The ubiquitous nature of social media today makes it hard to discount its presence in our lives. Social media, by virtue of its fast and efficient way of sharing and disseminating thoughts and ideas has found its share of admirers seeking its inclusion within the corporate enterprise. As such, its impact on organizational productivity assumes noteworthy significance here.
Intranets, in their primary role of enabling collaborations and knowledge sharing, exhibit, as compared to their social media counterparts, a more formalized and compartmentalized approach to interactions and information flow. From providing efficient functionalities to address technical, infrastructural and employee issues, to providing a central repository to access presentations and information from remote locations, intranets are created customized to enterprise demands with the sole purpose of driving employee engagement and enhancing productivity.
The importance of being Social
So, where does social media figure in an organization’s efforts to ensure greater employee productivity? It is of course, understood that apart from providing functionalities that enable effective enterprise functions, what actually helps organizations achieve productivity targets is an effective exchange of ideas and viewpoints, while providing a platform for effective employee engagement.
Social media, by virtue of its approachability and user friendly nature, enables employees to contribute, discover and interact with their peers and others, and ascertain what they have to offer in terms of skill sets, knowledge and experience. Moreover, applications that allow people to initiate conversations, create and maintain open forum discussions and knowledge sessions, and discover newer avenue of business, all in an informal personal environment, go a long way in building effective relationships and a more productive atmosphere.
The best of both worlds
But this is no reason why we should dismiss the intranet. Social media applications, for the most part, lack the organization and structure that most organizations are built upon. Moreover, a well structured navigation system and a content management system that provides easy access to required data is an organizational requisite, which again, is something that most social sites fall short of providing.
In order to get the best of both worlds, intranets thus designed with evolving enterprise needs in consideration, could be integrated with applications that drive engagement and interactivity, and thus provide a platform for driving productivity and attaining organizational goals.
A sampling of the potential offered by such a union is offered below:
- Functionality that enables voting and recommending of articles considered relevant, helpful or interesting.
- Dynamic news feeds that provide actionable, critical information for employees to know and act on.
- Internal networking applications that apart from providing employee contact details, also list areas of individual expertise, and thus make it easier for employees to find one another to collaborate on projects and get questions answered, among other requirements.
- Enterprise/employee generated section, showcasing podcasts, photos, videos, that includes training videos, offsite trips, company outings etc.
- Blogs and forums, that while providing efficient exchange of ideas and views, could evolve to become a barometer of enterprise thought.
Essentially, it all percolates down to the fact that a successful intranet deployment should integrate the advantages of social media with the core applications already proven to enhance corporate information sharing and effective employee engagement.