While the debate on restricting personal use of Twitter and Facebook during office hours continues, a lot of organizations are missing the conversation on internal social media. Tools such as Yammer, Digsby, and sites created by your company in-house have the potential to positively impact your corporate culture and raise the bar on your business output.
Based on our own experience at Softchoice, here are three ways internal social media could be a game-changer for your business:
1. Idea sharing times a million
Internal social sites connect employees from across departments, branches, and continents that otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to interact. Next thing you know, an innovative employee from Singapore will bounce ideas off of a creative mind from San Francisco and develop the next big product, marketing idea, or process improvement that could take your company to another level.
Example: Softchoice recently tapped into our collaboration potential with our social media tool Softchoice Voice. This tool allows all employees to share ideas on topics ranging from changes to employees’ building access cards to how we can improve our clients’ cyber security. The ideas that garner the most conversations and votes are taken into consideration by our Innovation Office.
2. Focus on dialog, not inbox management
We’ve all been there; you get so many emails or voicemails that you ignore ones that don’t seem important at first glance. Who really has the time to open, read, sort, and reply to every single email they’re sent in a day? With collaboration tools like Yammer, Sales Force Chatter, Microsoft Lync, Skype, and more, you can stop having emails get buried at the bottom of your inbox and start having real-time conversations. And the best part? All of these conversations become instantly shareable – meaning if you’re having an insightful conversation about a particular client situation, another employee can view the conversation and gain inspiration for a similar situation down the road!
Example: Yammer is a well-loved tool at Softchoice. Everyone appreciates the ease in which they can praise co-workers, ask questions about a project, and search through previous conversations for information they need insight on. A great example is our Softchoice Cares Yammer Group, which is a portal for information regarding our corporate philanthropy program. Employees can roam through the conversations being shared to find out about upcoming events, get information on how to host their own Softchoice Cares event, and learn about the impact our company is having in the communities we work in. It’s definitely a lot easier to find and engage in this environment than having notifications sent to their inboxes!
3. Increased productivity
Internal social media can help turn your company into a community rather than a jigsaw puzzle of departments and teams, because it allows for greater collaboration. It can alleviate the sense of information silos present in so many companies. Information silos exist when departments are acting independently with no clear understanding of how other parts of the organization operate. Social media gives employees a window into what other departments are doing and allows them to work on projects that coincide with the organization’s goals with greater consistency.
Social media makes it easy to spread recognition, which in turn helps motivate your employees and helps you retain your hardworking talent. If your top executives and middle management get involved in using social media tools, your employees will get a morale boost because they’re shown that management supports and is interested in their ideas and accomplishments.
Example: You can find Softchoice’s management leaving their mark all over our social media networks, both internal and external. Our Senior Leadership Team often leaves comments showing their appreciation on Yammer when an employee is recognized for their hard work. This is a great morale boost, as all employees can see that their top execs actually have interest in the work they’re doing!
Join the Trend
All in all, using social media for internal purposes can lead to a positive corporate culture through increased employee collaboration, innovation and camaraderie. And when employees identify with the corporate culture, they’ll be more willing to work hard and do a great job!
Do you want your company to be a part of the growing trend of internal social media in the workplace? Check out our blog post 5 Ways For IT To Put Social Media To Work In The Enterprise for inspiration on how to convince your decision makers (and IT staff) that social media can actually boost your bottom line!
Special thanks to Joel Marans, Marketing Design and Delivery Manager and in-house social media practice lead, for providing the information for this post! Visit Joel’s blog TheSocialWhat for more best practices for leveraging social media in your business.