Adopting social media for social collaboration in workplaces-Best practices

adopting social media

Within a workplace context, the adopting social media and its usage is often termed as ‘Enterprise social networking’ or the ‘Corporate social network’.  In the recent years, a lot has been written about the benefits of using social media but little importance has been given to the science and art of its implementation and adoption within organizations.

Firstly, it is a science because the implementation goes through a set of methodical procedures starting from organizational readiness to the final measures of success.  The methods are the same as implementing any other enterprise systems in workplaces.

Secondly, it is an art because, convincing the employees and the wider organization to adopt  corporate social network with the realm of fast and dynamically changing social and political landscape is nevertheless an art form.

Social media benefits drive implementation approaches

The biggest benefit of them of all, providing the context to the information, which often questions ‘who, why and what’ of information, the challenges and pitfalls is often missing in traditional knowledge management and knowledge sharing.  This context to information, which is immediately applicable at work, is mostly tacit and hard to get.  Social media in workplaces provide the context to that information.

Another important benefit, from using social media in workplaces, is the subtle art of building social capital among project teams, the unspoken bonds of social collaboration to get things done.

To realize all these benefits by adopting social media in workplace requires a different implementation approach and which is more of bottoms up than top-down and more artsy than science.

Implementing and adopting social media in workplaces is no easy task.  Here are some best practices drawn from excellent organizations who have been front-runners in implementing social media and have realized the success adopting social media in their organizations.

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Adopting social media in workplaces – Best practice approaches 2017

Adopting social media in workplaces

Adopting social media in workplaces is both an art and a science and they both go hand in hand together. For that matter, conducting business analysis also has shades of both art and science and not much relevance is given to the ‘art’ portion of it these days.Conducting Business Analysis is a mandatory precursor and a must do exercise even before we attempt to carry out and adopt enterprise tools in workplaces.

For the benefit of some of us, the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis) a much-recognized body in this field, defines Business Analysis as a ‘practice to bring in a change in an organizational context by defining the needs and recommending solutions to the stakeholders’.

Fair enough! but then in the recent years, the implementation and adoption of social media tools in organizations has brought the ‘art’ portion of business analysis to the forefront. This is not to say that logical analysis and methodological rules are no less important either.

There is much written about the logical analysis and rules of implementation.  What I attempt to write below is my natural understanding of how ‘adopting social media in workplaces’ can be taken up.From a business analysis perspective and to bring in a positive productive change and intended benefits there are three approaches to adopting social media in workplaces. They are:-

  1. The all at once together approach.
  2. Phased approach.
  3. The bottoms up approach.

There are myriad tools which run inside workplaces and not all of them have the connecting power nor the acceptance among employees, as social media tools. Once they are implemented, they become a way of life inside the organization subject to their usage and popularity among the employees. Its usage builds social capital.Having said this, there are ample opportunities for people in the HR function. 

People who work as HR Generalists, HR business analysts and OD (Organizational development) consultants can intervene and learn from these exercises. Even to the extent that they can glean for information and conduct the organizational scan, which they do regularly as part of their jobs for measuring employee satisfaction levels.

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