There seems to be a lot of organizations that jumped on the trend bandwagon to implement enterprise social networking technology, and in the end, they aren’t satisfied with the results that they’re getting from it. Let’s face it; if you don’t have a solid plan for using the technology, well then it may fail to meet your expectations. Just because your enterprise social networking technology looks and acts like Facebook doesn’t necessarily mean that your employees will use it like Facebook!
The key to implementing successful enterprise social networking is to have an understanding of your goals and objectives for using the enterprise social networking technology in the first place. There needs to be a business problem that you’re trying to solve and a belief that enterprise social networking technology will help to solve it. Then you can move forward to develop your strategy for successful enterprise social networking.
Enterprise social networking technology centers on people, relationships and tapping into corporate knowledge. It offers a means of fostering new ways to communicate and forge relationships with other employees. It can bridge gaps that exist in terms of information sharing and decision-making processes; therefore honing in on these benefits can help in your strategy development. To get employees to invest their time using the technology, they have to understand how it will benefit them. You have to clearly communicate how the technology will make their work easier, better, faster, etc. Keep in mind also that each employee group works differently, for example, sales works differently than marketing and production work differently than product development; therefore your strategy should include these variances and should be communicated in a context that resonates with each employee group.
You’ll also have to provide clear instruction on how to use the technology. Remember, not every employee has the same level of technical expertise or the computer savvy, so expect to train employees on how to use the system and to take full advantage of its functionality.
Make no mistake; it’s never easy to implement new processes, procedures or technology. Many people have a difficult time with change, but if you have a goal, can develop a strategic plan to meet that goal, and you have the dedication to stick to the plan, then success will be achieved!