We’ve all heard of the merits of collaboration. Since the open plan office was first introduced in the 1950s, with the rise of the ‘flat hierarchy’ and now coming into the age of the ‘knowledge worker’, collaboration has become an increasingly valued commodity in business.
Organisations that value collaboration often struggle to create an environment that encourages idea exchange. Large and geographically dispersed workforces often make face-to-face collaboration impractical. Leading businesses are now turning to technology to make collaboration possible. The answer they’ve found is social networking.
When an organisation fails to provide its employees with a collaborative environment, those employees essentially act as data silos. Valuable information and skills are stored in these employees but not shared, when the employees leave their skills leave with them. Enterprise social networks allow employees to share and instruct each other intuitively, so that skills and information are unlocked across the enterprise.
Social networking isn’t simply a new platform for communication, it also represents a completely new way of doing business. Enterprise social networks allow knowledge to circulate, be discussed and generated across your enterprise. But the benefits go beyond collaboration – best practice organisations have discovered the potential enterprise social media has to boost engagement and retention.
Perhaps the most valuable aspect of an enterprise social network is its familiarity. The most challenging thing about implementing new technology in a business is user-uptake. With social networks this is simple, your employees already know how to use the technology, they’ve been using platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to connect with friends, family and colleagues. By providing them with the environment to connect with colleagues across the room and across the globe, you will open your enterprise to collaboration and skill-transfer while driving engagement.