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Posts Tagged ‘social network’

Who works in an organisation that operates in silos?

One of the things I learnt about while away, is how to use social media to solve problems of knowledge silos, generation gaps and geographical boundaries in the work place. 

How?

By combining traditional intranet features with social networking capability – fostering more staff collaboration and communication, and knowledge sharing.  I’m talking about self-service internal community models that don’t require someone to constantly be managing them. 

There are plenty of models about which are free such as yammer and drupal, They’re generally secure and private and could complement an existing intranet but utilise a full-featured enterprise social network deployed specifically for staff.

Why are they free?

Generally they offer the basic tools for free then allow you to upgrade to (for example) more sophisticated reporting mechanisms or use of video etc for a small monthly fee.

Benefits?

Staff can send in questions, ideas and status updates on projects – this can be done either from the desktop or from their phone (if they have remote access).  People who register put up a profile about themselves: name, role, where they work, what they’re currently working on etc. It can put the entire organisation’s brain to work and can flatten heirachies – enabling those at executive level to participate should they wish to.

Example:

A case manager in Invercargill is having difficulty managing his case load especially with all the admin associated, so he sends out a question “Can anyone help me with my time management?”  Someone he’s never met contacts him from Whangarei “Try this”..   or someone from HR in Wgtn sends him some suggestions.

Opportunities are endless.

Staff will feel more engaged, less isolated and more valued.

These models are being used across the US by Fortune 500 companies, where security and privacy is of paramount importance.  They can be hosted either on an existing domain or externally, and they can be administered internally or externally.  Most models allow for sophisticated reporting. And, they’re inexpensive.

Another great free tool out there is oovoo which is basically a video conferencing tool.  Similar in premise to skype  you can have up to 6 users talking to each other at one time.  You can send emails with attachments to others while in conversation, and for a fee of US$10 per month can video record your meetings.

Imagine the potential savings on meeting related travel costs!  

There are plenty of these interactive tools out there that encourage; dialogue, information and ideas exchange and contribute to staff feeling engaged and probably more content!

Siobhan Bulfin

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