In the workplace, it’s not unusual to find ourselves having to make decisions fast.
In the frantic cut-and-thrust of day-to-day activity, there’s no time for sitting on the fence. We often need to make up our minds quickly and boldly, with the confidence and conviction to stand by our choices.
Let’s travel back 43 years, to 1975 – to when a decision was made that would shape the course of history. To the moment when billionaire and house-hold name Bill Gates chose to drop out of college and start a business called Microsoft – going on to revolutionise the way we connect, communicate and use technology forever.
But what if Gates hadn’t made the decision that changed the world? What if he had stuck to his studies, rather than taking the bold leap into the unknown?
One thing’s for sure – the world of work would be a dramatically different place.
It’s fascinating, and perhaps even a little daunting, to consider what the world would look like today if there was no Microsoft. According to Gates, his decision to drop out of college wasn’t one he took lightly – mulling it over for before finally committing to it. What if he could have asked the population of today, back then, whether starting Microsoft was a good idea?
Sitting on the fence can slow productivity, decrease organisational efficiency, and sometimes even stop us from taking steps that will have a major positive impact on ourselves or the wider world.
And something which goes hand-in-hand with making decisions in the workplace is collecting feedback on whether they were successful or not.
Particularly for internal comms professionals, acquiring and measuring feedback from employees is critical to understanding how decisions taken by those at the top are impacting the bottom line.
So, what if you could make quick decisions confidently, and get instant feedback immediately?
Perhaps you want to know whether you should replace your current data management system with a completely new process, even if it will temporarily disrupt your employees’ productivity. Or if the training workshop you hosted last week was beneficial to those who attended. Or measure how much your employees understand and agree with your organisation’s values.
Well, just like Mr Gates, we want to leave our mark on the communications landscape. By developing internal comms products that help to solve common internal comms problems and wider workplace challenges.
And that’s how we came to launch Push. Our new instant feedback tool enables you to create custom polls in minutes and get decisive responses in seconds, with the results available to you in real-time.
It’s an internal comms measurement tool designed to help IC professionals collect quick-fire actionable data – so they can take their campaigns to new levels of success.
No sitting on the fence. No waiting around for responses to trickle in. No lack of visibility for respondents – who will see current overall results at time of answering. Just decisive decision-making and quick-fire data collection.
We caught up with our Product Development Coordinator Luke, to get the inside story on how Push came about – and why it’s a crucial tool for the internal communicator’s (and senior leader’s) arsenal.
And to ask the questions – introducing Push’s little orange friend, Paul!
Paul: So, how did you come up with the idea for Push?
Luke: We’ve spent a lot of time recently at H&H researching and analysing the most widespread challenges facing the internal comms industry (we rounded up the most pressing issues for you in a recent blog). Off the back of this, we’re looking in more detail at the most important areas which could be improved, and we’re constantly asking ourselves, ‘why is this done in that way? How could it be done differently to make it better?’
The idea for Push came about during one of our New Product Development workshops, where we get together as a team to debate and discuss how we could help solve some of these pressing industry challenges.
The theme for this particular workshop was internal comms measurement, a very current issue in the IC world, and a constant challenge for internal communication professionals. But despite the scale of the problem (according to research, as many as 12% of IC practitioners don’t measure the impact of their IC campaigns at all, and less than half have conducted an IC audit in the last three years), there’s a surprising lack of products and tools to help measure internal comms outcomes.
A lot of the measurement tools already out there focus on gathering a lot of information, which comes with its own difficulties, not least getting employees to engage in the first place. But internal communicators don’t have the time to analyse every last detail – often they just need to understand the overview and any significant trends in the data. They didn’t have access to a tool that enabled them to take quick snapshots of insight – and so Push (along with yourself, Paul!) was born.
Paul: And very grateful I am too! So how long did it take for Push to take shape?
Luke: We settled on the idea for Push around September 2017, and the development of the product itself started in November. The process began with market research and gathering preliminary feedback from users testing the initial prototype. The first version took around 2 months to design and develop, but that process did include some of the next wave of features that we will be adding to the product’s functionality.
Paul: Which members of the H&H team played a part in bringing Push to life?
Luke: At the beginning, everyone at H&H had a hand in the development process, sharing ideas and thoughts on which specific problems the product should solve and the final form it should take.
We included some of our clients during the preparation stage too. We want the people we work with to truly benefit from the products we launch, so it would have been a missed opportunity if we hadn’t collected their insights at this early stage on how they thought Push could be of real value to them. The name ‘Push’ actually originates from a piece of feedback from one of our clients – commenting ‘Push ‘em off the fence I say!’ – which confirmed the need to keep things simple, intuitive and direct.
After the initial phases of ideation and planning, a smaller team of H&Hers took the reins of the project, which included some of our creative designers, animators, marketers, and web developers, working closely together to breathe life into Push. Fundamentally, it’s a case of building a crack team of specialists who best suit the varied requirements for the project, so you have the best hands working on delivering the best results possible.
Paul: What was the biggest challenge you encountered during the development process?
Luke: Managing expectations of what the product should ultimately be was probably the most difficult challenge. You have all these wonderfully creative ideas being thrown around, but you have to be sure not to lose sight of the product’s purpose and what’s actually feasible, at least for initial releases.
For instance, what might seem a brilliant idea for a seemingly small front-end functionality might throw up unexpected complications in the back end of the product, meaning it doesn’t quite turn out how you’d assumed it would. It can be difficult to strike the right balance, but it’s critical to getting the product exactly right.
Paul: Who will benefit the most from using Push in their workplace?
Luke: We designed Push with our most valued people in mind – our clients! So it’s ultimately aimed at internal comms professionals who want help with measuring their internal communication campaigns, or want to encourage an active and open dialogue with employees.
At H&H we’re constantly looking for new ways to drive positive change for the whole of the IC industry. By developing tools which give businesses that don’t have a dedicated IC team as much of a chance in measuring their success as larger organisations with several in-house IC practitioners, we can take steps towards solving the measurement issue and make sure that every organisation has access to the insights and data they need to create internal comms campaigns that stick with employees and drive positive behavioural change.
It’s all aligned with our purpose really – to transform the way people communicate, interact, and communicate across the world.
Paul: What has the initial reaction to Push been?
Luke: The feedback on the product so far has been overwhelmingly positive. We know that many IC professionals have already started using it with their teams. Take a look at what our users have been saying:
"We need to be stricter with ourselves in measuring the impact of our work and I think this tool will help us achieve that"
"I think it’s a great way to get instant answers to important questions"
"I can see this being useful at corporate events, definitely!"
Paul: So how important is innovation to H&H?
Luke: Super important. It forms a key part of everything we do here. But I would argue that innovation and creativity should be a priority for any organisation that wants to stay ahead of the competition, and drive real change in their industry.
Consumer expectations only evolve and grow, so to truly meet them we need to keep innovating and finding ways to go above and beyond.
I’m sure you have already read it Paul – but I actually wrote a blog on this very subject recently – you can give it a read here.
Paul: And one last thing… where can our readers sign up for Push?
Luke: You can sign up at the website, it’s free and really easy to do. You also get to literally push Paul off the fence – but will you cushion his fall with pillows, or send him tumbling towards a spiky bed of pins? You decide!
(I heard that!)