How can you maintain cohesion and ensure effective internal communication when your employees are dispersed and rarely on your premises? These are two major challenges consulting firms are facing.
There’s one solution: the internal social network. To fully understand its added value, we interviewed Squad, Proxiad and EXteam—three consulting firms that use the Talkspirit platform to maintain work relationships remotely and facilitate internal information sharing.
Here are the main challenges they faced and how Talkspirit helped them address them.
Recurring challenges for consulting firms
A fragile cohesion
Cohesion is a major issue for these three firms. They often have difficulty building strong ties with their consultants—most of whom are sent on client assignments the moment they’re hired. However, this lack of cohesion is often due to a lack of sense of belonging to the company, sometimes leading to an increase in turnover. Stimulating regular exchanges with consultants is therefore essential to convey the firm’s culture and improve talent retention.
Information that is often poorly shared
Dispersion of data such as PowerPoint presentations and Excel files via email and on hard disks and servers in the cloud is expensive for consulting firms. Everyone feels at times like they have to “reinvent the wheel” even as others have already solved identical problems. This lack of knowledge capitalization hinders the exploitation of knowledge and makes information sharing less fluid.
Major cyber security issues
Confidential reports, databases, financial documents, meeting minutes, and interviews. Most of the data exchanged by your consultants are sensitive and exposed to cyber threats like phishing, malware infection or leakage—all with potentially serious consequences for your firm and its clients. Shadow IT, as well as U.S. software subject to the Cloud Act¹, also poses significant risks to the security and privacy of your firm’s data, and those of your employees and clients.
How Talkspirit solves these problems
Both an enterprise social network and a collaborative platform, Talkspirit is the ideal tool to respond to these issues that relate specifically to the consulting sector.
Thanks to the groups integrated into the platform, consultants can easily keep in touch with their colleagues—whether they’re at the client’s office or your office, working remotely, or on the move.
“Our major challenge is to stay in touch with our consultants on assignment at the client’s office. The communities created on Talkspirit strengthen our consultants’ sense of belonging. They enable employees to maintain relationships with their colleagues, even those with whom they do not work on a daily basis. With Talkspirit, we no longer have geographical barriers,” says Diana Steinling, Internal Communications and HR Manager at Proxiad, a consulting firm specialized in digital transformation.
At Squad, a cybersecurity consulting firm, Talkspirit facilitates the organization of events that bring business culture to life and bring consultants together, both remotely and face-to-face. Nghi Huynh, Communication Manager, says: “We use the platform to organize and communicate on all our internal events. For example, when the company’s “red team” organized an online video game tournament, all the information was communicated in a dedicated group.”
All of our clients from the consulting industry agree on one thing in particular: chatting is the feature they use the most on a daily basis.
Since the deployment of the platform in January 2020, more than 350,000 chat messages have been sent by our 600 users,” says Diana Steinling. Over the last 30 days, we have had an active user rate of 64%. Most of them log on at least once a day. »
As a result, employees are more responsive and spend much less time processing their emails. “Since the deployment of Talkspirit, I receive much less internal email. My colleagues have more of a reflex to communicate with me via chat. And when I have a question to ask them, I’m going to turn to the chat first rather than sending an email,” Steinling adds.
In addition to the chat functionality, groups and publications make Talkspirit a must-have tool for internal communication, especially in times of crisis. “Since the lockdown, all internal communication is done on the enterprise social network. For example, everything concerning the COVID crisis is sent directly by the CEO on Talkspirit. This allows us to know if everyone has received the information,” explains Diana Steinling.
At Squad, internal communication also uses the platform to communicate about cyber-risks. “Within the framework of ISO 27000, we need to communicate regularly on cyber security issues, especially on phishing, which exploded during confinement,” reveals Nghi Huynh. Talkspirit allows us to issue reminders on good practices to adopt, such as not installing personal software.”
The groups can also be used as self-help forums, where people can come to ask questions, get feedback and get help from the community.
At Proxiad, “the communities are very much appreciated by the consultants, because it allows them to help each other and gain expertise. When they get stuck on a project, they have the reflex to ask their question to the community rather than going to forums to find out more,” says Diana Steinling.
EXteam, a consulting and digital engineering firm, also uses groups to develop and capitalize on consultants’ knowledge. For Delphine Michel, “it is a real asset to federate the employees and make them increase their skills. We have created “guilds” that allow consultants to develop their expertise on different subjects (such as JAVA or project management). These groups are led by referents, who regularly offer training and events.”
The firm has also adopted the FAQ Assistant to facilitate access and sharing of “cold” information. “The chatbot makes it possible to answer many HR questions from employees (about the health insurance, the pay slip, etc.). It’s a good way to lighten mailboxes,” says Delphine Michel.
Talkspirit is also a powerful monitoring tool for consultants. For Nghi Huynh, “the platform’s added value is to be able to share news quickly. For example, when we find an interesting article, we can directly publish it on the news feed instead of sending an email to everyone.”
These articles are often highlighted on the home page, saving consultants time. “As soon as you arrive on the platform, you can see all the important information at a glance, whether it’s articles written by consultants or upcoming events.”
The benefits of Talkspirit
An all-in-one platform in continuous improvement
An all-in-one platform, Talkspirit brings together all the communication and collaboration functionalities that consulting firms need. New features are regularly added to the platform to meet users’ needs and enrich their experience. Updates that are often suggested by clients themselves.
A user-friendly solution
No training is required. The platform’s intuitive ergonomics allow all users to quickly get started, regardless of their level of familiarity with technological tools. Your employees can therefore be operational from day one. Especially since an SSO connection module allows them to connect in one click using their Outlook or G Suite credentials.
A great customer support
Recognized for their responsiveness and accessibility, Talkspirit’s customer support team will assist you and answer all your questions in record time. “The support team really listens and reacts very quickly. They offered all the help we needed,” says Diana Steinling.
Wondering if Talkspirit can meet your firm’s cohesion and internal communication challenges ? Contact our team. We’ll be happy to help!
For more information, read this Squad case study:
Access Case Study
Find out how Talkspirit has enabled Squad—a cyber security consulting firm with over 500 employees—to boost its consultants’ sense of belonging, improve company cohesion, and help escalate issues twice as quickly.
Author: Emmanuelle Abensur