5 Reasons Why You Should Use an Enterprise Social Network

by guest blogger emplo

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Most of us are familiar with some form of social media that we use for various reasons both business and personal. In this day and age, it’s hard to even go outside without hearing about the latest on Facebook or Twitter. Many networking opportunities have also opened up with businesses as job seekers and hiring managers have come together on LinkedIn. The hot topic this year, however, is something of an inside-out version of social media, though it is a bit more complicated than that. Enterprise social network is revolutionizing the way many companies do business and facilitate collaboration between management and employees.

So why should companies be paying more attention to this trend? Well, a few reasons come to mind.

1.Increased Employee Morale

It’s no secret that a happy employee is a good employee. When employees enjoy their jobs and are happy where they are they are more likely to be productive, to bring fewer conflicts, and of course, they are more likely to stay at their jobs. Employee retention and productivity are vital to a company’s success and most agree that low or standard turnover rates are a big plus.

So what does this have to do with an enterprise social network? Employees are more likely to be happier if they know that their voices and ideas are heard by management. Aside from that, however, there are studies that at least suggest that in general people are happier when they’re connected to social media. Judging by this couldn’t one say that an enterprise social network could also have the same effect, that an employee will be happier at his or her job if they’re connected to the company?

2.Improved Communication Between Employees and Management

One of the areas where many companies fail to successfully implement an ESN is in the area of listening. Often an enterprise social network fails to engage employees and no one ends up using it. For this reason, many companies give up on the idea before they even begin. On the other hand, those with the business savvy to do so, have very successfully engaged in the art of listening. So why is this important? Who knows better than the employee what happens on the floor? Some of the best ideas come from seemingly the most unlikely of places, and when those ideas are heard, listened to, and receive a real response – companies thrive. Take for example JobCloud – a Swiss recruitment company. Since they have started using an enterprise social platform – emplo, communication between their German and French-speaking branches has become much more effective. Employees are up to date with what’s happening in different offices, they express their opinions more freely and are more keen on sharing ideas.

3. Enhanced Collaboration

As you probably know, the most important aspect of effective collaboration is communication. Communication failure is the most frequent problem that businesses face which cripples companies to the core. This includes communication within departments, between departments, and of course communication between management and personnel. When the lines of communication are both solid and open it empowers the employee, which empowers the organization. In addition, employees are more productive, and happier at their jobs when they are informed and connected.

4. Reduced Internal Emails and Increased Productivity

Many companies that implemented an ESN have stated that a few of the goals include reducing the overall volume of company emails as well as reducing the need for company meetings. These traditional forms of communication can often be lost in translation and they take up time, effort, and ultimately money in implementation that could be used building profits. So what’s the solution? A social media platform! An ESN allows companies to distribute company-wide information at a fraction of the cost, in a fraction of the time. For example, Smart MBC after implementing emplo have managed to reduce the number of internal emails by an overwhelming 97%. It also had a very positive impact on the employee productivity.

5 . Geographically Dispersed Teams Brough Closer Together

In the case of larger companies, time and space tend to complicate things a little in the way of communication. How do you get an idea or an important bit of information to members of a company that crosses international borders? Even with the advancements of internet communications, that’s still no easy endeavor. It turns out thatCoca-Cola and a few other companies used these platforms to do just that, and have never regretted it.

3 Reasons for Management Participation on Your Company’s Social Media

by guest blogger emplo

Social media platforms and internal communication investments aren’t, by themselves, a guarantee of improved employee engagement.  To foster engagement, you must involve all the employees in the community, including the company’s management.

Having an internal communication platform is just the beginning for many organizations. While the engagement of the organization’s entire team, from top to bottom, is required, ultimately, the CEO should be the driving force of the whole organization. For example, the attitudes and communications adopted by executives such as Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos directly drive the culture of corporate giants such as Apple, Facebook, and Amazon.

However, engaging management in internal communications is often not an easy task. They complain about the following:

  • Lack of time
  • Lack of employee interest
  • Risks associated with shortening the safe distance between management and the rest of the team.

These are only excuses.

CEO = Chief Engagement Officer

The involvement of management is crucial for building an engaged community within an organization. Richard Edelman uses an atypical definition of the abbreviation CEO – “Chief Engagement Officer”. In an interview with McKinsey & Company, he states that engagement of teams is in the hands of their bosses.

He emphasizes that, in most cases, both management and the rest of the company mainly focus on operations. After all, it is day-to-day operations that make money for the company and bring management respect.  However, the truth is today engagement and integrity have become the new gold standard for firms.

Edelman uses the examples of PepsiCo and its chief executive Indra Nooyi. Every year Nooyi (as reported by Economic Times) asks for advice and suggestions from the company’s 150,000 employees, knowing that their engagement is the key to the company’s success. Rebecca Ray also emphasizes management’s important role in internal communications and building team engagement in her report “2015 Conference Board CEO study.”

How to engage company management?

Company managers are role models. They are closely monitored by every employee.

If my boss isn’t using the tool, then why should I?”

Many team members will wonder. On the other hand, engaged managers increase the credibility of internal communications and foster a “human” image of themselves.

Engaging company management does not have to involve time-consuming activities. It is small, and often spontaneous, communications, as well as selected regular activities that bring real value to an organization. It is best to engage the CEO, board members or other senior managers using internal social media platforms.  By doing so, all employees will see the direct engagement and initiative of the management team.

