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Saying Goodbye to Workplace from Meta? It’s Time to Look Beyond Intranets & ESNs


 — May 16th, 2024

Saying Goodbye to Workplace from Meta? It’s Time to Look Beyond Intranets & ESNs
Workplace customers were hit with a surprise announcement this week when parent company Meta said it would shutter the application next year, and instead focus on AI and the metaverse.

Customers of the enterprise social network will be able to use the platform until August 2025, but the countdown clock is ticking, and organizations will need to look at alternative options. They need to consider that enterprise social networks and intranets might not be adequate for the scalable range of enterprise communication solutions needed by large companies today.

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Forced inflection points like sunsetting Workplace can be disruptive but also present a good opportunity for introspection. Specifically, it’s an opportunity for customers—as they consider Workplace alternative options—to ask themselves what worked well for them with the platform, what didn’t, and what might be better suited for the full complexity of enterprise communications going forward. 

It’s also an opportunity for organizations to consider the limitations of enterprise social networks in the context of their internal communication needs across the entire business—from organizational and operational comms to leadership and crisis communications, as well as reaching employees who have no access to email, intranet or mobile phones, such as factory floor workers.

So, in considering Workplace alternatives, what are some of the pros and cons of what it has delivered for companies since it started life as Facebook @ Work before its public launch in 2016?

Because Workplace is essentially Facebook for work, one of the biggest positives for organizations has been the ease at which employees could adopt the platform given their familiarity with the social network. Ease of use and built-in intuitiveness have contributed to its attractiveness and success in fostering a sense of community and belonging among employees, beyond work-related communication.

However, some of the positive attributes have been seen as a double-edged sword, with charges that Workplace—like other enterprise social networks—can be distracting and noisy for employees already faced with constant communication flows in their personal and work lives. For example, take these comments about Workplace on G2, the peer-to-peer review site:

“It can be distracting the amount of alerts you receive, especially when you’re in a large organization.”

And this, from someone who said Workplace was very important for collaboration:

“Sometimes the excessive interaction such as likes, comments or posts may impact productivity.”

Because Workplace is tailored to be used by organizations of all sizes—from the very big to the very small—the social engagement activity that might work well in a smaller company can, as these comments highlight, create disruptive distraction and add to comms noise in larger organizations.

Like other enterprise social networks, neither is Workplace an optimum choice for critical employee communications, as another employee comment highlights:

“Many emails look like spam without relevant information. As an end-user, it is not easy to get rid of them and prioritize the most important depending on the user's criteria.”

When companies weigh up alternatives to Workplace as the clock ticks down to August 2025, they need to consider the limitations as well as the benefits of enterprise social networks and look instead at what an enterprise-grade platform like Poppulo could help them achieve to reach and give a sense of belonging to their entire workforce, for a more inclusive employee experience.

This is what Poppulo does day in and day out for an A-list of the world’s largest and most successful organizations. Compared to Workplace’s seven million subscribers, Poppulo enables communications to 39 million employees every day.

As a leader in employee communications software serving over 4,500 businesses, including more than 40 of the Fortune 100, here are some alternative approaches to consider:

  • For critical, crisis, and leadership comms, consider a directed comms approach: highly personalized, targeted messages for greater relevance and cut-through
  • To reach and engage a workforce of knowledge and deskless workers: omnichannel communications delivered across touchpoints such as email, an employee mobile app, and integrations into tools like Microsoft SharePoint and Teams let you reach employees where they are rather than hoping they remember to check the company intranet
  • To build connections and reach more of your frontline employees: digital signage that includes a mix of company updates, operational information, and local content has been proven to drive higher awareness and impact than alternative approaches

For Workplace customers who must now consider options for their future internal communication needs, Poppulo is here to help during your transition. We offer best-in-class customer support and implementation services, all underpinned by enterprise-grade software that scales to support the world’s largest and most successful organizations. You can read some recent examples here of how we’ve done it for companies like National Grid and Northrop Grumman.

Why not schedule a meeting here with a Poppulo representative to discuss your communications and engagement needs and how we can help?

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