The top five ways enterprise social collaboration can boost organizational productivity
The social media revolution has changed the way people interact in their personal lives, and now it is inevitably changing the way they collaborate and connect in the workplace. Enterprise social collaboration is a way for organizations to leverage social tools to improve employee engagement, bolster productivity and tap into a company’s collective intelligence.
To simply say enterprise social collaboration is Facebook or Twitter at work is a misconception and gives the impression that these tools are time-wasters that drain productivity. If integrated and organized correctly, social collaboration technology can become a game-changer that empowers both employer and employee. Enterprise social collaboration injects the intimacy and fun of social media into work-related communications and leads employees to accomplish tasks in new, faster ways.
Here are the top five benefits to enterprise social collaboration:
1. It enables cross-department collaboration.
Enterprise social collaboration allows for streamlined communication between departments across the globe. For example, an employee in San Francisco can exchange information with an employee in Dubai through tools such as data-rich employee profiles, discussion forums, document sharing, Q&A, microblogging and wikis. Corporate intelligence becomes accessible to the groups that need it instead of only to the departments with ownership of it, helping to establish the concept of “workspace” (meeting places) rather than “workplace” (silos).
2. It taps into corporate knowledge.
Enterprise social collaboration tools can be used not only to identify individuals with expertise, but also to communicate their knowledge with other employees, partners and customers. For instance, an employee looking for knowledge on a topic is able to ask the question in a space where anyone in the organization can see it and respond. Communities of interest and experts can be organized around specific topics, and any group member can respond to questions and provide answers. Also, conversations can be maintained and preserved for future use.
3. It boosts individual empowerment.
Giving employees the tools and opportunity to freely express their ideas and communicate effectively with their coworkers empowers both those workers and the organization as a whole. This is one of the most powerful ways enterprise social collaboration positively affects the workplace: It improves employee satisfaction, increases individual recognition and gives voice to those who might otherwise go unnoticed.
4. It creates transparency and security.
Even though studies show collaborative transparency nearly always results in better outcomes, employees often will withhold information because they feel it will take too much time or they are uncomfortable sharing it. Enterprise social collaboration networks fix this problem by making information easily shareable and available to the entire organization, partners and customers in a secure environment. Some of the best tools offer the ability to create communities or workspaces with public, private or secret access based on the specific purpose. These settings not only engage the right people within the right context and with the right level of access, but also encourage everyone to communicate openly, knowing it’s safe. Many enterprises may opt to begin using only the basic collaboration features, but later benefit from the ability of these tools to scale for higher levels of engagement through organized and planned adoption programs.
5. It improves the use of resources and efficiencies.
A well-run enterprise collaboration network can greatly reduce redundancy in a company. An organized network will reduce the risk of duplicating reports or training an employee in areas that exist in another part of the organization. In addition, onboarding can become more efficient with a faster learning curve established for new employees.
Although the demand for enterprise social collaboration is still in its infancy, growth is expected to soar in the near future, which will create a community that fosters new ways to communicate and also allows teams to become more cohesive and collaborative. Using these tools effectively will open up avenues of meaningful change for countless organizations.
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