GDPR: Opportunity for businesses across the globe?

Why we should be embracing the GDPR

GDPR is around the corner and what an opportune time for businesses across Europe!

That’s right, you heard us correctly. The GDPR may be causing meltdown among many businesses, but we should be embracing the change to the Data Protection Act for its push to make companies more transparent!

On May 25th 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will be enforced, superseding the Data Protection Act and permanently changing the way you collect, store and use customer data. Stricter guidelines on how companies process consumer data are affecting prospecting and marketing activities. As a result, companies are frantically searching for immediate solutions to comply with the latest regulations. But are we over-reacting and shouldn’t we be seeing this change as an opportunity for the better?

Companies who show they value an individual’s privacy, promote transparency by sharing how data is collected, stored and used, and implement improved ways of managing consumer data, build deeper trust and meaningful relationships with customers, suppliers and stakeholders.

Not only this, they become a company whose reputation is based on people rather than data!  As the CEO of WFA exclaims:

“GDPR represents a great opportunity to adopt a mindset of ‘people first’ rather than ‘data first’ across the entire organization. Adopting a more respectful approach to personal information can only build trust.”

But how can businesses embrace this change?

Like with all change management scenarios, the key to compliance change is to plan ahead. It’s about outlining the positive and negatives and identifying actions to accommodate both.

New research by the World Federation of Advertisers found that 95% of respondents thought that implementing the GDPR is important for their organisation and over 70% found that it was critically important.

But how does the GDPR offer opportunity to EU businesses?

Not only does the GDPR push companies into qualifying their current data, re-evaluate marketing activities and push for more meaningful relationships with audiences; it will also make it easier for companies, big and small, to do business across the EU. The GDPR has the potential to:

  • Remove undue administrative requirements including non-sensitive data processing tracking
  • Relax the need for SME’s to employ a Data Protection Officer unless legally necessary
  • Improve data control and quality, brand and reputation and thus, creating more transparent, honest and reliable companies
  • Increase visibility and offer competition opportunities for SME’s through the GDPR’s right to data portability. A clause which, firstly, makes it easier for potential customers to transfer personal data between service providers. Secondly, it opens the doors for new providers and reduces the painful transfer or resubmission of data from customer to supplier.
  • Reduced maintenance expenses, helping companies cut costs by retiring any data inventory software and legacy applications that are no longer relevant.
  • Better align businesses with evolving technology, allowing companies to easily locate, anonymise and report more securely and effectively.

Opportunity for re-connecting?

By pushing companies to contact, respond and respect their audience, offers opportunity for re-connecting.  As Philippe De Backer, Belgium’s Secretary Of State for Privacy advises:

“It’ll help businesses better identify opportunities. The GDPR is about enabling companies to know what data they have and securing that data. It is also about managing that data effectively to enable them to identify new business opportunities. The GDPR has the potential to go a long way in rebuilding trust. Trust which many consumers have lost in digital companies.”

Have your say and tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

At ClearVoice™, we are experts in delivering employee communication and engagement solutions. We inspire, motivate and transform your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information or help with compliance change management or digital transformation, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your company.

Defining the Internet of Things

What is IoT?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to connect and exchange data.

Simply put, the term, Internet of Things (IoT), describes everyday objects that have digital connectivity capabilities to send and receive data via the internet.  An inanimate interpretation of ET!

As technology becomes smarter and more intelligent, everything we touch becomes more digitally tuned in.  From alarms clocks to temperature sensors, electric cars to voice activated speakers; internet accessibility has radically transformed how we behave, personally and professionally.  But how does this affect your workplace and what can you do to ensure security and safety of valuable data?

How the Internet of Things will change your workplace

From increased collaboration to smarter office spaces, the IoT is fundamentally changing how we communicate, perform and operate at work.

