Social media has been revolutionizing the way people interact in their personal lives for years, and now it is changing the way they collaborate and connect in the workplace. To simply say enterprise social collaboration is Facebook or Twitter at work is a misconception and gives the impression that these tools are time-wasters that drain productivity. By thoughtfully integrating enterprise social collaboration, organizations can leverage social tools to improve employee engagement, bolster productivity and tap into a company’s collective intelligence. If organized correctly, social collaboration technology can become a game-changer that empowers both employer and employee. Enterprise social collaboration injects the intimacy and fun of social media into work-related communications and leads employees to accomplish tasks in newer and faster ways. Here are the top five benefits to enterprise social collaboration:
1. It enables cross-department communication.
Enterprise social collaboration allows for streamlined communication between departments across the world. For example, an employee in San Francisco can exchange information with an employee in Dubai through tools such as data-rich employee profiles, discussion forums, document sharing, Q&A, microblogging and wikis. Corporate intelligence becomes accessible to the groups that need it instead of only to the departments with ownership of it, helping to establish the concept of “workspace” (meeting places) rather than “work place” (silos).
2. It takes advantage of corporate knowledge.
Enterprise social collaboration tools can be used to not only identify individuals with expertise, but also to communicate their knowledge with other employees, partners and customers. For instance, an employee looking for knowledge on a topic is able to ask the question in a space where anyone in the organization can see it and respond. Communities of interest and experts can be organized around specific topics and any group member can respond to questions and provide answers. Conversations can also be maintained and preserved for future use.
3. It increases individual empowerment.
Giving employees the tools and opportunities to freely express their ideas and to communicate effectively with their coworkers empowers both workers and the organization as a whole. This is one of the most powerful ways enterprise social collaboration positively affects the workplace: it improves employee satisfaction, increases individual recognition and gives voice to those who might otherwise go unnoticed.
4. It cultivates transparency and security.
Even though studies show collaborative transparency nearly always results in better outcomes, employees will often withhold information because they feel it will take too much time or are uncomfortable sharing it. Enterprise social collaboration networks fix this problem by making information easily shareable and available to the entire organization, partners and customers in a secure environment. Some of the best tools will offer the ability to create communities or workspaces with public, private or secret access based on the specific purpose. These settings not only engage the right people within the right context and with the right level of access, but also encourage everyone to communicate openly, knowing it is a safe environment. Many enterprises opt to begin using the basic collaboration features and later benefit from the ability of these tools to scale for higher levels of engagement through organized and planned adoption programs.
5. It improves the utilization of resources and efficiencies.
A well-run enterprise collaboration network can greatly reduce redundancy in a company. An organized network will reduce the risk of duplicating reports or training an employee in areas that exist in another part of the organization. In addition, onboarding can become more efficient with a faster learning curve established for new employees.
Although the demand for enterprise social collaboration is still in its infancy, growth is expected to soar in the near future, which will create a community that fosters new ways to communicate and also allows teams to become more cohesive and collaborative. Using these tools effectively will open up avenues of meaningful change for countless organizations.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ajay Kaul, managing partner at AgreeYa Solutions, brings over 25 years of experience in sales, staffing, and IT project management for clients throughout the world. As managing partner, Kaul has led AgreeYa through 15 years of success, leading the company in highly competitive and complex markets and driving significant profitable growth. Prior to founding AgreeYa, Kaul was responsible for managing engagements for Deloitte Consulting, serving private and public sector clients.
ABOUT AGREEYA SOLUTIONS: AgreeYa Solutions is a global provider of software, solutions, and services focused on deploying business-driven, technology-enabled solutions that create next-generation competitive advantages for customers. Headquartered in Folsom, California, AgreeYa is a growing and dynamic organization with 15 offices in 8 countries employing more than 1,100 professionals. Over the past 15 years, AgreeYa has worked with 200+ companies ranging from Fortune 100 firms to small and large businesses, delivering solutions for variety of industries including telecommunications, BFSI, healthcare, high-tech, manufacturing, utility and government. AgreeYa’s software portfolio includes SocialXtend (intranet and enterprise social collaboration), VDIXtend (Desktop-on-Cloud), Onvelop (unified enterprise collaboration and communication suite), and Edvelop (single window collaboration and communication solution for 21st century learning). As part of its solutions and services offering, AgreeYa provides intranet and enterprise collaboration on SharePoint, cloud and infrastructure, enterprise mobility, product engineering, application development and management, independent software testing, and staffing (IT and risk/compliance) solutions. For more information, visit www.agreeya.com.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker