Employees publish - senior managers "NO WAY!"
Where is fear coming from of social intranets for C level managers ?
Came up with mock screen capture deck.
Modified each one with more and more social features.
Successive ones moved from third to first person.
Then added microblog to the screen capture.
Then changed top microblog item to be more and more inflammatory.
Planned trigger points - non-related information / personal opinions / information mildly inflamatory
used microblog posts to introduce the trigger points.
Then went through captures with WHY they bothered C level managers in during interviews. Were looking for "reach for the phone moment"
Eight major concerns, 3 were US business law related
Top 5 (may or may not be legitimate concerns, these are fears)
- lack of social filters,
some things JUST don't get talked about at work e.g. bald ceo comes back from holiday with hair.
There are people who don't know the orgs social norms. New hires / professionals
Hip young person would embarass self and thus embarass those who hired him.
Has occoured - 5%
others would be concerned - 35%
- diffusion of offical communication
how does the employee know if it is Offical ?
How can employees know what they are accountable on ?
"Social intranet is another channel - enterprise was once afraid of email too."
less concerned with actual productivity loss, more concerned with perceived loss of productivity.
45% respondents were worried about what others might think
- asymmetrical usage,
some will communicate a lot
some won't communicate much
What value judgements will people draw from this ?
Of all questions this was highest with "has occoured"
"comfort with social intranet tools is likely generational"
- Mob mentality
Number one issue for C level.
"if one person complains everyone will complain" "broken window theory"
coupled it with "organisational surface tension" . A lot of managers live in fear of all the unhappy employees speaking up at the same time.
second highest in survey "has occoured"
comments "yup happened here"
"Easiest concern to fix is a specific, tactical one. Much more difficult to fix are systemic culture shifts. The things you have to read between the lines to find out. Employee empowerment is the biggest systemic culture shift"
Interviews done with C level - survey respondents done by intranet managers
We then surveyed major concerns. Got 50 responses, with great comments from US Scandinavia , mostly large corporates
Overall - "other people will be concerned" was much more the issue than the people actually involved.
Overall move to social intranet, is like move from newspaper to the town hall model. So decision makers will be uncomfortable.
1 - localise communication, inter team communication is less scary. "communication needs context, knowing them offline gives the context". Localisation builds context.
2 - ease employees into deep end. Tie the ability to contribute to the time in organisation. Access and priviledges expand with time elapsed from date of hire.
e.g. first 30days intranet read only
3 - leverage your vendor's experience
Some fears are irrational therefore you tend to pretend issue doesn't exist
Other people have solved your issue
4 - benefit must be sold
Remember some people believe "all organisational communication carries risk"
Do not assume the decision maker understands the benefit or ROI
Common theme from surveys
"social intranet is just another communication channel" - best argument , it stands alongside all other tools e.g. phone, email
Benefits of social intranet ?
- employee empowerment means different things to employees over C level managers. Easy to overcome by demonstrating speed questions are answered e.g. yammer.
- allows management to keep finger on pulse of organisation
Don't really need one that is too different from the email policy you have. Perhaps an appendix to it.
External social media policy is very different.
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