(Article by Hassib Nasseri)
The dynamics of the way we socialise and communicate has shifted. Businesses are starting to realise the tangible benefits that can be gained; as a result, the growth in the adoption of social media across all industries has been exponential and we are witnessing the creation of social businesses.
Social business is defined as:
“The creation of an organisation that is optimised to benefit its entire ecosystem (customers, employees, owners, and partners) by embedding collaboration, information sharing and active engagement in its operation and culture. The result is a more responsive, adaptable, effective and ultimately more successful company.”
The adoption of social business tools is seldom a choice for large organisations today. Businesses are increasingly using internal social tools developed by pioneering companies like IBM, Microsoft and Salesforce to raise workforce innovation, productivity and efficiency, by encouraging collaboration and cooperation amongst them. By 2011, 72 percent of the companies surveyed reported using social technologies in their business and over 90 percent of those users reported they are seeing benefits.
Benefits of Internal Social Tools
Discovering subject matter experts and new talents
Internal social tools give employees of all levels a voice. It gives them an opportunity to shine and raise their internal eminence amongst other peers. Its a great way to discover SMEs within a large organisation and identify new talents.
Connecting employees worldwide
IBM is a great example. Its one of the largest organisations in the world with over 430,000 employees worldwide. They use ‘IBM Connections’, which is the leading social network platform in the market to connect everyone of IBM’s employees to each other worldwide.
Improving employee engagement
Employees would start to get to know others in the organisation with whom they might not work directly, especially if the are based overseas.
The biggest benefit in this case would be to drive and create a culture of cooperation and collaboration. Millennials will expect to be able to collaborate at work the way they have learned to connect through their personal lives and on these external social platforms.
Creating a culture of mutual respect
Given the right level of encouragement, employees will start to participate, without regard for rank, function, location, or tenure. It removes the corporate hierarchy and creates a more flat organisational structure. This would not be possible without these internal social platforms. The most common form of interaction tends to be praise and appreciation, which only motivates and drives the leaders within an organisation forward.
Improving communication with the leadership
Enterprise social networks enable high-level executives to comment directly into the activity stream and engage every employee at once. It gives employees an opportunity to interact in a friendly, non-intimidating way with the C-suite, and the executive level to show they are approachable.
Boosting productivity and efficiency
One of the best outcomes that result from the implementation of these social tools is the enhancement of productivity and efficiency. In a large organisation with thousands of employees. It becomes relatively easier and less time consuming to find the the right individual with the right skills and areas of expertise. Through the use of communities and focus groups, it becomes incredibly simple and easy to communicate and collaborate with a large number of people which saves time, money and effort.
There is a strong focus amongst these big players to take a step closer and start to develop tools to enable organisations to engage and collaborate with clients on these social tools. Its an area worth keeping an eye on.
Hassib Nasseri is a Social Media and Brand Strategist. He can be found on Twitter @BusinessFlair