Friday, April 16, 2010

How an organization can learn from internal social media



An organization can learn a great deal about how it performs and how it can improve its business simply by listening to its employees. Internal social media such as blogs, micro-blogging and social networking provides every employee with a voice and the possibility to reach out to anyone within the organization. From management's point of view, internal social media provides an unpreceeded possibility for them to listen to and learn from employees. Here's a simple description of what's needed to use these possibilities. 

Establish the platform
  1. Provide employees with a platform that makes it fun and easy for them to find, connect, communicate, interact and share things with each other regardless of their location, organization, or position. 
  2. Provide clear policies and guidelines that define the game plan, defining both freedom and responsibilities - what do you want them to do, what do you not want them to do? 
  3. Encourage employees to use the platform, using whatever works to encourage adoption. Be creative, and do it the way employees want it.
Start learning
  1. Listen - Continuously listen to employee-to-employee conversations on blogs, micro-blogs etc to learn about employees’ concerns, fears, ideas, and so on  - what you listen to and how you listen depends on your purpose and area of interest
  2. Analyze - Identify, assemble and analyze information that might need to be acted on
  3. Act - Decide how to act (or not act) on the information you have aquired, and act
  4. Communicate - Communicate the decisions and actions to employees, what you are doing, when and why
  5. Learn - Learn how decisions and actions are received by employees from the feedback and conversations, and use this information to improve decisions and actions