Today, more than 1.5 billion people around the globe have a social networking account. The social network has become an accepted part of our everyday life and a primary means of communication for many individuals in their personal lives. The business world has been slower to adopt these technologies and keep pace with the rapidly changing social landscape. However the tide is turning as tools like Yammer have pushed the envelope in facilitating social working in the enterprise.
We at BrightStarr have been advocates of Enterprise Social for quite some time and have met with all manner of reasons as to why companies are avoiding adoption. What we have found through both our own experience and that of our clients, is that many of these objections are actually very common myths that can be avoided with the right approach and good implementation. We want to remove the fear of some of these easily avoidable pitfalls and empower you to adopt a more social approach to collaboration in the work place through revealing these top 5 myths.
1. I don't have time for social
In the enterprise today there are already many demands on people’s time. Meetings, email, conference calls, more email. Who has the time to spend on social? Even with all of the demands for our time and attention, we are incredibly inefficient in our communication. Do you text at work? Do you check your email during meetings? What about Facebook? Still can’t spare 5 minutes of your day to engage with your co-workers? A typical post to Yammer takes less than a minute to compose. Commenting on a post, just a few seconds. When your communication becomes more effective you may find that you have more time to spend on all the other activities that you need to do in your day to day.
2. People will post inappropriate comments and content
Granted this is a possibility. In actuality this is a very rare occurrence and it is equally likely that someone could send an inappropriate email to the entire company. Social is not synonymous with lack of culpability, and platforms like Yammer are not anonymous networks. Therefore in the event that an inappropriate usage does occur, the individual can be dealt with quickly and in an appropriate manner. Yammer becomes a self-policing network and depriving the 99.9% of your staff that will benefit, to protect against the 0.1% that might use the tool inappropriately, does not seem like a sound business decision.
3. Social tools will lead to wasted time and reduce productivity
Anyone who has spent any time at all "farming" on Facebook knows a thing or two about wasted time. Social in the enterprise is about bringing people together to share information more effectively. As a tool it is geared around making people more effective, not less. Don't you get tired of answering the same questions over and over through email, how productive is that? The ability to crowd source an idea, gather feedback, or quickly find an answer to a pressing business question has the potential to transform the way you do business. Our experience has genuinely been that organizations with active and engaged social networks are actually more effective.
4. If you build it they will come
This may work in the movies but not so much for Enterprise Social. Many organizations have deployed enterprise social networks only to struggle with user adoption; typically the missing ingredient is executive buy-in. People are led by example, why should I commit to working socially when the executive team does not participate. When the enterprise social network is active from the top down and the bottom up, transformational change is possible.
5. Enterprise Social is not as secure as other forms of communication
While there is some validity to this concern, there is little difference with other forms of communication within the enterprise. Consider E-Mail and Instant Message. What stops a person from sharing sensitive information improperly? Like other enterprise tools Yammer has built in governance controls. It can be synchronized with your Active Directory giving you complete control over access. The data is fully accessible through documented API's, so it can be backed up and restored in compliance scenarios. Enterprise Social may challenge the way we think about data security, but it is built for the enterprise.
Successful deployment of Enterprise Social requires careful planning and coordination. BrightStarr is an industry leader in building Social Intranet Solutions and if this myth busting blog was helpful, then why not register for our latest Webinar to get even more hot tips on how Enterprise Social could work for you.