With almost 70 percent of Americans now using social media, there is an increasing demand for enterprise social networks in the workplace. Not only does an internal social collaboration platform encourage co-workers to share their expertise, but it also increases productivity significantly.
We know, saying “social media” and “work” in the same breath doesn’t sound like a recipe for productivity, but bear with us on this one. An internal social collaboration platform can actually cut the time it takes team members to find information by moving company knowledge from email inboxes to one centralized place.
Employees spend – on average – an hour per day managing their email, which causes them to take time away from their core responsibilities. McKinsey estimates that if a social platform is used as the primary business communication channel, employees could reduce the time they spend on email by up to 30 percent.
Email is a great tool for one-on-one conversations, but it’s a place where collaboration and knowledge sharing go to die. There are many different ways in which companies can leverage an enterprise social network solution to assist in better collaboration, knowledge sharing, and communication across the board.
Follow these three easy steps to ensure your enterprise social network is accepted with open arms:
Step 1: Find the Right Features
Your team members probably aren’t looking for “Facebook for business.” They want something that will make their work lives easier, not just something that will let them post status updates. Conduct interviews or surveys to find out what pain points your team members are experiencing, and what tools will help them better collaborate and share information.
Do your research to make sure you find the right enterprise social network tool for your company. It should encourage collaboration while allowing for on-the-fly content creation and editing. Other features you may find valuable include a Q&A engine, mobile access, and advanced reporting.
Step 2: Do a Soft Launch
Once you find the right tool, don’t have the mindset of ‘go big or go home’. Start small. Launch the application to one team and focus on what they like or don’t like about it. Let them be the focus group and help you determine what changes you need to make before launching your new internal social collaboration network to the entire company.
Showing the value of a social collaboration network across one team or department can help convince the C-suite that it’s worth making an investment in the tool for the whole company. Make sure to conduct pre-launch and post-launch surveys with your “focus group” team so that you can determine how much time the tool is saving them, how user-friendly the interface is, and so on. Hopefully, you’ll see positive results from your initial launch and won’t need to make a big sales pitch to expand it across the company.
Step 3: Keep Your Team Engaged
Keep the fire alive. Make sure your team is still excited about the tool six months down the road. Don’t let them resort back to their old ways – email.
Try holding follow-up trainings to make sure team members are getting the full value of the social collaboration tool, asking executives to set a positive example by posting in the platform, and conducting a quarterly content clean-up to make sure the platform doesn’t fill up with outdated or irrelevant information. These strategies don’t require a ton of effort and will pay off by keeping team members collaborating in the platform.