The word social is fancy yet scary when it is to be used for organizations.
One of aspect which may make them scary about going social within the workspace is jumping onto technology without much deeper understating of its business context. Before we embark upon various ways and means to deploy social technologies, lets touch base as to why social is important in corporate context and how does it help.
1) There is a good analogy how Web 1.0 evolved into Web 2.0 and why HR in companies need to do the same as they are stuck at this level 1 and finding no means to move ahead. Web 2.0 evolved when it was getting difficult to feed a large consumer base by few feeders from the back end. So eventually the baton was given in the hands of consumers in various ways to participate and contribute hence serving the need of ever growing information hungry consumer base. Also it provided means for people to contribute and share their knowledge hence making the whole process more vibrant, aggressive and self sustainable. Today, HR needs to get into the same process of participatory approach to make employees the drivers of knowledge and information. Let them get together, discuss and contribute to drive the growth. Let HR be a facilitator from now on.
2) I believe that corporate space is as vulnerable as any family and the common link here is “people” who make it or break it. It is a matter of harnessing people energy, taking care of their interest and addressing their basic needs for one prime goal to keep the family intact, happy & progressive. Human being is a social animal at core and always wants to share, care, discuss & ideate with others. For example how many of us are not excited sharing what we did on vacation with our friends. I am sure part of our post vacation fun will be lost if we do not share what we did. Today we spend almost more than half of our good life span in offices, so we should not be deprived of our basic urge and necessity of being social – and what better when it helps us driving our productivity.
3) Again go back to web 1.0 where information upload was the responsibility of the service providers and hence problems as we discussed. How about making all employees as knowledge ambassadors, let them contribute to a common pool. Think about how many unproductive hours will be saved which we lose out in finding that one piece of information at first place. By doing this, not only the company has ever growing pool of knowledge but there are people helping you real time like entire team sitting in call centre ready to assist the callers. This makes information exchange spontaneous.
4) Taking leverage all connected workforce, you can seek their help in quickly filling up a vacant position & establish your brand in the outside world. However there is no doubt that dedicated teams and external agencies are significant, yet the large employee base can be utilized to facilitate this effort further. Social employer branding and social referral are some of the key concepts which boost the effectiveness and productivity of these processes and initiatives.
5) I bet no one will deny the sense of pride when a group of people claps for you and it multiplies as the group becomes bigger. This is again a basic trait of humans – recognition motivates us! Bigger the recognition, bigger the motivation and confidence. We need to create a culture of recognition in the workspace in such way that it is big and more visible to people. In a socially connected organization, the platform is big enough to instil a big sense of pride when someone is recognized.
There are so many other equally significant advantages of going social within workspace, which I will touch base in my subsequent blog. I hope, the readers will find it interesting and thoughtful.