Social Enterprise Adoption Hinges on Knowledge, Education, and Training

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Social media and enterprise collaboration tools are finding their way into the workplace at an increasingly rapid rate. These tools have many advocates and a plethora of perceived benefits. Once implemented, many organizations struggle getting their employees to adopt the new methods. A lot of companies may hold some kind of big initial kickoff or make a few announcements to peak employee interest and gain participation but that is simply not enough. Just having a social media policy is not enough. These approaches lack substance. Instead, employees need to be thoroughly educated on how your social networking and enterprise collaboration tools work. They want to know “what’s in it for them?” How are they going to benefit from these tools in the workplace? An announcement or two, flyers, and emails won’t do the trick.

Kristin Burnham, a contributing writer for social media matters in CIO Magazine, just posted an article on how TD Bank deployed its enterprise collaboration tools out to 65,000 users and got it to stick. I won’t go into too much detail but they essentially invited employees to be part of a team called the Geniuses. These folks then teach others about how social media and the business go hand in hand. For instance, the group has weekly conference calls focusing on the features, benefits, and how-to’s of the social enterprise tools.

I think TD Bank’s approach is great because it gets their employees more active and promotes engagement. It also let’s these Geniuses step outside of their usual roles and do something different. As they say, “variety is the spice of life.” That’s a great way to keep employees happy and increase retention too. Back to the matter at hand though, education is critical from top to bottom in an organization. There are plenty of companies where not even the CEO knows what a Wiki is, let alone the benefits it can provide. Teach them. Help them understand how it improves their lives and the business as a whole.

 

Additional reading:

Intel’s Social Media Training (Harvard Business Review)

Enterprise Collaboration Adoption Strategies – 10 Key Steps & Best Practices (AIIM.org)

Enterprise Collaboration: Start Celebrating Adoption, Not Deployment (CMS Wire)