To a company – water cooler conversations and coffee runs are often the most baneful breaks in the day. To the employees taking them, it’s simply a way to wind-down or catch-up, at some point of time, in an increasingly stressful day. But imagine if there was an ‘official’ place to meet with the rest of your team, somewhere where you’d be encouraged to spend time talking to other employees – seeking advice, offering helpful tips, passing on information or even planning out an office activity with everyone’s support.
Over the next few minutes we’re going to list out a few advantages of having an internal social-media network within one’s company, and then we’re going to point out a few things to keep in mind, whilst setting up one.
The advantages of a corporate intranet:
• Staying on track – ensure employees, teams and projects are aligned with the corporate vision and are in sync with the official goals.
• Why waste time with a hierarchy? – provides a direct path from the CEO to the lowest employee and vice versa. This leads to improved communications, transparency, trust and empowerment of employees.
• Encourage employee networking – provide employees with a means to find other employees with common interests both within and even outside of the company – for example colleagues with an interest in music can get together and form a company band. Having a strongly connected workforce leads to increased employee satisfaction and retention.
• A think-tank – by proving the tools to generate ideas on a company’s intranet, and rewards like real money prizes, gifts or even recognition; employees are often more willing to contribute – and its some of these contributions that can really make a difference.
• News and Information – easily share company and employee news and press releases.
• Resources – quick and efficient access to libraries, tutorials, marketing material, product documentation, help, strategies, goals, budget, etc.
• Project-based Workforce – it’ll provide a means for employees to organize outside of their physical location, skill level, department, etc. To search for and find key employees, removing the chain of command from the process, allowing virtual teams to organize and execute tasks quickly.
5 quick tips to remember before you implement:
The idea is to incorporate a look and feel similar to that of familiar sites like Facebook and Twitter. This allows end users to feel almost immediately comfortable using the new internal platform, which should result in early, widespread, and enthusiastic adoption.
2. How extensive can user profiles be?
Allow employees to describe their skills and experience, which in turn allow colleagues looking for internal expertise to identify the right people for the right projects. Also ensure that user profiles can be easily created and updated, and are discoverable.
3. Allow access to other applications and intranets but maintain security.
No social network should be an island. Users should be able to log on to all the companies intranet spheres, depending on appropriate access controls and rights.
Security is one of the key concerns of organizations when it comes to social networking. It will be important to ensure that the level of security a platform provides meets industry and regulatory standards, not to mention general best practices. To what level can you manage who-sees-what with the platform? How is sensitive information kept private?
4. Does the system offer file-sharing capabilities?
The ability to upload, share, and collaborate on documents will be important for many organizations. Does the system provide this functionality, and, if so, what security features are in place? To what extent can users collaborate and comment on files? Can the files be tagged and searched on?
5. What sorts of mobile capabilities are provided?
The ability to tap into the social networking platform is key. Can the system be accessed from mobile devices? Is there any loss of functionality when accessing the platform from a mobile device?
As companies continue to grow and spread themselves across countries; the product ranges and skill demands become more varied or unique – these internal social networks can be very useful for companies – provided they are applied right.