Last Wednesday was a momentous day at SBH Health System, as the hospital and health care system became the first of its kind on the east coast and one of the first anywhere in the world to launch Workplace by Facebook.
Introduced globally in 2016 by Facebook, Workplace will better enable SBH’s 4,000-plus employees to stay connected and collaborate with each other both within their individual departments and throughout the organization. SBH joins such well-known brands as Starbucks, Renault, and Danone as early adopters of Workplace. The app brings the best of Facebook to the workplace environment (e.g. News Feed, Chat) while including such add-ons as a dashboard with analytics.
The Workplace project at SBH began in early November, when members of the marketing/ communications and IT teams participated in an introductory session at Facebook headquarters in Manhattan. Pre-launch strategy sessions with Facebook and hands-on training began shortly thereafter, with 100 or so staffers from throughout the organization selected as “champions” to help onboard colleagues.
Since many employees are familiar with Facebook, the learning curve has not been steep, according to Christine Zhuang, the project leader. The response, she said, has been extremely positive, with hundreds of employees familiarizing themselves with Workplace weeks before the official launch.
In addition to allowing users to chat with colleagues, share files and post upcoming events, Workplace gives SBH staffers – many of whom spend their day working with patients, rather than near computers – 24/7 access to their account through their mobile devices. With the advent of Workplace, SBH plans shortly to eliminate its company intranet and its reliance on email.
“This has been an exciting time at SBH, and we’re thrilled that everyone, from senior leaders on down, have shared our enthusiasm in the launch of Workplace,” said Zhuang. “The kind of work we do in a hospital – with departments often working in siloes and with many employees caring for patients at bedsides, rather than desks, and working different shifts – can make communicating a challenge. Workplace will help us break down those siloes and go a long way in making us more effective as communicators and collaborators.”