Why today’s businesses leverage digital, tech and comms for success

Why today’s businesses leverage digital, tech and comms for success-min

Picture the scene: you’re a business owner 2008. Wall Street is collapsing. The global economy is in crisis. Businesses literally don’t know if they’ll survive the week. Every day, the news is filled with stories about the world’s biggest banks going bust. 

You have two options: you either carry on as you have been, regardless of what’s happening in the outside world, or you constantly assess the situation and adapt. Unsurprisingly, in the months and years following the 2008 financial crisis, the businesses that survived were those willing and able to adapt and roll with the punches, while those who were restricted by outdated technology or overly rigid business practices disappeared forever.

5app customer Hemsley Fraser understands the need for flexibility better than most. When the global pandemic hit in 2020, Hemsley Fraser’s CEO Lynsey Whitmarsh quickly realised the need to pivot to a new approach to support a completely new way of working, learning and doing business. This meant being innovative, thinking to the future and harnessing the right tech to make that possible, all while managing immense change.


In Lynsey’s words:

“Going back to normal, or going backwards, just wasn’t going to happen. We had to reimagine a new world for our workforce and a new world for learning. And on top of that, we had to keep the human connection.”
– Lynsey Whitmarsh, CEO, Hemsley Fraser

So how did a forward-thinking global business like Hemsley Fraser create the flexible foundations needed to survive in times of change or crisis, whether that’s a pandemic, a global recession, political instability or something else entirely?


Little-and-often – learning and comms in times of change

dripping leaf

When things are changing quickly, learning in the flow of work must take centre stage in any learning strategy. To stay agile, employees need a constant drip feed of short, sharp, highly relevant learning resources - and that may not look like traditional learning content. The key is to give people exactly what they need, exactly when they need it, with no time wasted trawling a cluttered content repository to find it.

Instead of lengthy courses, which take time to plan, write and produce, think smaller. In fact, when things are changing REALLY fast, short, punchy and accurate content is almost always the most powerful solution. It’s not about sacrificing quality, but it is about prioritising speed and getting the message out to your people as quickly as possible.

It also makes much more sense to distribute information in real time as you have it, no matter how small, rather than saving it all up for a massive update. Real-time knowledge sharing means that your people can act on the most up-to-date information, instead of making business decisions based on yesterday’s news. Real estate company Greystar created a live feed of government updates and useful information during the COVID-19 lockdowns to keep everyone in the loop as situations changed day-by-day.

Top tip: Avoid contributing to the noise
Playlists are a great way to organise these short, sharp resources. Instead of sending people on a wild goose chase to find a specific resource, you can pull them all together into themed lists for easy access to role, team or location-specific content. You can also use notifications (or 5app’s NEW Nudges functionality!)


Seamless connections with your entire ecosystem

How 5app fits into your ecosystem slide

When you’re already navigating huge changes, the last thing you want to worry about is updating all your tech to keep up. 

Any savvy, future-thinking business knows that an integrated tech ecosystem will always sit at the heart of any change. There are two key reasons for this:

  1. If each system plays nicely with your other systems, you can avoid big, painful integration projects every time you evolve your tech stack.
  2. You can be much more flexible in terms of how each system works within the stack - for instance, do you need a company-wide solution? A team-specific solution? Or both? With a platform like 5app, you can do whatever you need quickly and easily, which is crucial during times of business change, no matter how big or small.

5app’s customers take their future-proofing seriously, which is why we support integrations with everything from HR systems such as Oracle and Workday to content libraries such as LinkedIn Learning and Degreed, and completion data platforms such as Growth Engineering (and much, much more!). We also support single sign-on (SSO) to minimise barriers to learning and to get your people up and running on their new platform without needing yet another new login.


Maintaining human connections

darrell and jim in the office do a fistbump

In our recent blog, we explored the inextricable link between humans and tech to secure the best learning outcomes. That’s why companies like Hemsley Fraser are placing human connections at the forefront of their future-looking plans. Our customers have proven time and time again that simple, effective tech, coupled with creativity and innovative thinking, is the winning formula for any company preparing for whatever comes next.

Lynsey says that Hemsley Fraser is looking to combine knowledge management and engagement while still getting people excited about work. To do that, she says:

“To deliver all of this effectively with a nice user experience, you need very strong technology which people can use in the rhythm of their everyday work. There’s not an organisation now that will survive without a platform as part of its L&D or human capital strategy, and that’s a big, big shift.”

This is especially important for the plethora of remote-first, digital-first organisations that have emerged or evolved over the last three years. A robust learning and comms platform is essential to bring everyone together in one place, no matter which team they’re on or where they are in the world, ensuring everyone gets what they need to do their jobs, whether that’s an elearning module or an update from the CEO.

That’s exactly how Hemsley Fraser uses its 5app platform, meaning everyone is kept in the loop and connections are maintained across the business, which will only become more important as we push forward into the future… whatever that may look like!

Inspired by Hemsley Fraser's story? 

We’d love to help you get there too - no matter what future you’re anticipating! Book your demo now and we’ll show you how you can future-proof your business strategy for good with a single, simple platform.


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