How you can use a central event platform to increase transparency, reduce unnecessary emails, and improve the social climate.
Why should we go to the effort of planning events on the intranet when everyone has a calendar and we can send out invitations over Outlook or Google Calendar? This is a question I hear surprisingly rarely from customers, although I have often thought about it myself.
Announcing Events Transparently
The larger a company gets, the higher the number of all kinds of events put on for the workforce. It could be a summer or Christmas party. However, it may also involve a professional exchange on specific topics or perhaps even further training. Here’s a screenshot of events from our system that colleagues have posted:
Source file: https://seibert.biz/eventsinunseremintranet
You can see directly from the summary that a lot of email traffic would occur if all of these events were sent to every employee every time, right? And now just imagine if each of these dates changed twice or more in the period of its “lifetime” – a room is rearranged, a date is changed, a description has further information added to it and so on and so forth. You will soon realize this from the amount of daily email traffic you receive: even with just a few participants and normal meetings, an enormous back and forth can take place with emails.
A central event platform delivers many advantages. The most important thing for me is the increased transparency it provides in the company. What’s going on here in reality? I don’t want to claim that an internal event portal is the only answer. However, it already plays a major role, especially when it comes to physical gatherings and for participating in social interactions in the organization.
An ever-increasing number of situations are arising in companies where people want to celebrate something. That’s all well and good. However, if somebody wandered past unwittingly, they may well have a few questions to ask. Firstly: don’t they have a job to do instead of sipping champagne and eating cake? Secondly: why aren’t I there, or wasn’t I at least invited? Thirdly: was I perhaps actively excluded? Do I have to worry about how popular I am and my social connection with my co-workers? Admittedly, that’s a pretty negative chain of thought. But it’s not unusual.
The transparency in an internal portal creates a pertinent difference here. If there is an important milestone or success to celebrate, people should be allowed to do so. When something as great as a new sales record or huge order takes place, there’s absolutely no reason to exclude anyone from the celebration. Then everyone benefits from it and everyone should be able to participate. And only those who want to or have the time to attend will do so anyway.
If you now have some concerns about all this just attracting “parasites” who turn up at every celebration and fill their pockets with cake, then take a look at the books by Lars Vollmer and Niels Pfläging. They may possibly be helpful and valuable when it comes to how you see people and your colleagues. The real world is better than at Capitol Insurance LLC! I will simply assume that you and your company trust your own employees and confront them on equal terms. I’m not saying that that’s simple and easy to do. As I said: read the two authors I just mentioned – who are also my colleagues – to find out how they deal with this internal attitude in their professional lives.
I also know that some of our tools are used by companies that want to tighten the thumbscrews. And that these organizations (ostensibly) also use my argument about participation, at least to make their move appear justified. The transitions are fluid: just now we were pretending to respect everyone; tomorrow we will notice that it’s worthwhile and actually do it. Sometimes the rigmarole of business is not quite as bad as Pfläging and Vollmer believe. Courtesy can also be a tactic.
But back to the celebration announced to everyone on the intranet. Now all events can be seen on the intranet. What changes for you now when you walk past a group of colleagues celebrating something? From my point of view, a lot: for example, you no longer need to torture yourself with that mental film. You don’t have to ask what’s being celebrated, because you can see it on the intranet at any time. In this case, you may have missed it or it may simply have slipped your mind. And anyway, you have something important to do and don’t have time to celebrate. Maybe next time. But what certainly hasn’t happened is that you’ve been left out!
Go on then, you can call me a dreamer! But I still want to try to take the wind out of your sails right now. And, no, I certainly don’t think that every in-house celebration and event is announced on the intranet. People are lazy. And maybe someone is just having a big birthday party, or has an anniversary, or is retiring, and maybe it’s a surprise party. Maybe it’s true and I was deliberately not invited. The difference is that now you have a central location where these events should be documented. Someone who fails to abide by this rule acts against the cultural norm and should be made to explain themselves if there is any doubt.
If there is no real and transparent way of providing information, it is quite difficult to distinguish between deliberate bullying and the mindful inclusion of everyone. Because the result is always the same: nobody knows better.
In a transparent corporate world where modern tools reign, it is up to you whether you decide whether to live out this transparency or not. If others aren’t aware of this yet or are just too lazy, it doesn’t fundamentally change the situation for you. In this world, you can still set yourself apart as a particularly attentive colleague whose aim is to increase transparency and bolster team spirit.
I would understand if you are probably not interested in pursuing this particular anti-bullying argument. What is clear, however, is that providing an overview and transparency about internal events is desirable and valuable for many people in the company.
And the interpersonal effect that transparency partially makes possible cannot be dismissed out of hand either. If the company allows you to plan a board game evening or organize a soccer game for next Wednesday at 7 p.m. and allows you to find the twelve players you need as well, you might be allowed to introduce your hobbies and interests to the company as well, right?
On the other hand: do employers want that type of thing? Should people meet outside of work? One or two of the more conservative companies out there might well question this. However, the vast majority of organizations and also the people I meet in-house or at customers support this approach. They want teams that understand each other well. They want people who are capable of interacting well and who can exchange ideas more closely.
It’s all about good cooperation on an equal level characterized by respect and understanding for one another.
And you can foster, strengthen, and improve this through more personal interaction. So private get-togethers can really help to achieve this. Of course, they have to be voluntary, self-organized and non-obligatory.
Preparing Better Meetings and Making Them More Efficient
Your central event platform offers even more advantages for those who plan events in a company: you can see who’s registered at any time and export the lists of attendees to check to make sure you have everyone on the site. For instance, if you give out appointments (we have a company masseuse whose massage slots can be booked over the intranet), you can see who is coming next. And, it goes without saying that participants also receive invitations to the events they have registered for, so that their appointments appear automatically in their calendars.
We also offer preventive health measures over our internal event platform. People can have flu shots, attend lectures on medical topics, have check-ups and receive other medical advice. We allow our employees to book massage slots over the intranet and organize foosball and billiard competitions.
However, we don’t pay much attention to whether someone might find a flu shot intrusive, for example. Ultimately, this is a private matter and not an obligation of any kind at the company. And we don’t check to see whether employees take advantage of a particular service or not. Somebody is always organizing something. And if nobody comes, the thing is trashed. Billiards and foosball tournaments, of course, are also a private affair and don’t take place during working hours. The entire offering is deliberately mixed, but also personalized, so that I’m not invited to any events that I can’t attend because they take place at a different location, for example. I’ve already described the need for personalization of this nature above: see “Personalized Messages – News For my Team.”
Organizing events on the company intranet deliver lots of advantages including more transparency and participation. There is a clear place where the announcement is posted and it makes it easier to start up new activities and find interested participants. More cooperation takes place – both on a professional and private level.
Link to this page: https://seibert.biz/intranetbookevents
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