Does Your Company Need An Internal Social Network?
Wow! That’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It was amazing how quickly it grew. The idea of creating something similar to Facebook but keeping it within the company has been a constant thought in CEOs’ heads. It’s a beautiful idea to allow employees to quickly and seamlessly exchange ideas. But will this work in real life?
The Attrayantness of an Internal Social Network
We are the CIO and work for a boss that is responsible for the entire company. This boss is keen to use the power of information technology to improve the productivity of his or her company. This person is not averse to the rise of Facebook – they might even be already using Facebook. Any CEO can think of a Facebook-like system that could be created within their company. This is when you suddenly have another job.
People who struggle to find the correct information are one of the greatest productivity killers for any company. We’ve tried many different solutions over the years, each with different results. Everyone is familiar with email as the solution. This has been both a blessing as well as a curse. Many people receive too many emails to be able to go through them all in one day, so it is common for requests to sit idle for too long.
The idea of an internal social networking network is a great solution. Your CEO can envision a network that is efficient and allows employees to communicate quickly with each other. They see a network of people working together on the same project, all in constant contact with one another. They promptly share any new information that becomes available with the rest of the team, who then evaluate it using their experts. This internal social network world is a paradise where the right decisions are made quickly and taken into action immediately.
The harsh reality of internal social networks
Although the idea of creating an internal social network may sound fantastic, it is tough to implement. Any CIO must decide which social networking tool she or he will use. You have two options. Either you can go out and purchase a standalone social networking app (e.g., You can either go out and get a standalone social networking application (e.g., Yammer), or you can look for a vendor who can add social networking functionality to existing tools (e.g., Salesforce.com).
You’ll soon realize that it is just the beginning of the work once you have implemented these social networking tools. The biggest problem you will face is that workers won’t be able to use the device if they don’t understand how it works. This will require a champion at all levels of the company to lead this initiative. It is essential to realize that information shared by people will be transparent and accessible to everyone. All employees may welcome this transparency.
CIOs often have to deal with the fact that workers might believe social media are not appropriate in their industry. This feeling is more common in conservative industries. Privacy issues will likely surface quickly. These networks will require your workers to share some of their personal information. They must join these networks, so it is essential that you assure them that they will be safe.
What Does All This Mean for You?
It’s almost impossible not to notice the incredible growth of today’s most popular social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, and others. CEOs have been reading articles that tell them to use Facebook in their companies to improve communication between employees. This idea will quickly become yours if the CEO agrees to take action.
An internal social network is an excellent idea for many reasons. It can increase productivity and enable employees to share more critical information. But, CIOs soon discover that there are many issues when such a network is implemented. The new system must be used by employees. The network must be supported by the top management. The network will make information available to all, and everyone will be required to share some personal information.
It is a beautiful idea to have an internal social network. The reality is much more complex. The truth is that workers feel overwhelmed and add a social networking tool to their already overwhelming workload. To make this initiative a success, you will need to spend the time to explain to employees the benefits of the new tool. It wasn’t easy to grow Facebook. And it won’t be easy to expand your company’s social network.