There are five ways cloud communication tools improve your corporate culture.
QVALON defines corporate culture as “…the values, behaviors, and habits reflected in interactions between management, employees, and customers. And it’s seen in how people act, dress, and make decisions.”
A healthy corporate culture improves morale, increases employee engagement, and drives greater client satisfaction and profitability.
Although I’ve been researching, praising, and leveraging various cloud solutions since I started in the MSP business in 2003, the past two years have transformed my career experience and morale.
The pandemic of 2020 drove the work from home revolution and forced us to adopt cloud features and functionality previously underutilized when everyone was in the office. We didn’t reinvent the wheel. We made a few refinements and activated dormant services.
Something else happened. In late 2021, our single-location MSP in Atlanta with thirty employees merged with five like-minded MSPs across the country, forming a national MSP with 400 employees and 20 locations.
We’ll examine the five ways to improve company culture with cloud applications through the lens of both changes.
#1 – Improve Corporate Culture with Teams Video Conferencing
Microsoft Teams animated our corporate culture by making management, tech support, and the sales team visible and accountable for providing face-to-face updates and insights.
This new routine was the first time three different groups within the company were united, Monday through Friday, from 9:30 AM to 10 AM in a Microsoft Teams “Huddle.”
While everybody worked remotely during COVID, Teams cloud video conferencing created cohesion that didn’t exist when we were a 100% in-office business.
For example, after two years of weekly reiteration from sales and marketing, the tech support team knows how strongly we feel about finding clients they will enjoy supporting.
(In the MSP business, the best clients follow an IT strategy and embrace standards and best practices. Clients who don’t buy into this framework run the support team ragged, accelerating employee turnover. And a toxic company culture.)
Learn More: Microsoft Teams Culture
#2 – Enhance Employee Engagement with Teams Chat
Teams Chat interaction across different functional areas of the company didn’t exist before the pandemic.
While engineers, project managers, and leadership had a history of engagement, sales and marketing were islands. The separation disappeared as soon as everyone jumped into Chat with instant feedback, questions, and a stream of emojis, GIFs, and stickers to build rapport.
Interdepartmental Chat activity gained traction during the daily huddles. Today, Chat has supplanted email as the dominant form of intercompany communication.
Several advantages are apparent:
- Chat unleashes more efficient information exchange.
- Chat tools work harmoniously with today’s diminished attention spans.
- Unlike forwarded emails that easily escape your network, Teams messages stay inside your organization. So there’s a lower security risk with Chat.
Learn More: Enhance Engagement with Teams
#3 – Reinforce Company Values, Behaviors, and Habits with Gamification
Use cloud gamification solutions to enhance company values through recognition and rewards.
CrewHu is a specialized cloud solution for MSPs, while Bonusly serves many different industries. We’ve used both platforms for several years. However, deployment was limited to tech support and project teams.
This situation changed when leadership implemented regular Teams meetings and invited sales and marketing to join. One modest change dramatically fostered community and cultivated new relationships – both professional and personal.
- Weekly awards ceremonies give top performers a chance to shine and celebrate in front of everyone.
- The marketing team has new alliances with engineers who now serve as subject matter experts for educational blogs and webinars covering cloud solutions, cybersecurity, and compliance.
- Engineering better understands the sales department and rewards them for improving the accuracy of their onboarding documentation for new clients.
- The sales team has clear expectations of what engineers need to know to deliver an exceptional new client onboarding experience.
- Everyone is getting cash rewards and gifts for making contributions to the team.
Learn More: Gamification in the Workplace
#4 – Solidify Collaborative Work-Flows with Teams Sites
Teams sites make it easier to manage project work-flows and plan events with different departments.
Teams is a single pane of glass to track all relevant messages, documents, folders, and video recordings.
Thanks to the magic of SharePoint and OneDrive integration, documents can be edited and saved by multiple parties directly from Chat messages. I’m so glad the days of receiving and editing Word documents attached to emails are over.
You can also follow department sites that don’t directly apply to your job. This morning, I joined two new sites: one for IT projects and another for information systems.
I like to know what other team members across the country are doing. I also like expanding my security and compliance vocabulary.
Learn More: Creating a Teams Site
#5 – Tighten Performance with Tools that Align with Employee Communication Preferences
Cloud solutions give you the flexibility to accommodate different employee communication preferences. I’ve gotten so accustomed to video calls traditional voice calls are taking a back seat.
Why settle for legacy audio? The Teams cloud allows you to:
- Make eye contact with a colleague, client, or prospect
- Record the call and capture all details for further review
- Instantly share your desktop and web links
- Send PDFs, documents, and video clips in real-time via Chat
- Launch and record presentations
- Deliver superior technical support by connecting with a client, viewing their desktop, and walking them through a resolution
Teams will make office work more pleasant for your staff. Some may enjoy written communications. Others may prefer video. Younger employees may be more comfortable responding to a “yes” or “no” question with a “Like” instead of a text reply. There’s something for everyone.
The Cloud Improves Culture as Your Company Grows
Your company is also more likely to grow if you have a strong culture.
When we initially immersed our local IT company into the Teams experience, we had no idea this was a dress rehearsal for our transition into a national MSP. As fate would have it, we merged with MSPs who share the same cultural values.
Teams was an effortless pivot for us as a small company during COVID. Now it’s an integral part of operations. We still have weekly morning huddles with Teams in the local offices. But we’ve branched out and now converge for monthly All Hands Meetings. That’s 400 people getting a transparent, sincere address from our CEO and performance updates from departmental leaders across the country.
We also have an informal awards ceremony to recognize achievement milestones. Last Friday, one of our top sales reps won a Tesla.
Our CEO announced the contest a few months ago. And while no one doubted he wouldn’t make good on this generous incentive, seeing it “live” and watching everyone’s expressions was an epic moment of camaraderie.
Learn More: 5 Reasons to Switch to Microsoft Teams