have retention policies that define when to purge stored data after a defined period of time. Implement a retention solution that is specific to collaboration data and adhere to your organization’s existing retention policies.
Collaboration tools are different from more conventional forms of workplace communication—such as email—in that they often enable revision or deletion functionality on messages and shared content.
While the action in and of itself doesn’t mean that your employee has something to hide (more often, it’s a case of a missing comma or typo), even an innocuous edit could open up your organization to greater compliance concerns.
Bring your compliance team a plan to archive both conversation data and any subsequent modifications.
The workstream collaboration market continues to grow, and business leaders are paying attention. When introducing tools such as Workplace by Facebook, Yammer, Microsoft Teams and Slack, you will need to explain how your organization will manage legal risks and remain compliant with industry and data regulations such as HIPAA or the GDPR.
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect on May 25, 2018, affecting companies all over the globe. The State of California even passed its own form of the regulation, with some calling it “GDPR Lite.” Considered the most important change to data privacy regulations in the past two decades, the GDPR is top-of-mind with your compliance leaders and they will need to understand how to remain compliant within internal communications.
Any citizen of the EU has the right to request access to all of their stored data—this is called a Data Subject Access Request (DSAR). This applies to employees and any communication data that might be generated in these tools.
In addition to accessing their data, all EU citizens have the right to be forgotten—basically, the right to have their data erased. This also applies to employees and any communication data that might be generated in these tools.
When it comes to the digital workplace, the best legal risk management strategy is the selection a data management solution with capabilities to efficiently captures and export all authored content in the event of a Data Subject Access Request.
You will also need a solution that supports the erasure of all a user’s data from both the platform (and any archives), should an employee act on their right to be forgotten.
Aside from industry or federal regulations, each organization likely has a robust set of internal policies and guidelines for appropriate behavior.
For example, employees often sign a code of conduct stating they will treat fellow employees with respect and dignity. Yet, so often headlines tell stories of harassment or discrimination issues within the workplace. Ease concerns of both your compliance AND human resources leaders by implementing an automated monitoring solution for public and private communications that specifically looks for inappropriate behavior which could lead to psychological or legal risk.
The word monitoring may feel off-putting at first, but on a company-endorsed tool it is necessary to keep employees and your company safe. It’s a practice that has been in place for email for decades and when you’re open and transparent with your community regarding monitoring, your employees are likely to be understanding and comfortable with it.
Bring a plan to your compliance team for how you are going to keep conversation data—including edits and deletions—in a searchable archive. How else would legal and compliance teams collect evidence to try a case?
Many regulated industries require organizations to save and store data for a specific amount of time (e.g. HIPAA, FINRA). This includes the communication data that is generated within collaboration platforms. Not to mention, when dealing with litigation or other regulatory compliance issues, the importance of a searchable archive is unrivaled.
If you’re driving the adoption of Workplace by Facebook, Microsoft Teams, Yammer or Slack—you will face a variety of stakeholders. At some point, you need buy-in from your human resources department regarding the platform’s rollout.
Naturally, human resource teams care about the human side of your organization. They cultivate and drive the organizational culture and processes that every team within an organization leans on to work effectively and efficiently. Employee engagement, sentiment, safety and compliance are a few of the key issues that concern HR leaders.
Point to your community management strategy and illustrate how you plan on keeping the community focused on building a better workplace, even if some of those conversations will be inherently rapport building and may not be directly work-related.
Unfortunately, human behavior risk lives in every organization. If employees are toxic in the workplace, they will likely take these tendencies to a digital platform—especially in private areas such as direct messages, as well as closed or secret groups.
Let your human resources team know that the community is governed by a watchful eye. The best way to protect employees against unsafe coworker behavior is through automated monitoring. Pair your digital workplace solution with a tool that surfaces content by keywords and behavior anomalies.
Depending on your company’s industry and comfort level with risk, ensuring that employees honor company policies is critical to the success of your project. The way employees conduct themselves online is a reflection of how they conduct themselves in the workplace.
