Welcome everybody to my week 10 blog post for INN346 Enterprise 2.0. Wow, how the time has flown. Nine weeks of blogging over, only this one to go and then we will have set ourselves up to be able to make well informed decisions about Web 2.0 for the workplace. We started off by building a strong foundation by properly familiarising ourselves with exactly what Enterprise 2.0 is, the benefits and risks that are associated with implementing Enterprise 2.0, the legal issues that can arise from social media use and how we can encourage adoption of Web 2.0 tools by staff. We then took this sturdy base of knowledge and built upon it by thinking a bit more about some of the more prevalent Web 2.0 tools and how they could be used by real organisations as a way of solving some of their current business problems.
The organisation? Airservices.
The mission? Improve staff efficiency, encourage better communication between staff develop a knowledge management solution and increase staff engagement.
And then? Next up, the wonderful world of social networking services (or SNS’s for short).
SNSS (Aka Social Networking Service Strategies…who doesn’t love an acronym that sounds like the sound you make when you sneeze?)
So how can Airservices use SNS’s to benefit their organisation and help them achieve some of their business goals? What strategies can they adopt that will ensure that they make the most of what SNS’s have to offer? The strategy that I’m going to focus on is internal communications. I am going to look at how implementing an internal social networking strategy can help Airservices to improve staff engagement, morale and communication.
The Airservices Workforce Plan 2012-13 identifies one of the main challenges that the organisation will face in the future as “increasing the rate of engagement of its employees”. One of the strategies identified within the report for increasing staff engagement is to enhance social club arrangements, creating opportunities to network and participate in extra curricular activities. I believe that this strategy can be further improved through the implementation of an internal social network. Social clubs are restricted to the physical locations of staff, whereas an online social network would allow staff to engage with co-workers who are located in not only separate cities, but different states as well.
Candice, are you sure social networking can help boost employee engagement?
Well, a recent study conducted by APCO Worldwide found that companies utilising internal social media services were experiencing a higher level of staff engagement than those that weren’t. The study also found:
• Employees of companies using internal social media strategies well were less likely to leave their jobs;
• 39% of employees of companies using internal social media strategies would recommend their company’s products and services to others; and
• 61% of employees said that the social networking tools of their organisation improved collaboration.
And if that’s not evidence enough, Dr Jason Watson also informed us in our lecture this week that the benefits of internal social networking include:
• Enhanced collaboration; and
• Better moral.
Honestly, what more could you want?
How to make it work
Airservices has an aging workforce, 16% are aged 55 years and over and 46% of the total workforce is over 45 years of age. In order to market a tool such as an online social network to a workforce made up most of Baby Boomers and Gen X’s, push from management will be needed. Staff will need to be encouraged to use the new technology, and this may be helped along by combining Airservices suggested approach with this one, get the social clubs on board. Staff participation in the Airservices social clubs is relatively strong. The presidents and committee members of the social clubs could be given the task of inviting staff to join the social network as a way of encouraging use. They already run raffles and share pictures from the events that they run via the corporate email, this sort of activity could be moved to the social network, which would encourage other staff to participate.
Also, most staff are familiar with and read the monthly corporate newsletter, a good idea would be to publish an article on the new social networking site upon its launch, and a link to it should be put on the front page of the corporate intranet. This would ensure that the majority of staff are aware that it exists, and know how to access it.
In addition to this, policies and guidelines need to be set up to ensure staff are aware of the proper and acceptable uses of the new service.
I would love to hear any other ideas that you may have for how to make internal social network successful amongst a workforce that may not even be using Facebook at home? I’d also love to hear if your workplace has successfully (or not) implemented and internal social networking service, and how it was marketed to staff.
Softjoe Collaborative: Social Media & Employee Engagement
Ragan.com: Study proves internal social media engages employees
IABC Research Foundation & Buck Consultants: Employee Engagement Survey
Airservices Workforce Plan 2012-13
Enterprise 2.0 Lecture Week 10: Social Networking including corporate Considerations. Dr Jason Watson