Using social media to engage employees (Part 2 – What?)

It’s rather difficult to imagine how executives can justify the cost of having an internal social network if its employees were to do the same thing as they would in Facebook or any other free social network space. Where is the value if employees continue using the internal social network to discuss about what they had for lunch or where they went for the last holiday? Moreover, it is often seen as a reputation risk if employees were given a platform to vent their frustrations. Imagine the challenges that HR or Corporate Communications will face if employees had their say as easy typing a note and click “Send”.

Therefore, what you do in your social network is going to make or break your implementation plans. This article addresses some best practices and lessons learnt from implementing social networks.

First, the good news. The following are what people generally look forward to an internal social network. These includes:

  • centralized newsfeed of all relevant activities stream in a single place
  • Handle common contents such as “Status updates”, “Links” “Articles”, “Events” and “Documents”
  • single click “Like” and “Comment” to offer feedback
  • separate channel to see important or “new” items within your activity stream
  • able to control who can create groups that have access to all employees
  • able to control who can add contents in specific groups
  • able to analyze creation and response to contents

Second, the not so good news… These are concerns that many HR and Corporate Comm shares:

  • Single stream to show new contents and comments to filter off unappropriate or offensive stuff
  • Single click to “Report as Unappropriate” with reports to respective “culture police”
  • Cooling off period for “culture police” to vet through these contents (unless flagged, contents and comments will only be shown to everyone after a certain time)

Third, the difficult news. To justify the investments, the conversation should be based on business related data. The challenge is to connect business activities directly into the newsfeed. Then the right people can take the right actions at the right time with the right information in the right place. How do you do that? In the next instalment, we will cover all the “right” stuff. Until next time, cheers 🙂

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