Do you use social media tools for staff engagement?
Some of the obvious benefits for an organisation deploying social media tools are using them internally – making it easier for co-workers to collaborate, share and communicate.
There are plenty of good examples around. Not least across government where internal wikis and blogs are pretty common place – though there is a lack of consistency in their application. Just like the real world, some organisations get it, and others haven’t quite woken up to the opportunities yet.
The benefits of internal wikis and blogs are obvious. But what about using other social media tools. How about replacing the online staff directory with a Facebook / LinkedIn type application? (maybe MySpace is one example too far in this context).
Our own staff directory is creaking and high maintenance to update – hand coded html pages that can only be searched using the browser find function. Not very user friendly. Our friends in the IT department have been working on a database driven replacement for a while now with some success.
But the raging success of the civil service group on Facebook (13,365 members and counting) makes me wonder, shouldn’t we stop trying to build tools from scratch when users are more than happy using the far more flexible functionality of social networking tools to create profiles, connect with like minded people etc?
The opportunity to join or create groups related to your business area, professional interests, technical specialism, social activities etc is very compelling.
Jeremiah Owyang published a list of social networking platforms that organisations can deploy to create new communities a while back. Has anybody got experience of actually implementing something like this across an intranet? Love to know your experiences. Anyone got thoughts on the viability of this? Is it simply a case of plugging a few boxes into the network and designing a web front end?
Of course, the obvious answer would be to just give everyone access to Facebookto et al and allow the communities to find themselves. But that’s not feasible at the moment for a host of reason. However a social media platform deployed across the government secure intranet (GSI) that would let all civil servants greater networking opportunities would be nice. The current GSI directory ain’t much cop either…