McKinsey defines digital hives as “electronic hubs bristling with collective activity and designed to solve a particular problem or set of problems, to drive new habits, and to encourage organizational change.” This study is one of the many I’ve seen lately that outline the advantages of creating active online communities to solve specific business challenges.
Why are companies turning to digital hives?
Many are looking for ways to drive change and as they grow or make strategic shifts, and online communities can play a major role. They can help accelerate communication, foster collaboration, and make information easily accessible throughout the company. These are critical elements as companies grow and evolve..
Online communities are also important to keep employees engaged. In a report from the Harvard Business Review, 71 percent of business leaders said that employee engagement was very important for the success of the organization. Creating a strong online community where employees can connect and communicate leads not only to higher engagement but also higher productivity.
So how do you mobilize the masses and get your digital hive buzzing?
Have an implementation plan
This is critical – we’ve all watched organizations roll out new technologies into the organization without a plan for success. And the result is almost always a failure. Make sure your plan outlines how you will:
- Define roles
- Communicate expectations
- Spur conversations
- Reward contributors
- Track progress
- Give feedback
Create an internal culture of content
A culture of content is an organizational environment and attitude that embraces and evangelizes the importance of content marketing and internal knowledge sharing across the entire enterprise. So how do you foster this type of environment?
- Get executive buy-in
- Establish an overarching vision and corresponding messaging
- Identify a content leader
- Implement tools for cross-functional sharing
- Incentivize employee engagement
Pick the right technology
When it comes to selecting the technology that will power your digital hive, you have options. But choose wisely. Ask yourself:
- Is the solution intuitive and easy to use?
- Is it visually interesting and attractive?
- Is there a strong Q&A function so people can find answers easily?
- How does is the technology supported?
- What is the timeframe for implementation?
- Who else is using this solution and what are their results?
While most companies recognize the need for internal communities, many don’t go the extra step of creating a plan, fostering a culture of content sharin, and investing in the best technology. We hope these tips will get you headed in the right direction.