Put yourself in your colleagues’ shoes when introducing an internal social platform to the workplace.
There’s every chance they’re not keen on using it and, as internal communicators, it’s our task to convince them of its merits.
No one said the role of IC is easy, did they?
But starting with a considered approach and a clear strategy can help your new social tool flourish whether you’re using Yammer, Slack, Basecamp or one of the countless others.
Writing for the IoIC’s April edition of Inside Out magazine, Angela Ashenden, of MWD Advisors, said: “It’s no good just saying ‘Go collaborate’. You have to help people identify situations where they might use it – or particular groups of people they might use it with.
“One of the most obvious benefits is getting answers quicker. If someone has a problem that needs to be solved quickly, they might go through their personal list of contacts or email their team.
“You can point out that, with a network, your audience is bigger and the speed with which questions are answered will be quicker – this is often the thing that gets people on board.”
She makes a pertinent point: there is little point establishing a social network without a concise understanding of how the platform works and what results you expect it to deliver.
So how do you encourage reluctant colleagues to adopt the company’s shiny new enterprise network?
Here’s my advice:
* Know the social platform inside out. Having a thorough understanding of the system will help you confidently aid others.
* Be buoyant. Social is a great way of connecting people. Don’t be shy about applauding its benefits.
* Encourage senior leadership to get involved. It’ll make a difference.
* Aid conversations and promote transparency at all costs.
* Prepare social guidelines before the launch, ensuring everyone is aware of the boundaries.
* Let employees take ownership and run with it.
* Ram key business messages down people’s throats. It turns people off. Be subtle.
* Expect people to use it without proper preparation and an introduction to boost understanding.
* Direct conversation. A gentle steer now and again is fine but discussions should remain organic.
* Forget that social is two-way communication. Be prepared for this – it’s not a push channel for comms!
Getting it right is worth the effort. If there’s any doubt, here’s a lovely infographic from GaggleAMP – highlighting the benefits of employee advocacy.