Taking Strategy Discussions Online: Multilogue
By Caroline Schaberg, The Netherlands, MSLGROUP EMEA
Transparent and digital: that is how companies should communicate nowadays – with their employees as well as clients. Not every organization knows how to handle this, and many consult self-styled experts to shed light on this topic. A while back, in a column of FD.Weekend, a Dutch news magazine, I read about tips and tricks for video conferencing and how it can save time and travel costs. But is digital communication to be embraced only to save costs? How can we use it to do more for internal communication? Can it be used for co-creation, and for employee engagement?
How Multilogue Can Help
An European insurance company recently used Multilogue to discuss its vision and strategy with 1,200 managers and talented employees. The conference was a great success, with a participation ratio of almost 75%, and 1,500 comments posted in 90 minutes.
It was an open discussion: people asked discerning questions and they received honest answers. Because the discussion was being monitored live, we were able to immediately return the first results to the management. Afterwards, the management was able to analyse the situation and glean insights into what was going on within the organization.
Some of our older, larger clients for Multilogue are global insurance major AXA, which brought together 55,000 participants in a single conference and energy GDF Suez, one of the largest energy companies. At Suez’s conference (photo below), around 50,000 participants who spoke seven languages used the tool to discuss critical matters related to the company’s growth.
We believe it takes courage to use a tool like Multilogue: not every CEO wants to take the discussion about vision and strategy outside of the boardroom, least of all with the entire staff!
The fact that it is online is just the start. It is what it does to a company. As soon as the management has committed to a transparent discussion with its employees, you feel things start to change. Employees feel appreciated as they are being listened to. They are proud to have been invited. And the board? They remember why they are doing what they do. It is not just the quarterly figures and shareholder value that are important, but the people themselves. The fact that it also saves travel costs and time is just a bonus.
Caroline Schaberg is part of MSL Amsterdam and blogs about Reputation Management and Employee Engagement for Communicatie Online, a leading online platform for PR-and Communications professionals in the Netherlands. Follow her on Twitter: @cjschaberg