These are uncertain times and ‘social distancing’ has forced many companies to work from home to suppress COVID-19. This new dynamic requires new approaches to successful collaboration and communication. Since several of our clients have asked our advice, we thought we’d share a useful tool that you likely have access to already.
Facebook Groups are an easy, free channel you can use to share information with your team.
How to set up a Facebook Group
Go onto your company Facebook page (note: you must be set as the ‘Admin’ for your page), then:
- Click on the 3 dots (shown in the image below)
- Click on ‘Create Group’
- Then a similar page to this will show:
- Change the name of your Group to suit its purpose (e.g. ‘The ROARsome Tiger Team’)
- Add the people who you wish to invite
- Keep the page ‘Private’ so only the people you invite can join
- Hide the page as it only needs to be found by your team
- Click on ‘Create’
A similar page to this will show:
- Upload a team photo or personalise to your company (it’s reassuring to the team to see a completed Group as shows you have invested time into it and they are more likely to use it accordingly)
- Next, click on ‘About’ in the left column
- Add a description so your team know what this page is for, what information they can expect and how you want them to interact. This is really important because unless your team understand WHY you set it up, they won’t use it. For example:
“This is a private group that has been set up for ‘The ROARsome Tiger Team’, to keep those of you currently off work informed of what’s happening and where we will share any important updates that will impact Tiger Marketing and you, our team. We will post daily updates and if you have any questions please feel free to post it here. We’d also welcome any positive stories or reassuring, kind words that you wish to share with the rest of the team – although please note that the primary use for this Facebook group is to keep everyone updated with what’s happening with work. Any negative comments, any posts deemed unnecessary will be deleted by our Admin team.”
You may also wish to add contact numbers for line managers, links to company policies, remind your team of specific procedures and what to do if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.
- Next, click on ‘Discussion’ on the left column>
- Add the first post – for example:
“I’d like to start our group discussion by saying a huge thank you to each and every one of you. Your commitment and hard work during these uncertain times are very much appreciated. We are doing all we can to work together, to ensure your jobs are safe and continue to deliver a brilliant service to our customers. Please also read the ‘Description’ to understand the aim of this Facebook Group and why we set it up.”
There are some great tools for team collaboration to utilise. All these features are explained by Facebook, so once you familiarise yourself with the Group you can see which settings are relevant for your business. Two other main points to highlight though:
- ‘Watch Party’ in the right-hand column allows you to upload a video and invite everyone to watch it together, where they can comment and ask questions / discuss in real-time. You could, therefore, record yourself sharing a business update and post it on here for your team to watch.
- ‘Moderate Group’ in the right-hand column allows you to add other members as admins so you share the administrative responsibility of the Group. It allows you to decide whether you want Group member posts to be approved by an admin before they are published. Settings also help highlight inappropriate behaviour or content.
Other useful tools to use for team collaboration:
- Slack: An informal group chat/instant messenger – quick and easy for fast replies needed
- Skype: Great for video conference calls – you can see the team (means they will at least have to be dressed from the waist up and out of bed!)
- Zoom: Great for large group conference calls – really reliable service!
- Microsoft Teams: This is what we use and it’s great – it integrates our team, all content we’re working on, and so many tools keeping us engaged and effective!
- Trello: works as an online pinboard to see who is working on what and when – useful for teams when there are lots of elements to one main project. Great for smaller companies.
- Basecamp: A great project management tool. Similar to Trello but more suited to larger companies as has a little more options and tools. Both are great, it depends on your industry and projects.
If there are any more you can recommend – please do share!