Give community managers access to employee public and private communications so they can monitor and respond to inappropriate behavior as needed. Secondly, partner with your human resources team to create a response and escalation plan for concerning behavior. Who needs to be notified of the incident? Should the content be removed from the platform? How should the offending employee be coached?
Here’s a way to win over your human resource teams—add value to their current workflow.
Human resources teams spend millions on annual surveys and other tools to understand employees’ mood and perception of their organization, leadership and culture. However, these antiquated practices are inefficient and grossly inaccurate. Pair your tool rollout with an integration partner who offers powerful insights, such as up-to-date sentiment .
The research is clear: companies with a digital workplace demonstrate faster time-to-innovation, higher employee retention, increased productivity and revenue growth. So, implemented correctly—these platforms will help transform and enhance employee engagement in your organization.
Enterprise security is a critical priority for many IT professionals, with C-Suite executives citing it as a top concern. With new types of threats entering the technology landscape every day, the job of information security is never done. Whether you work directly with the CISO or another designated team, information security is a major stakeholder—and possible roadblock—to your workplace collaboration rollout.
The essential responsibilities of information security are consistent across organizations: reduce IT risks, safely store and protect company, employee and customer data, and develop possible breach scenarios along with corresponding reaction and response plans.
Platforms such as Workplace by Facebook and Yammer are completely secure for the enterprise. The risk lies in the unpredictable human behavior of your users.
The estimated cost associated with an insider threat attack exceeds $10,000,000,000—making this risk alone a potential stopper to an enterprise collaboration rollout. Proactive community management is necessary to mitigate risk of insider threats. You need to present a solution to keep sensitive material safe and out of the wrong hands.
Make your life easier by automating this process. Ensure that employees communicate and share in a safe manner by monitoring public and private interactions.
BYOD policies are becoming increasingly more common across enterprises. One of the biggest concerns is the mix of personal and professional content on one device. Consider, for example, the risk that employees might share company content and files on consumer-grade apps, just like they share personal videos and files with family and friends.
The good news because workstream collaboration works across desktops, mobile phones and tablets, they actually help insulate corporate communication data within enterprise-grade apps. Meaning, with an app like Workplace by Facebook on their personal device, employees can connect on-the-go with colleagues on a company-sanctioned tool instead of SMS or another consumer-grade app.
The right tool makes all the difference. An enterprise-grade work stream collaboration tool, like Workplace by Facebook, Microsoft Teams and Yammer, have enterprise enterprise security needs in mind—keeping a safe perimeter from external, malicious users.
The proper management of communication data is changes depending on your collaboration tool.. Not every tool offers data management capabilities. Come prepared to a conversation with your infosec team recommending additional layers of protection, with retention functionality.
Retention policies reduce data liability by purging what no longer provides business value. If the conversation—or the sensitive data contained within—isn’t offering additional value and is just sitting on the platform, consider it a company risk. When you purge that information from your tool, it prevents a leak to somebody that shouldn’t have the data.
Show your infosec team your plans to pair your collaboration tool with a solution that that offers retention functionality—deleting data directly from the platform when it is no longer needed for business or compliance.
The first step is to introduce a viable collaboration solution. Without a sanctioned collaboration tool, employees will take measures in their own hands and find the solutions that help them get their job done. Unsanctioned tools have zero visibility into shared content making them a major infosecurity liability.
Your organization likely already has a cloud access security broker (CASB) in place, which functions like a security gateway between IT infrastructure and cloud-based applications. This is useful to identify and prevent the access or sharing of files to an audience outside of the permitted populations.
For complete coverage, pair a CASB with a data loss protection (DLP) or automated monitoring solution that is developed specifically for workstream collaboration. Show your infosec team a solution that makes sense of the unstructured conversation data that lives within these platforms, and also offers the ability to provide conversation context surrounding any messages of interest.