The big question today is not whether social is legit. The question is, 'are you ready for it?' The adoption and widespread use of social media as part of the sales funnel is well documented. Enterprise social collaboration is also a growing concern for many small businesses. For larger companies, these platforms are helping save millions of dollars in improved productivity and efficiency.
How though can you tell if your business is ready to take the plunge into collaboration software?
Here are 5 telltale signs.
It takes approximately 3 years for a business to be considered socially optimized. This means a 3-year journey is essential before your business is capable of measuring the impact of social from the time you start using social media services like Facebook. If your business has been actively monitoring re-tweets, Likes, Shares and other social metrics across the web this long, you are likely familiar with the whole social business culture.
To gain even more business value with social, a collaboration platform offers you professional tools to take the game to a whole new level. Familiar features like activity streams, real-time messaging, and collaboration workspaces are now integrated with your CRM, ERP, and other systems already in place. Introducing social into existing business systems improves efficiency since it gets employees involved and enthusiast.
Faced with the decision of whether to maintain independent standalone applications or integrate all the systems together, most businesses opt to go with the second option. It saves time, resources, and dramatically improves speed of delivery.
If you are in the knowledge business, the need for aggregating files, folders, and archives has never been as challenging as it is today. Every day, your archive of valuable information increases and the need to locate it whenever the need arises helps your business remain competitive. Email is a valuable knowledge base and most employees use it to store literally everything they need. Being able to search across email, chat, wikis, blogs, and other content authored by the internal team is key to improving productivity. A social collaboration software is well-suited to deliver this capability.
At a time when innovative companies are challenging working paradigms that have existed for decades, no company can afford to play the catch-up game. Encouraging innovation from within is one way to stay ahead of the pack. For innovation to take place, you need a platform in place that encourages the sharing of ideas and social collaboration software is key to achieving this.
Most companies have decades of experience tucked away among workers. Some of these workers may have been with the company for years or decades. Their experience and knowledge is invaluable in helping you craft the next phase of your business. How do you tap into this vast resource of knowledge and encourage the sharing of ideas?
Social platforms where employees engage and interact can help monitor, collect, and act on conversations taking place across a company intranet. Experienced employees know what customer care tactics work, what competitors are doing, and what has worked in the past or potential ideas that could transform a company. This knowledge cannot be collected in board rooms. It takes time and requires continuous engagement before they can feel free to express their ideas and views.
Most young employees are highly disloyal and will jump ship as soon as they get bored or a bigger, better deal falls on their laps. Despite all the perks you may provide, employee turnover, especially among the young, remains high.
Could a social collaboration platform help cut down your turnover rate?
With so many young people spending massive amounts of time on social networks, they are well familiar with these platforms and enjoy interacting and engaging with others. Imagine bringing the same kind of interaction and engagement into the workplace. While it is not a guarantee that social collaboration software like Communifire could potentially reduce employee turnover, there is also a high chance that it could encourage sharing and interactions, all of which ultimately boost job satisfaction.
A lack of employee engagement has also been shown to contribute to a high churn rate. An engagement environment helps employees to develop job satisfaction, it offers recognition for one's contributions, and provides an opportunity to perform under challenging work. A proactive approach such as introducing social collaboration software into the workplace will help in encouraging users to engage and collaborate.
Balancing the elements of a project can be challenging. Time, money, scope, and people need to be properly monitored and controlled for projects to be completed successfully. When working with teams, team members may not always have the needed competencies and access to information. A lack of accountability can result in finger-pointing and blame which are all unproductive. Poor communication may also result in project failure in some cases.
A social collaboration platform like Communifire however can greatly enhance a project's speed of delivery and communication. You can keep and monitor all your documents, tasks, and conversations together and have everyone on the same page with activity stream updates. Sharing is also much more seamless and locating information from blogs, forums, wikis has never been easier.
Social collaboration software transforms work from being a place to being about access. With a computer and a browser, including mobile devices like the iPad, you are still plugged in and are able to receive and post updates.
Your business has likely started to feel the pressure from social media. Employees may subtly demand a collaboration environment in the workplace. It's just a matter of time before your needs and demands cross paths. Social collaboration software is well positioned to meet the needs of both worlds and get to the next phase of workplace collaboration.
Tim is president and co-founder of Axero Solutions, a leading intranet software vendor. He's also a bestselling author of Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Mastering Employee Engagement. Tim’s been featured in Fortune, Forbes, TIME, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur, CNBC, Today, and other leading publications.
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