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7 benefits of digital facilitation for modern organizations

By Hanna Liimatainen on Mar 14, 2019 7:53:00 AM

If you’re looking for ways to innovate faster, grow your organization more sustainably, or make your employees more engaged during an organizational development process, digital facilitation may just be the right approach for you.

In this post, we’ll dig deeper into the the seven benefits you’ll unlock by introducing digital facilitation across the whole organization.

1. Make everyone feel heard

It’s no secret that people have an innate need to be heard and understood. However, we can all empathize with how difficult it is to involve each member of a large and diverse organization to any process — let alone a complex and strategic one that involves learning and development.

While digital facilitation definitely isn’t a silver bullet that will magically solve all the challenges associated with organizational development initiatives, it does help with the people part of the puzzle.

By inviting everyone on a shared workspace  and journey  where they can collaborate, ask questions, and support each other, you’ll send a message that everyone’s opinion matters and they all have a right to be heard. And while it’s not always possible to arrive in a compromise that’ll satisfy everyone’s wishes, at least you’ll stay on the pulse of what people are talking about and will be able to react to feedback a lot faster.

2. Create a safe environment for different personalities

In a live workshop setting, it’s normal for a few people to dominate the discussion while the rest of the group sits there in silence. And because most companies don’t only consist of fast-thinking chatterboxes, it makes sense to offer people various communication channels.

By allowing people to communicate not only in person but also in writing, through pictures, and even through video, you’ll be able to truly benefit from everyone’s point of view.

3. Avoid unnecessary interruptions

Digital workspaces allow your team members to take part in change processes and learning programs on their own terms. Instead of carrying out all collaborative tasks in a face-to-face setting, you can choose to move some of the discussions and assignments online.

That way, the participants can freely choose when and where they’ll contribute. As a result, you’re likely to increase commitment, since the participants know that you value their work enough to avoid unnecessary interruptions to their daily work.

However, don’t forget that there might still be the time and place for face-to-face or virtual meetings and workshops. Depending on the situation, you might still find occasional live catch ups useful.

4. Co-creation is better for business

According to research by Great Place to Work, organizations that encourage all their members to innovate can expect 5.5 times the revenue growth of peers who rely on a less inclusive approach.

Why? The key here is that no one person can possibly have the collective intelligence of a large organization. However, by finding ways to listen to the experts of different fields, you should be able to harness the skills, knowledge, and opinions of everyone in the organization and that way reach your combined potential.

In short, if you’re able to replace traditional top-down management with a culture of collaboration, your bottom line (and bank account) will likely thank you.

5. Automate notifications and spend more time on what matters

To make sure that things move forward in the agreed schedule, it’s good to send reminders to all the participants about their personal deadlines. However, managing that process manually can take a lion’s share of your time.

By automating all the important reminders, you can spend more time on things that machines can’t do for you — like answering important questions and facilitating conversations.

6. Share the responsibility of documentation

Normally the facilitator is tasked with the thankless job of post-workshop documentation. However, by having a shared digital workspace, you can delegate documentation between the participants and bake it into the workshop.

You can also encourage the participants to think outside of the box and share videos, pictures, and illustrations in addition to purely text-based roundups of what was agreed and discussed. This way, the memory of the workshop will last longer on everyone’s mind and even those who couldn’t make it to the session can easily catch on.

7. Ask for feedback and iterate

Each organizational change process is slightly different from the last, which is why it’s important to stay open to feedback and iterate as you go along.

A digital facilitation platform like Howspace makes separate feedback forms obsolete and instead allows you to build a feedback loop directly into the workspace. Depending on the sensitivity of the feedback you’re gathering, you can decide whether or not the comments will be available for everyone to see.

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If you’d like to try Howspace out for yourself, now is your chance. Sign up for your free 30-day trial and discover the many benefits it can bring to your whole organization. (And psst! You don't even need a credit card to get started.)

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