Here are three key benefits of company management leveraging internal social media platforms:

1.Learning the organization’s moods

Those in charge of the organization should be aware of the problems and challenges faced daily by their teams. Scott Scherr, CEO of Ultimate Software believes that how a company treats its rank-and-file, and least remunerated, workers determine its value. Internal social networks can help leadership listen to employee voices and monitor bottom-up discussions. As a result, management can learn the moods of employees and identify internal opinion leaders.

2.Shortening the distance

Rosemary Turner, president of the courier company UPS in North California, tweets the UPS couriers regularly. What does she tweet? One thing she does is send current traffic alerts. Why? Facilitating day-to-day work is just one benefit. There are other benefits including showing the “human” side of the boss, building a partnership approach and shortening the distance between employees and the management.

3.Encouraging dialogue and transformation in organizations

David Thodey, CEO of Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, has taken using social networks in daily business operations very seriously. Through an internal service, he asked his employees which processes and technologies should be eliminated from the company. Within an hour he received more than 700 bottom-up responses helping him see the what wasn’t functioning in the organization.  He used this information to implement business changes swiftly.

Have you invested in a social collaboration platform yet? Check out emplo

Making praise and recognition actually work

by Guest blogger  CEO & Co-Founder at Perkbox & Huddlebuy,

It’s no secret that both giving and receiving praise makes us feel good: we’re psychologically wired to function in a receive-give and give-receive kind of environment. When we feel a sense of pride and satisfaction in what we’ve achieved, our brain releases the hormone dopamine, immediately awakening the reward and pleasure areas of our brain.

Receiving credit where credit is due is the simplest form of recognising one’s existence. A cultural analysis by Alversson & Willmott says that:

“A sense of internal coherence and high self-esteem facilitate a positive process of organisational control…”

…So what on earth does that mean? Basically, that you are more likely to produce higher quality work in less time when you feel needed and positively regarded. When you are praised for enriching and supporting your office’s mission, or when you are recognised for contributing to your culture (co-workers, tasks, team goals), you’ll feel that you are a valuable cog in the business machine. You’ll feelengaged.

On the flip side, the ability to recognise the importance of an individual’s particular talent in a team and exactly how that can be supercharged is at the root of a good employer, and, in turn, a successful business.

What’s not to love?

Unfortunately, when it comes to work, some employers will simply throw money at their team in an attempt to provoke these feelings of worth and to motivate their staff to work hard, year upon year. And it’s true, providing a short-lived, release-action financial reward can cause a spike in employee motivation. Temporarily, at least.

This is all very well in the short-term, but everyone knows that with the highs come the lows. Although management may not realise it, financial rewards can often contribute to a rollercoaster ride of emotions amongst their workforce: employees receive a boost when they are rewarded, but tend to return quickly to ‘normality’, feeling more deflated than they did beforehand. What’s more, being locked into an expectation that bonuses will increase year on year is a one-way track to disappointed employees, across the board.

We are increasingly exposed to research backing the importance of non-financial praise and recognition as a way of motivating teams for longer, sustained periods of time, whether that is peer-to-peer, employer to employee or familial relationships.

Why is this?

It’s science: frequent feedback and recognition for completed projects or tasks results in small boosts of dopamine, the‘happy hormone’, rather than the bonus cycle, which is extreme highs followed by lows. The nature of peer-to-peer recognition means that employees are not only praised when they are expecting it, but also when they are not, whether it is from colleagues in their team, or from other staff members across department. It’s a no-brainer: there’s less expectation and therefore less disappointment, in addition to a greater appreciation for the recognition they do receive.

According to McKinsey & Company:

“Non-financial motivators are more effective than extra cash in building long-term employee engagement in most sectors, job functions, and business contexts”. 

The graph* below is very interesting. It highlights the lack of correlation between the frequency at which employers use non-financial incentives and their effectiveness. In other words, despite the fact that a large percentage of people believe non-financial incentives to be ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ effective, they are deployed with a lot less frequency than financial.

So, how can you praise and recognise at work to ensure that you don’t tip the scale in the wrong direction? A rewards system is something that needs to be worked on systematically.

Here are a few simple suggestions to get you started:

  1. Be specific in your praise – recognise individual achievements. Whether that is a well-written report, a creative idea or a perfect cup of tea, shout about it!

  2. Show appreciation – Both employees and employers can recognise hard work and achievement. Give your teammate a simple, verbal ‘well done’ or a quick pat on the back or, if you’re an employer with a little cash to spare, you can go all out and reward a star team member with an experience, like a skydive or a hot air balloon ride.

  3. Be individual – This one’s for the employers: you need to understand your team and personalise your praise. Not everyone will want to be praised publicly – some value a simple thank you gift over long public speeches of adornment. Understand the “language” someone speaks and recognise them in a way they will appreciate most. It’s this that will differentiate you from other employers.

This piece was brought to you by Perkbox – the UK’s fastest growing employee engagement platform. Perkbox helps businesses of all sizes to boost the financial, emotional and physical wellbeing of their team by providing employees with on-the-go access to a range of perks, an online reward and recognition system and a wellness hub. Click here to find out more.

The EEA’s upcoming events

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Employee and Volunteers Engagement for Charities
28th April 2016, 08:30 – 12:30, London
FREE FOR MEMBERS

The role of Reward and Recognition in effective Employee Engagement
18th May 2016, 13:00 – 17:30, London
FREE FOR MEMBERS

Diversity & Inclusion Networking Event
22nd June 18:00 – 20:00, London
MEMBERS ONLY

The Communications Component of Employee Engagement
22nd June 2016, 13:00 – 17:30, London

Summer Networking Event
22nd June 18:00 – 20:00, London
MEMBERS ONLY