Posted by Pamela Swift in Social Marketing
Article Contributed by Abhishek Talreja
Embracing technology is inevitable for every business. Using social technologies can terrifically improve business productivity.
“By using social technologies, companies can raise the productivity of knowledge workers by 20 to 25 percent” (Source)
Building interactive communities that share information and collaborate is a need of the hour for businesses of today. A community of employees and partners that is engaged and motivated will surely steer ahead faster.
Social enterprise technologies can be integrated with mobile, giving employees the freedom and the flexibility to execute tasks from anytime and anywhere. Data analytics further ensures that each employee can work on a set of tasks that are most important for the business at a particular time.
Social media is already prevalent in the day-to-day lives of customers as well as employees. Businesses now have an opportunity to leverage this behavior to connect with both these types of audiences for a better outcome.
Social technologies take collaboration to the next level, helping teams to share knowledge and ideas quickly and more efficiently.
With an active enterprise social network, a business can align its employees and business processes with its organizational culture.
Here are some of the benefits of an enterprise social network:
Improved Employee Motivation
Employee motivation is directly correlated with their happiness and their ability to work in a harmonized environment. An active social network gives employees a platform to interact with each other and work towards a common goal. It helps in improving the productivity level of the teams along with their retention rate.
Ease of Internal Communication
An enterprise social network helps organizations to do away with email communication. It helps in sending out relevant information and knowledge to all the employees, quickly and efficiently. It also helps in reducing meeting times by simplifying team communication.
Brings Global Teams Together
Large enterprises usually have teams that are spread across the globe. A social network helps in simplifying communication and collaboration among such teams. The system ensures that communication flows freely across geographical boundaries as well as departments.
Here are some of the key strategic steps for implementing an enterprise social network for your business:
Have a Vision
Before implementing an enterprise social network in your organization, you need to have a clear cut vision that drives it. It is essential to know what exactly the platform will do to improve individual process productivity and employee motivation. The role of the leadership team is important in understanding how knowledge and information will be shared on the platform. You need to ensure that there is genuine engagement and collaboration on the platform to get real benefits from it. You should also figure out the requirements of the teams and their expectations from the system. You can use a survey like this to gather some key insights.
Get the Teams to Use the Network
The key challenge that any business would face would be to get the teams to use the social network on a regular basis. For this you need to get your Human Resource team to motivate the rest of the employees by communicating the program benefits. Employee orientation and training are some of the essentials for getting commitment from teams to be a part of the community. You need to communicate about the advantages that the system would bring to the employees, in terms of professional growth, improvement in productivity and more work engagement etc. Initially, you can get your leadership team to actively use the network. The strategy would give the network a user-base that will keep it active.
Cater to Each Department
The network must help each department in the organization. An employee from the finance department must be as happy as somebody from the marketing team or any other team, in using the platform. Building a community across the organization is important to get more acceptance. Make sure that the system is user-friendly and similar to the popularly used social networks. You need to create a project team with representatives from each of the departments in the company. The project team members know the processes of their respective departments and they can raise their concerns, during the implementation of the project, if any.
Identify Active Users
You need to build a team of influencers for getting everyone in the organization to use the system actively. These are those users who are enthusiastic about it. You have to train your influencers to understand the benefits of the system and how to use it effectively. This will enable you to spread the word to the rest of the employees relatively quickly and easily.
While implementing an enterprise social network, you need to identify all the business processes that will benefit from it. Develop case studies for on how each of the processes would get streamlined with the help of the implemented system. Present these studies to the respective departments while launching it. The more comprehensive you make your presentation; the higher will be its usage rate.
You need to promote the enterprise social network within your organization. Put it on your company website and run email campaigns, highlighting its benefits. You can also put up posters in your office premises. Be persistent with your marketing efforts, after you have successfully implemented and tested it. This will help you to ensure that the teams do not go back to the older ways of doing their tasks.
Measure and Analyze
You must have a predefined set of goals. The goals should be related to the overall productivity of employees and their level of motivation. Another important metric that you need to track is the employee retention rate. Understanding the return you are getting from your investment is crucial although it may not be simple to measure it in the beginning.
There are quite few enterprise social network platforms that you can try out as well. These include the likes of Tibbr, Jive, Yammer, SocialCast, Convo, Kaltura, Chatter, Zyncro, Socialtext and Workplace by Facebook. You can choose from these according to your business requirements. You can also opt for a customised solution business to fulfill specific business needs. Have a plan and vision for your ESN implementation to get the precise outcome. Get your teams to get involved and it will be surely be a success.
Abhishek Talreja is working as a Digital Marketing Manager with Enterprise Monkey. He has a keen interest in technology, and small business productivity. Enterprise Monkey helps Small to Medium Enterprises and Not-For-Profits save time & money and increase revenue through automation, optimization & intelligence.