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Through digital evolution and the availability to send and receive data across any location, easily and reactively, has also changed how we store, manage and use data that is specifically client and customer facing.  Through intelligent algorithms and data processes, businesses can analyse behaviours, track marketing campaigns and centralise attention on one specific area.

The Internet of Things has also changed the dynamics of the office environment.  From CCTV apps which can monitor activity remotely; to energy reducing lighting systems that use sensors to turn lights on and off when employees are in the building.

Employee-focused devices give the ability to track, measure and improve physical and mental wellbeing, including objects which can monitor how long you have been sitting or standing to apps which can analyse cognitive behaviours.

How to stay safe in cyber space

As connectivity across multiple devices increases and expands data usage, cyber threat is more exposed than ever but how can you secure your platforms and what can you do to improve cyber security?

Here are 5 tips to help you stay safe

Passwords: Choose passwords carefully and wisely.  It is easier to use one password for a multiple of platforms but just imagine the impact it could have on your business if this password was hacked?  Always use complex passwords combining letters with numbers and capital letters with lower case letters.

Personal devices: IT should check personal devices before allowing connectivity in the workplace.  If hackers can associate your device with work, there is opportunity to gain a foothold into the organisation.  This can result in data theft and illicit surveillance.

Network: Create a separate network for visitors to avoid security risks from unknown or unfamiliar devices.  Most Wi-Fi routers support guest networking giving visitors connectivity opportunity without gaining access to shared files or networked devices.

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP): UPnP’s are designed to make it easier for network devices to automatically discover each other. Unfortunately, this exposes hackers to potential discovery beyond local networks because of vulnerabilities in the UPnP protocol. The best step is to turn UPnP off completely.

Track & monitor: It is crucial that all devices connected to the network are continuously tracked and monitored; determining the level of access granted and to protect data exchanges.  This will also help determine the effectiveness and durability of current or future security systems.

The IoT has provided opportunity to grow and expand businesses and improve how we work and perform daily.  Giving companies digital opportunities to improve workplaces, reduce health hazards and have a positive impact on the overall work environment.

Have your say

tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

At ClearVoice™, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire, motivate and transform your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on how to create a digital strategy, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

Intranets – a powerful digital tool?

How intranets can improve employee engagement

Intranets work as a collaborative platform that contain information specific to a company and can only be accessed by its employees.

A well-thought out intranet site can be a powerful digital tool that can help boost productivity and engagement.  It can also serve as a central hub of company information and resources that can help employees do their jobs, quickly and easily.

The benefits of intranets?

Intranets have a catalogue of benefits.

From cutting administration costs to supporting employees within a centralised digital workplace, intranet sites provide a key role in building an inclusive and engaged culture within the company.

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The value to HR departments

Intranets can have a significant, positive impact on key HR objectives through their ability to support, develop and communicate the employer brand and contribute to the overall employee experience.

Royal Mail and Tesco are great examples of how employee focused platforms can strengthen the employer brand and provide a wholesome employee experience.  Dedicated to staff, the sites provide valuable insights, colleague focused offers, company news, uniform order forms and exclusive employee login points which lead to confidential hub areas.

Integrating HR processes, Royal Mail’s intranet site aptly named myroyalmail.com also provides online access to employment policies, health and safety processes, share offers and business standards.

Tesco’s intranet platform, ourtesco.com, gives colleagues a central hub of staff-focused information including magazines, internal product and service promotions, community and charitable events and administrative documents including pay slips and business conducts.

A resourceful tool

Intranets considerably reduce administration costs and resources by centralising information to one area instead of across a multitude of internal servers, cloud-based platforms or even relying on one allocated body.

It also has the capacity to improve roles, expand employee engagement, strengthen employer brands and migrate company policies and procedures.  As a result, creating tangible benefits for HR departments and overall strategies.

Giving employees a reliable, dependable and resourceful digital platform.

Have your say and tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

 At ClearVoice, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on developing an intranet platform, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

New Year: Digital trends for 2018

New Year, new challenges

The New Year is upon us and with the start of 2018, come new trends that will revolutionise how we engage with employees, reach out to customers and expand online visibility.

