An enterprise social network (or ESN) is a collaborative platform that reappropriates the conventions of the social networks that we all use on a daily basis. It is only accessible to people who belong to the company’s ecosystem: both internal stakeholders (executives, managers and employees) and external stakeholders (customers, suppliers, service providers, partners and subcontractors), and it aims to change communication practices within the company’s ecosystem.
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Reduce the weight of hierarchy
Executives can post comments in the workflow like any other employee, and thus exchange with everyone at the same time. This allows them to be more accessible.
Enable cross-functional communication
With enterprise social networks, the whole way we communicate is changing. No more email exchanges that lead nowhere, with an endless list of people Cc’ing each other. No more emails where no one really knows who they’re addressing, and whether to reply to them. No more attachments sitting at the bottom of the inboxes of colleagues who have left the company. No more lost information.
On your enterprise social network, communication is more cross-functional, more distributed. Exchanges are shared and information is accessible to all, in real time. It is so much easier to find a document retrospectively!
Encourage the exchange of knowledge
A definite advantage of using an enterprise social network is that it simplifies the connection between employees who sometimes do not have the same skills, do not belong to the same department/service, and do not even work on the same site. In short, it creates bridges between employees.
There’s nothing like it to create internal emulation and encourage peer-to-peer knowledge sharing. Thanks to enterprise social networks, it is easier for everyone to develop skills on new issues through peer-to-peer transmission.
Managing a project or organizing an event often requires a lot of email exchanges. With an internal social network, instant messaging and especially groups/communities will greatly simplify the organization of your events.
Exchange files and important information, which will appear in the discussion thread of all collaborators linked to the project. On some ESN (e.g. Talkspirit), a system for assigning tasks and tracking the status of each task makes project management easier.
Strengthen your employees’ sense of belonging
The enterprise social network also has the advantage of bringing the corporate culture to life and strengthening the sense of belonging. The achievements of one another, the collective successes, are easily showcased.
All of this facilitates the development of a common vision, around which your various employees can come together. Pride of belonging and cohesion are created and strengthened.
Free up your employees’ email boxes
Receiving dozens or even hundreds of emails a day is harmful in many ways: it overloads messaging and mail servers, wastes employees’ time, and disrupts our ability to concentrate.
Who hasn’t interrupted a task to take a look at their email or answer one of them? The ESN makes it possible to limit the exchange of internal emails, or even to replace internal emails completely with chat features or group conversations. Benefits for the employee: freeing up time and relieving everyone’s mind.
Fight the mania for meetings
The business world, as we know, is fond of meetings. Sometimes to an excessive degree. Everyone has already experienced this type of meeting where his presence was not frankly useful, and has already attended one of those endless meetings that do not lead to any decision making.
These time-consuming meetings are often very frustrating for employees who are involved in their work and who want to “get things going”.
The good news is that the enterprise social network will help you fight against this mania for meetings.
- via chat or discussion groups, exchanges can take place without the need for a formal meeting;
- via videoconferencing, your collaborators can exchange without the need for a physical meeting.
A serious time saver, and one less frustration for your most committed members.
Give meaning to your employees’ work
As a small ant in a big machine, especially in a large group, it is not always easy for an employee to understand the meaning of his work and his missions in the middle of complex cogs.
By showcasing the achievements of employees and making them visible to their colleagues, the enterprise social network allows everyone to appreciate the importance of their work and that of others. It is also an opportunity for management to give feedback and to congratulate / encourage teams.
This way everyone can better situate themselves and strengthen the esteem in which they are held by the other employees of the company. Gaining more meaning: an essential motivational element, at the heart of what is called the “employee experience”. The latter, which is crucial for the attractiveness of the company and the retention of talent, has become essential for the Human Resources managers in our companies.
The ESN is therefore deeply rooted in the life of the company, and has beneficial effects on a wide range of issues. The advantages of an enterprise social network are numerous!
Are you interested in setting up an ESN within your company? Or reconsidering the direction of your current enterprise social network? Don’t hesitate to contact us: the Talkspirit teams are at your service to advise and support you.
– Author: Paul Maubareyt