Social, social, social
How can we be confident that ‘social stuff’ is beneficial to employers? Forget that ‘social’ has been swept up in a cloud of buzzwords. What meanings come to mind?
Friendly, outgoing, gregarious – predisposed to working with others, rather than in isolation. You need and want ‘social animals’ in your organisation. Innovation is increasingly embraced as part of corporate ideology, but it’s meaningless without the right platform to capture creativity. You can inspire every employee to participate in the organisation’s future – they can gain consensus through rating/voting and ignite improvement through sharing expertise and posting comments. Well thought-out doses of gamification, reward and recognition can go a long way to bringing ideas to the fore.
Online watercooler conversations
Let’s consider how people socialise at work. They meet at the watercooler, vending machine or equivalent. They discuss life outside and, of course, life inside the workplace. Social platforms not only offer the opportunity to host ‘watercooler’ conversations centrally and transparently, but also add real value by offering a way to turn conversation into action.
Lose the fear
- Employees have a self-preservation instinct. Although they might like to vent sometimes, they also don’t want to get into trouble
- Top-down attempts to close social channels will force the conversation elsewhere, where it cannot be heard or seen
- Social systems are just as likely to grow from bottom-up and sideways, as top-down – creating a sense of community.
Keeping track of documents
Emailing a project plan or budget spread-sheet to twenty people creates lots of work and confusion. Social collaboration tools offer a cleaner, more transparent and better-recorded way of working. Many tools either have their own methods to support co-editing of documents, or integrate with solutions like Dropbox, Google Docs or Office 365, to cure the chaos.
Building an inclusive culture
Leaders can deliver a more visible and dynamic picture of the organisation’s aims and objectives, while creating an inclusive forum where feedback is encouraged and used to improve performance. Social tools give everyone in a team a chance to have a voice. Users can subscribe to, follow or participate in the channels most relevant to them, while watching others from afar.
Community, connectedness & collaboration
The most talented employees will want to work for organisations with the best systems and tools; which support mobile and flexible working, plus digital freedom while maintaining a sense of community, connectedness and collaboration (as opposed to isolation, too much autonomy and loneliness).