3 tips to improve workplace collaboration with social media
88% of survey respondents say social media will become the collaboration platform for work now and in the future, according to The Evolution of Work (1), the ADP Research Institute’s® latest research report about the changing nature of the global workplace.
Clearly social media isn’t just about chatting with your social networks – and rather than banning it in the workplace, business leaders are using it to increase inter-enterprise collaboration and facilitate positive communication about the organisation to the outside world. Whether you are looking to expand your social media strategy or simply start your journey – here are three useful tips:
So many platforms, so little time
Not every social media platform is the right fit for your business and your objectives. For instance, Facebook and LinkedIn offer groups for private communications, as well as the ability to communicate with the rest of the world. Yammer, on the other hand, is an enterprise social platform service that allows users to share internal information instantly with certain colleagues and/or enterprise-wide. Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube offer a specific focus – sharing quick and short communication, images and video. The most popular social media platforms for CEOs however, are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, according to a Society for Human Resource Management survey.
To determine which platforms to use in your workplace, think about what your team hopes to accomplish through the use of social media. In many cases, business leaders hope to use social media tools simply to increase collaboration across their workforce, including far-flung telecommuters.
You could start by surveying employees to find out which social media tools they already use, or what they’d like to use to speed up workplace communication. Then try it out and asses the advantages and disadvantages of each platform – this will help you make a clear, informed decision about which are the most effective for your business needs and employees.
Coaching accelerates adoption
While employees may be accustomed to using social media in their personal lives, harnessing the tools for workplace communication and collaboration is a different matter. Employees may need time and patient coaching to begin using social media as a workplace tool.
The most successful teams go beyond just holding a meeting to explain how they want employees to start using social media at work. Instead, they create an entire arsenal of communication to reach out to employees. For instance, you could develop a best-practice webinar or a series of short, engaging videos that explain the appropriate or beneficial ways to use social media at work. A guide or flier that employees could stick up by their monitors can be very handy. Also share social media successes, perhaps by posting blog entries detailing employees’ experiences. This motivates and reminds everyone about how easily social media can be integrated into their work habits to achieve equally great results.
Actions speak louder than words
Most importantly, leadership should serve as the shining example for employees by championing the use of your chosen social media platforms. Rather than always using email, consider sharing updates about benefits and other HR communications via your Facebook or Yammer, for example. Or perhaps you can post personnel-related videos on your YouTube channel. Explore the great options you now have to share every piece of business communication more effectively.
As your employees become more accustomed to receiving organisational information through social media, they will be encouraged to use these platforms themselves, for their own work-related collaboration.
For more information on how the workplace is changing, download the report: Evolution of Work: The Changing Nature of the Global Workplace (1).
Written by: Connect@ADP Team