There has never been a more exciting time for the role of digital, inside your organisation.

  • The expectations of staff are through the roof – they know what’s possible at home, and expect the same sweetness of design and slick hardware in the office.
  • Staff are consumers too, and they know how companies bend over backwards to engage and incentivise on social media.
  • As a result your colleagues know how to make their voices heard, regardless of whether they have permission.

If you work in HR, internal communications, or any team with ‘strategy’ or ‘transformation’ in the title, I’d recommend you pay close attention to the three platforms below, before building anything of your own or worrying about staff messaging.

None of these platforms are new, but crucially none of them can really be controlled, or need your permission. Among the internal communicators I speak with, their seems to be a lack of awareness about these platforms.

Glassdoor – why is this not more widely known?

Glassdoor has the potential to change the way we think about ‘corporate brand’ and recruitment, forever. A crisp platform that lets staff rate and review places they have worked, and gives organisations the chance to respond. It is too easy for nay sayers to assume that the reviews will all be from staff with an axe to grind. Tell them to look at it. Right now, it feels like a grown up community, with constructive praise as well as criticism.

I don’t think any team should be worrying about launching anything new on behalf of their staff or organisation, until they are familiar with Glassdoor and their own profile. This post about the Glassdoor wake up call, is well worth a read.

Yammer – organisations hurry to understand and control Yammer and forget that a community starts with a collection of common email addresses.

Your IT department can make a conscious decision not to buy or endorse Yammer, but that doesn’t really matter. The free version simply requires one or more members of staff to log in, and off you go. Deciding how to embrace Yammer, or anything like it, forces a pretty big change on anyone who felt in control of the internal exchange of views and information.

YikYak – bear with me on this one.

Beloved of moody students in campuses across the US, YikYak is an anonymous social network that connects people within approximately one mile. It is growing in popularity over here and ranked in the top 20 social apps downloaded in the UK, from Apple, March 2015. Because it is anonymous, people don’t hold back, but that doesn’t mean it is always full of angry rubbish.

If your colleagues are driven to using YikYak anonymity through paranoia or desperation, that’s a pretty big red flag to say something isn’t working in the office. Can you imagine the potential impact of YikYak, for staff working in large office blocks and sites all around the world?

So, before you get too hung up on whether or not to run or maintain intranet forums, make lots of staff engagement videos or buy that recruitment ad in The Sunday Times, take a look at what staff might already be using, or expect to use, in the very near future.