Sparking Joy & Tidying Up Your Digital Workplace
If you’re on a de-cluttering kick like me, you’ve probably seen Netflix’s new show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” Fair warning: It’s addictive and you may want to clean out everything you own after just one episode! But the show got me thinking about de-cluttering our internal communications channels too.
Let’s face it, there’s a plethora of workplace collaboration tools out there, and as internal communicators, we get pulled in so many different directions—from prepping for an All Hands to publishing a story on the intranet to joining a meeting with Facilities about an important event.
Employees could easily use upwards of five different collaboration tools in a day! How can you help your people distinguish between each platform? How can you identify which tools increase productivity, and which ones are simply adding noise and distraction?
Here’s what I think: For workplace collaboration tools to be truly effective, they need to have a clear purpose and a goal. So, how do you understand their purpose and define a goal?
Start by conducting an audit of everything you have.
Or, as Marie Kondo instructs, take everything out of your closet so you can see it all at once. You need to know what tools you actually have before you do anything else. In addition, are there tools that certain pockets of your company are using—either successfully or unsuccessfully?
Figure out when and why you use these tools.
Once you know what you have, develop a good, old-fashioned channel map that outlines when and why to use each of these technologies.
Just as you’d map out the goal of your All Hands meetings or your exec comms, take the time to think through when and why to use Slack, what emails or newsletters you send via Poppulo, and what ones you send using Outlook or Gmail.
Once you do this, you might find that you have too many tools and need to trim down on redundancies, or you might see a gap where you have an opportunity to bring in something new.
Push yourself to go deeper.
You’re not done until you can show how you’re measuring the effectiveness of each tool. Geek out! Is there additional data you could be collecting from your intranet or newsletter platform? Could you roll out a particularly effective tool to other teams who haven’t used it yet? What’s getting through to employees and what do they ignore?
The de-cluttering process can feel pointless at first or be downright challenging at times. But once you’re done, you’ll have a suite of tools and technology that make work easier and faster for you and your people. And if that doesn’t spark joy, what does?