Is your culture right for collaboration tools to improve internal communications?

I believe many internal communications professionals are not appreciating the benefits that collaboration tools can bring.  Instead they are seen as a threat to traditional channels used for communicating corporate messages to employees.  In my previous post ‘Can collaboration tools improve internal communications?‘ I disagreed with this attitude.

Changing this approach is not a simple task.  Before you can consider using any collaboration tools you need to have the right culture within your organisation.  I’m afraid the approach of “I’ll start a blog to change the culture” is doomed to failure.  You need to have an environment where employees are:

  1. comfortable using collaborative tools
  2. encouraged to share information with other employees
  3. maybe even incentivised to share knowledge online
  4. able and willing to offer critical comments
  5. relaxed about constructive feedback on their own views

To achieve this environment you need to have in place the following:

  1. company values that should cover openness, honesty, and trust
  2. endorsement and sponsorship by senior managers of the values
  3. guidance on how employees should behave online
  4. HR policies that support employee engagement

That means internal communications realising they are not the only people who can communicate using the intranet.  Neither are ‘official’ channels the only route to communicate with other employees.  To embrace these challenges could mean a redefining of the role of internal communications.  How this can be done will be covered in my next post.

If you want to use my experience or help about this post please contact me.

3 responses to “Is your culture right for collaboration tools to improve internal communications?

  1. That’s the big and most difficult challenge: having the right culture!
    Today you cannot have collaboration in the organisation without the right tools, that’s a fact. But having collab tools without the appropriate culture is equaly ineffective, that’s a reality. Collaboration, like communication, is primarily an attitude, a human behavior. The first focus must/should be on people, then on tools. I’m looking forward to read your next post 🙂

    • Hi Claudio,

      Thanks for your comments which I agree with. I’ll try to meet your expectation in my next post. 🙂

      Technology such as collaboration tools should always be supporting what people need to do. That maybe to work better or quicker or cheaper or all of those or to do new activities.


  2. Dear Mark, we share the insight on the importance of having the right ‘culture’ in an organisation (see my contribution on LinkedIn), with this post you provide a useful guideline to create that ‘culture’. If now management is willing to help implementing it …

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