B2B Articles - September 30, 2013

Social and Business. Tips for Getting All Employees Involved.

Adding social networking to a business model creates new dimensions to the daily workflow, including higher customer engagement, deeper insights, increased productivity, and new sales channels. But many organizations are still finding the transition to social business involvement challenging.

social_media_engagementHere are some tips to get employees on board with social and transform their work day.

Integrate social into the business day - The first key to getting employees on board with social is to integrate social tools into daily work processes so that employees are required to use social tools in order to accomplish their tasks. Integrate social into employees' daily work by adding social to traditional one-to-one conversations, use dynamic discussions across teams and lines of business, and require social research to understand trends.

Start at the Top - Never underestimate the value of seeing executives “walk the walk.” Executives should start using social tools to communicate with employees. Replace an email newsletters with a video blog, Announce successes in their status updates. And set standards through social.

Set Expectations - Lay the cultural groundwork, foster a culture focused on sharing and transparency among all employees for the social tools to work.  Guidelines encourage employees to be social while providing them with expectations. This allows employees to use social tools to  collaborate, disseminate, build relationships, and have a digital presence inside and outside the organization.

Connect the leaders - Initiate a reverse-mentor program to educate leaders and high-potential employees. The experienced executives who tends to rely on traditional communication tools can answer questions like, “How can I more effectively help change the way we work?” and front-line power users, who are internet-centric, can help business leaders answer such questions as, “Should I use a wiki, blog or community for this situation?”

Enable the employees - Sharing your social business plan with employees is a key to gaining support and providing context to why social is important to the company. Providing employees with things like the business value of incorporating social into their daily workflow, why the company is making the commitment, a social business roadmap, and which social tools are appropriate to use in specific scenarios will facilitate a singular message, regular usage and employee buy in.

Motivate and engage - According to a recent survey by Salary.com, 69 percent of employers believe their employees are engaged, while only 34 percent of those employees claim to be engaged. Rewarding and recognizing successful social users helps promote usage and inspires others to take part. Social tools give employees better access to the entire organization so they can participate more deeply in day-to-day initiatives.

Hire for social - Stay ahead of social trends, utilize social data and make the most of social tools by hiring social-specific requirements. Include Community Strategists or Community Managers to manage social communities, Analytics Managers to gather data and develop actionable goals, and Social Customer Support to add to customer service.

Go mobile - Implement social tools that are accessible from mobile devices. Today's workforce is on the go, and they need to be able to get work done from anywhere. When integrating social tools, look for features that provide access to the combination of business applications including social networks, blogs, email, calendars, wikis, communities, instant messaging, and online meetings that can be accessed all these on their mobile devices.

Engage the team and show the value - It’s important to have employee feedback while becoming a social business because a social transformation can rattle traditional business models. Being open to listening to new ideas will have the benefit of establishing trust and comfort with social. Leveraging qualitative feedback against quantitative metrics builds a robust database of information to help transform key employee's levels of engagement.

By having a plan around how to incorporate social organizations can drive a cultural change and have executives committed to leading by example to become a fully integrated social business.

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