Relationships matter in the workplace. As a leader, making connections with your employees is extremely important to ensure the entire team is aligned and working toward the same goal. As businesses are becoming increasingly global, that face-to-face connection becomes even more important. But in a world where employees are spread across cities, states, and countries, how can leadership continue to be “live” and make face-to-face connections?
We sat down with BlueJeans Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Krish Ramakrishnan to discuss how leaders can build a live culture in their organization with the power of live video.
Q: What does being a live leader mean to you?
A: Being a “live leader” means being an open communicator in all scenarios. Whether they are connecting with employees one-on-one, leading a group meeting, or engaging the entire company in an all hands, live leaders are always engaged. Live leaders value face-to-face communication and recognize the importance of seeing the face and the reactions of the person on the other end of the conversation. Live leaders recognize that only through face-to-face communication can they build a strong culture.
A strong culture is the most important aspect of a business today, and that culture is set from the top down. While business strategy is, of course, important—culture will eat strategy for breakfast any day of the week. By creating a live culture in all aspects of the business, you will increase the engagement, motivation and the desire of the entire team to work toward the same goal, and get everyone on the same page.
Q: Why is building a strong culture so important when it comes to being a live leader?
A: Employees need to know that they are much more than just a name on a piece of paper, and that they are valued as individuals. Face-to-face communication has grown increasingly important in the workplace, as the list of non-visual communication methods such as Slack and Hipchat continues to grow longer.
As executives and employees may be working from home, from coffee shops, or from offices spread across the globe, the power of video is an excellent tool for building relationships. In a recent survey from BlueJeans, 60 percent of employees said that being able to see a colleague rather than just hear them is a major benefit of video. The power of video in relationship building is even further shown as 39 percent said they felt closer to people by actually being able to see their reactions during a conversation.
While employees may be in different countries, they are still all a part of the same company. One company equates to one culture, and video can be the common thing that ties employees together. By using video on a regular basis in the workplace, this relationship-driven culture will continue to thrive.
Q: How can live video establish clear lines of communication?
A: Wires are constantly being crossed in the workplace through endless email chains and misunderstood phone messages. Being present, engaged and face-to-face in the workplace can help the entire organization establish clear lines of communication. By communicating in the most efficient way, the whole team will be on the same page, understand the same message, and believe in the same culture. In our recent survey, 72 percent of employees agreed that live video has the potential to transform the way they communicate in the workplace. Live video has such widespread use cases including diagnosing and/or troubleshooting customer issues, collaboration on new product and service development, and as an interactive tool for leaders to deliver important company updates to employees across the globe.
Live leaders are not comfortable hiding behind their desk all day—they want to be seen by their employees. Leaders can achieve that presence and reach their entire company through virtual town halls, and now they can even engage with those employees through video with the use of BlueJeans Events, and BlueJeans for Facebook Live. By using video to reach employees spread across the globe through town halls, leaders can ensure organizational transparency and clear lines of communication.
Q: How can video help businesses grow their talent pool?
A: Good organizations are growing, and they are growing fast. In our survey, 69 percent of respondents said that they believe more actual conversation would help employee retention at all levels in their organization. Employees are using video on a regular basis in their home life. With the increased use of tools like FaceTime in their home life, employees want to use live video in the workplace as well.
As the new generation of employees enters the workforce, demand for video will continue to increase. In fact, 63 percent of survey respondents believe that younger employees expect to use live video as a communications tool. This generation uses video as second nature, expects information to be readily available, and sees video as a part of everyday life.
Q: How does video increase productivity?
A: The office used to be a place where you had to go to in order to do work. If your job required you to move to a new city, that is what you did. Today, the paradigm has shifted, and this is no longer the case. Work is flexible, shippable, and you can bring the work to you. Employees today believe that video has the ability to save them valuable time. Forty-four percent of respondents said that video will mean a reduced need for travel, and 41 percent said that video increases their ability to work remotely.
While previously, employees were required to spend a ton of time traveling to meetings across the country, participating in the meeting, and then spending time traveling home—now they can be just as engaged by participating through live video. Sixty-eight percent of respondents believe that live video will save them time that would otherwise be spent in long, productive meetings.
Q: What other business benefits does live video have?
A: The ability to stay ahead of the market. Organizations need to embrace live video if they want to stay on top. If leaders do not take hold of this tool they won’t be able to retain the best talent and will be less competitive in the marketplace. Beyond just employees, customers also expect that businesses will leverage live video. As it is such an effective way to communicate, using video can help save current and future customers time and money too.
Q: So, how can leaders continue to build a live culture and develop as live leaders?
A: The most important thing that a leader can do is to be sincere. Leaders should remember that being engaged over video is not a show and it is not scripted. Video is an effective way of managing a talented workforce, and leaders should behave in the same way that they would if the person was actually in front of them. It’s important to show your employees that you care—truly care—and truly be engaged.
Live leaders have a responsibility within their organizations to encourage others to be live leaders, too. Encouraging live leadership has to start at the top. They need to lead by example and embrace live video, and encourage others to embrace it too. Through consistency and leading by example, eventually live leadership will become second nature within the organization.
Live leadership is viral. By providing the next generation of leaders with the right tools to be prolific, to be successful, and to give encouragement to others, the entire organization will go through a transformation. Employees will feel known and feel heard. They will know that they are not just a name or a number on a spreadsheet, and that their leaders are not just a voice hiding behind a phone.
Help your company become a "live" organization with powerful video communications across all geographies, and all devices. Try BlueJeans free, with no credit card needed, and witness the transformation.
Watch Krish Ramakrishnan sharing key aspects and insights of live leadership:
What makes a live leader successful
Why live video is so essential in a global economy
How a live leader can spur other leadership across an organization, and the importance of sincerity