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The Importance of Humanity in a Digital Network

One of Maya Angelou’s most quoted statements goes something like this, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” As businesses and corporations move more and more of their work online, this sentiment is one that is incredibly important to maintain a healthy equilibrium between efficiency and effectiveness.

Is Bigger Always Better?

A few months ago, I changed jobs to be closer to home and leapt into a completely new industry for me. Coming from a background of multinational consumer packaged goods and nationally known pediatric health care, I went to a small, relatively speaking, senior living company, I wasn’t sure what to expect from a communications experience, much less a technology experience. The organizations I had worked for had sophisticated intranets and labyrinthine digital document storage to manage the information flow and knowledge built within them.

Due to the size of these systems, both in pages and in storage, it was difficult to make real, human connections across the ether. We were all so busy simply trying to find the document, form or information we needed. It was also difficult to stand out as a content contributor. Only major victories were celebrated across the digital landscape.

Keep It Simple...

Much to my surprise, I have found that the KISS method works just as well as expected in internal communications as it does anywhere else. The organization I am a part of now has a very simple internal communications structure from a technology perspective – a document storage and sharing platform and a social platform.

The content of the social platform is constantly celebratory and innovative. The organization is one driven by culture and that is evident each day as update after update in the internal social network features associates from across the organization at all levels. Colleagues cheer each other on and comment on new and brilliant ideas. Leadership’s goal of having a passionate workforce is realized due to the simplicity and appropriateness of the platforms chosen.

The digital workplace that I inhabit in this role is one that allows me to connect meaningfully with colleagues all over the organization, to learn and share and be celebrated. Our top brass regularly comment and commend teams and individuals for a job well done. Though there may be a formal digital engagement strategy, as an end-user, it certainly doesn’t feel contrived. The feeling I get by engaging with my colleagues, many of whom I’ve not met in person, is something I won’t forget. 

Rachel Williams

Rachel Williams

Rachel Williams is a dot connector and story teller. In her current role as the Director of Community Relations at Arabella of Athens, a Civitas community, she is using her background as a communicator to help families continue to love and care for each other, even as their needs change. She strategically employs technology to connect, educate and inspire colleagues and clients in an industry about which she is passionate and that is growing exponentially.