Through cloud technology, artificial intelligence and responsive channels, technology has already affected how companies utilise digital devices to communicate with internal and external audiences.

As we embrace the New Year, we look at what trends are set to further change your communications channels and how to prepare your workforce for the takeover.

Read about the top three digital trends:

Chatbots

Chatbots are virtual assistants animated by artificial intelligence intended to deliver real-time answers to customers. Global tech business, Oracle, found that 80% of brands expect to use them for customer interaction by 2020.  One such system which combines AI technology with data is IBM Watson.  A supercomputer with combined data storage of over 200 million pages of information processed against six million logic rules, the software can analyse the relevant information and make recommendations in real time.

In action: Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance in Japan replaced 30 employees with the AI system, believing it would increase productivity by 30% and see a return on its investment in less than two years.

Mass personalisation

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Mass personalisation is the act of creating campaigns or websites targeted to specific audience’s history.  It enables recipients to focus on what’s relevant to them at the time it matters.  For organisations, it allows them to micro-target individuals or groups; giving them relevant information that affects their specific role as and when needed.

In action: Last year Virgin Group introduced the next generation in engagement software.  Virgin Pulse Hub, a dynamic engagement and communication portal connects employees with relevant HR and benefits tools, programs and information.  It enables administrators to segment messages across a variety of factors, including age, location and health risk factors; delivering them in ways that resonate with employee populations.

Remote workforces

Remote workforces are when employees work outside the ‘traditional’ office environment.  With over 96 million workers using mobile devices to do their jobs, companies are fast discovering the overall benefits of employing staff remotely.

In action: Buffer, a social media schedule platform company has more than 80 employees working in several different countries.  ‘Courtney Seiter, Buffer’s Inclusivity Catalyst, shares that instead of having a hybrid remote and on-site environment, Buffer “does everything 100% remote first to create that feeling of inclusivity and equality across the board.”’

How to prepare your office for 2018

As we begin the new year, preparation can ensure a stress-free agenda.  Develop a plan for 2018 by encompassing tactics which can help improve and strengthen key elements of the business.  Utilise the five key areas when developing your strategy for the coming year, helping provide practical solutions in a short space of time:

Employer brand review

A great employer brand is one that both customers and staff will want to be a part of.  Review how it is currently perceived and how it can be improved forecasting key milestones to improve your employer brand.  Think about the attractiveness of the company, the core message and culture you have built.

Challenge preparation

Consider factors which may affect your business, staff and your customers.  Think about the up and coming digital trends; would they improve efficiency, increase online visibility or reduce costs? Use this time to research key events which may affect audiences such as GDPR or Brexit, helping address potential risks to your business.

Identify new opportunities

Use the New Year to explore new marketing tactics, thinking about mass personalisation, social channels and networking events. Consider new products or services or even reinventing how you package them up. Encourage staff to feed ideas for economic growth and provide incentives for internal contributions.

Financial downtime

Carry out a financial review of current costs and identify if you’re getting value for money or if costs could be better used elsewhere.  Do you have a bonus scheme in place for employees?  Assess how best to deliver these and what the bonuses are measured on including performance, sales or time of servitude.

Review and prepare a comms plan

A comms audit can help identify which channels work; identify common weaknesses and measure the overall effectiveness.  Assess who you are communicating with, internally and externally, how you could improve the comms channel and the best medium to adapt to deliver key messages.

Have your say and tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

At ClearVoice™, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on strategy preparation and internal communication, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

The value of internal communication apps

Are internal communication apps the answer?

As audiences become more digitally focused, demand for communication activity is bigger than ever.  Internal communication managers are constantly finding new channels to better engage and motivate employees that can be measured effectively.

From electronic newsletters to emails and messenger forums, communication gaps or missing information can render these platforms unreliable but are internal communication apps the solution?  And are they the key for an integrated communications strategy?

