Winning at Enterprise Social Media in 5 Steps!!
View imageIn the movie "Field of Dreams," the main character hears a voice in his cornfield whispering "If you build it...he will come." While this made for great family entertainment, this phase has no place in the implementation of new business processes and technologies such as ERPs, CRMs, or even Social Media Platforms. "If you build, (he) they will come" is at best wishful thinking. No, don't be naïve and think that just because you built it the people in your organization will actually use it. This is especially true with Enterprise Social Media platforms. Read on to learn how our Organizational Change Management consultants can help bring the "context" and best practice engagement methods to your Enterprise Social Media deployment that will drive user adoption!
We have led countless social media collaboration engagements with our clients across all industries using multiple tools and platforms - Saba People Cloud, SharePoint, and SocialEdge to name a few. Here we have distilled our lessons learned for driving user adoption of Enterprise Social Platforms into five steps:
Step 1 - Define goals. What's your context? Ask yourself what business or organizational problems do you want to solve with social media collaboration, why are your conventional methods not working, and what are your specific goals for using Enterprise Social Media? You clearly have one in mind if you've decided to try Enterprise Social Networking tools. When you pick a goal, make sure it's not too broad. For example, deciding to use Enterprise Social Media for the purposes of "Communication" is great but doesn't specify a goal. If you want "Communication", make sure to further define communication with something like "We'd like to increase communication between our health and environmental safety professionals within the Americas region around the impending government regulation changes".
Step 2 - Find Champions. You need a Social Media Evangelist! Know who in your company will support the initiative, create content, and be eager to get on board. Find early adopters who are energized, want to adopt, and are willing to be held accountable for the success of this implementation. We call these people "Adoption Accelerators". When the Adoption Accelerators start to use the tool, they will build awareness and create success stories that will be shared with other employees. Remember, a happy user attracts new happy users just like a crowd attracts a crowd.
Step 3 - Understand your organization's culture. Take a look at your company's culture, norms, and values. Is your organization built on silos or collaboration? Do you recognize individuals for exemplary work? In either case you will need to understand how your culture operates so you can engage your people across boundaries to solve business problems, drive innovation, and deliver greater value to the organization. Implementing Enterprise Social Media tools requires time as well as support for individuals to alter their behavior. Take time to understand your existing culture and then look for cultural quick wins that support your need for Enterprise Social Media. Leverage the quick wins to help shape your future culture and consider how the features of your social platform can help enable you to get there.
Step 4 - Behavior. Once you have your desired culture documented, it's time to start understanding what kind of behaviors will need to be developed. Provide behavior exercises for the folks who will be using Enterprise Social Media. For example, set up group lunches where everyone uses the tool or creates reminders in calendars to alert users to log in and use the social system. You need to take a proactive approach to changing employee behavior. The most common mistake for those implementing Enterprise Social Media is to assume employees will use the tool just like they use external social tools like Facebook and LinkedIn. At the end of the day, you need to ask yourself: how are you going to hold users accountable for their use of the tool?
Step 5 - Organizational Design. The last winning step in enacting Enterprise Social Media is a sum of the previous four steps. Organizational Design is knowing that the goals, adoption accelerators, culture and behaviors are used to break down the functional siloes and create collaboration. Ensure you hold your folks accountable, but take whatever steps are necessary to break down the organizational barriers so you can truly harness Enterprise Social Media.
Remember the phase "If you build it, (he) they will come" works only in the movies. Here in the real world we have to do the heavy lifting to drive change and user adoption. When the people in your organization collaborate, miracles really do come true!!
Have you had a successful Enterprise Social Media implementation? We would love to hear your stories.
Hendrix, Partner Organizational Transformation, Consulting & Systems Integration
- Milan Dave, Senior Principal Organizational Transformation, Consulting & Systems Integration