Employees want to connect with each other, and more importantly, they want to connect with the company and senior management. A study by Towers Perrin found that employees overwhelmingly want to know “that leadership is interested in them.”
Social media on the corporate intranet (Intranet 2.0) presents a unique opportunity for all employees at all levels and geographies to better connect, and share information and knowledge they might not otherwise share or learn. In fact, distance – both geographical and intellectual – between these connections is often significant with little if any filtering from one side to the next; an information gap that is not easily bridged in larger, dispersed organizations. For example, the Towers Perrion study also found that:
- 43% of employees do not feel they know enough about their own customers
- 65% of employees do not feel they know enough about the competition to be fully effective
- Only 39% of employees feel they are informed about the differences between their company’s products and the competition
Social networking allows employees to connect with relevant or related individuals by subject matter, job description, geographic location, and by personal networks to help bridge this information gap. In fact, for those social media doubting-Thomases that question the value of Intranet 2.0, there are increasingly more numbers that quantify the measured value:
- 52% of organizations using Web 2.0 achieved Best- in-Class performance (5% didn’t) (Aberdeen Group)
- Companies using Web 2.0 tools achieved 18% increase in engagement (1% of those that didn’t) (Aberdeen Group)
- Sabre has already attributed $500k in savings to their employee social networking tool
- Cisco attributes $millions in savings to their wikis
Leading organizations that understand the power of Intranet 2.0 are blazing some incredible trails. Early adopters are finding positive business results by helping employees connect through "internal Facebooks." By effectively harnessing these new networks, organizations are seeing positive impacts on internal brand building, as well as employee engagement, satisfaction and motivation -- which leads to higher levels of productivity, revenue, and profit.
But the world of the internal social network is the opposite of command & control. That said, reasonable guidelines, a group of informal influencers, and a posse of community managers who help keep the dialog lively and the network on track.