Internal communication app – talking stats

With 88% of workers owning mobile devices in the UK, and 55% of mobile users looking at their phone within minutes of waking, companies are fast recognising the value of communicating with staff via app technology and in real time.

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  • 73% of adults accessed the internet “on the go” using a mobile phone or smartphone, more than double the 2011 rate of 36%.
  • Statcounter, a research company that tracks internet use across 2.5m websites, said 51.3% of pages were loaded on mobile devices last year, the first time they have surpassed desktop and laptop computers.
  • More Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.

Internal communication apps allow managers to create, publish and monitor interactive content directly to employee’s personal devices without time restrictions.  This gives employers the opportunity to update employees on important company changes as and when they happen.  It also provides capacity to share information that is job specific; improve overall engagement, and develop communication strategies through measurable activity.

Adding value to communication strategies

The main objective for an internal communication strategy is to foster and develop relationships between employees, their peers and employers.  Gaining opportunity to work towards a unified goal.  Internal communication apps bridge gaps by allowing teams to communicate and liaise through a medium that is preferential.

Integrating apps into communications strategies can help solidify and establish a measurable platform that is engaging and accessible.

Have your say and tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

 At ClearVoice, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on developing an internal communication app, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

Digital evolution: how to stay current

What digital evolution means for companies today

Technology has dramatically changed how people communicate, connect and perform personally as well as professionally.

From the introduction and evolution of social media channels, mobile apps, real-time platforms and intranet systems; companies are rapidly changing how they use, perform and operate in the digital hemisphere.

With an influx of real-time technology, customer and employee behaviour and expectations are becoming more demanding. Subsequently, resulting in bigger and bolder investments from companies into resources which can keep up with the increasing demands.

Industry experts believe this is an era ‘where technology and society are evolving faster than businesses can naturally adapt’. They advise that these changes are setting ‘the stage for a new era of leadership’; charging behind a mantra of ‘adapt or die.’

A digital maturity…

According to Capgemini’s 2012 report, companies who are steaming ahead of the digital evolution, have developed a digital maturity – a combination of digital investment and leadership capabilities to drive digital transformation in the workplace.

But how is this digital transformation affecting employee engagement and is there benefit to the change?

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The change in digital expectations has led to a more collaborative and open working environment. This affects how and what employees look for in a company.  As well as job stability and career prospects; employees are now searching for companies they feel comfortable, sharing information and ideas with. They want open and honest communication from senior leaders.

According to the Employee Confidence Index, companies who are using internal social media tools have effectively engaged 83.6% of their staff.  Social media platforms not only communicate an open and collaborative culture externally but have developed into ‘relationship networks’; helping companies to connect online to share information and ideas internally and externally.  Thus resulting in more engaged audiences!

Travelex, is one company who has embraced the digital transformation and has successfully transformed itself into a digital organisation. With over 8000 employees, the world’s largest specialist provider of foreign exchange wanted to migrate the company’s communication platforms into the social realms of technology.

Invest and thrive through digital evolution

Recognising the shift in behavioural demands, Travelex introduced a social media strategy which would meet and exceed expectations.  Equally important as the objectives was the investment needed to successfully execute and deliver the strategy internally and externally. Sabrina Rodriguez, Global Head of Social Media for Travelex advised:

Social is not free, this is a myth. It is absolutely a paid channel and needs investment, a robust strategy, management, infrastructure and a sufficient operating model.

Without investment from the business, and by relying purely on organic growth, communities can take years, not months, to grow. That’s an expectation that we absolutely need to set.

Digital transformation has radically changed how we communicate, listen and respond to internal and external audiences. When done effectively and collaboratively it improves, strengthens and empowers overall engagement.  A communication transformation!  What does digital evolution mean for you, your employees and your customers?

Have your say and tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

At ClearVoice, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on developing digital and social strategies, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.