• All Posts
  • Application Development
  • Customer Success
  • Enterprise 2.0
  • News & Events
  • Product Updates
  • Tips & Tricks
  • Posts tagged ‘business processes’

    5 Tips for Integrating Social Collaboration into Your HR Department

    When it comes to the workplace, there is no better place for social collaboration. The ability to share and discuss in a real-time platform makes collaboration and everyday communication easier and more effective.

    While everyone in the office will benefit from social integration, the process should start in your HR department. While HR software has evolved immensely over the years, social platforms allow the entire office to work as one in the most efficient way. From onboarding new Millennial employees, to collecting important paperwork, your human resources department has the most to gain from social.

    The Onboard Process

    While many HR professionals have moved to the world of social media to find the right candidates, it’s the onboarding process that has much to gain from social opportunities. Experts here at SocialText.com have previously discussed opportunity within the onboarding process, suggesting, “Social tools can be used to streamline the processes associated with bringing on a new hire and provide a better overall experience.” So, how can you integrate the process in your business?

    • Adapt to learning styles: Not every new hire will move at the same pace or adapt as quickly as one another. Thus, using a social onboarding process allows them to take time outside of work to go through the process instead of using all in-house materials only available within the office.
    • Include everyone: New employees may often feel lost in a sea of new faces and duties. When utilizing social onboarding you can include everyone within the company.

    Sharing Documentation

    Your HR department is responsible for more paperwork than they’d like to be. From standard business insurance forms to emergency contact info and scheduling, the process of manually filling out forms and keeping them in up to date is inefficient, costing you time and money. A social program may allow employees to view, hand-in and edit important information themselves.

    • Record keeping: Even with as little as 50 employees, it can be time consuming to update records as changes happen; a social program can improve that process. For example, employees can update spousal and address changes themselves from within your social program. This takes work out of your HR department’s hands and lets employees take charge of this important information themselves.

    Internal Social Networks

    While standard business practices have much to gain from social collaboration, your culture can benefit even more so. Your employees utilize a variety of social networks outside of work to stay in touch with friends and family, so why not bring a similar platform into the office.

    Utilizing social within the office not only improves collaboration but allows your employees to connect with one another on a level that is familiar to them. There are a number of ways you can do this.

    • Popular networks: Networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to have private groups, and this is a great place to gather your employees. Here you can share company photos and encourage conversation.
    • In-office documents: Real-time editing and sharing makes your office move most efficiently throughout the day; no documents lost to inbox overload, etc.

    While our personal lives are getting more social with each new network, so is the business world. With younger employees joining the workforce in large numbers, it’s important that finding the most efficient and effective way to engage them while maintaining standard business practices; social collaboration within your HR department is a smart way to achieve that all important balance.

    Jessica Sanders, a guest contributor to the Socialtext blog, is an avid small business writer. As the marketing copyeditor of www.ResourceNation.com, she touches on a range of topics such as business management. Find Resource Nation on Facebook, too!

    Webinar Recording: See How Two Socialtext Customers Leverage Knowledge with Social Software

    Yesterday, Socialtext participated in a KMWorld webinar called “Social Tools for Business: Engage, Optimize, Collaborate.” Alan Lepofsky, our Director of Product Marketing, gave a talk on how social software brings people to the forefront by not only surfacing what content and knowledge is shared across a company, but by which colleagues. He also talked about how social tools enhance key business processes, encourage expertise sharing, and eliminate knowledge silos.

    He highlighted these themes through the lens of two Socialtext customers: GT Nexus, a global supply chain company, and Hayes Knight, an accounting firm in Australia and New Zealand. Below are slides from yesterday’s webinar, along with Alan’s commentary. We hope you enjoy them, and let us know if you have any questions.

    Accounting Consultancy Hayes Knight Utilizes Socialtext Connect To Serve Customers Faster

    With the recent launch of Socialtext Connect, Socialtext customers have begun surfacing events from other critical business applications (CRM, ERP, etc.) inside of Socialtext Signals and Activity Streams. This gives employees the ability to see relevant work their colleagues do in other systems, engage in conversations around those events, and take action on them.

    One great example is Hayes Knight, an Australian accounting and consulting firm. Hayes Knight uses Socialtext to share knowledge and provide its clients with the best and most up to date information about tax and accounting issues. Hayes Knight utilized Socialtext Connect to trigger a microblogging message when critical actions occur inside of Salesforce.com.

    Hayes Knight’s knowledge management company, Knowledge Shop, provides a web-based member service subscribed to by 500 accounting firms and the thousands of accountants who work for them. It serves as a place for members to ask questions about accounting issues and get access to all kinds of tax and accounting information that experts at Knowledge Shop deal with everyday. The questions range from general accounting questions, to more complex tax advice issues.

    The customer service representatives for Knowledge Shop use Salesforce.com to manage membership information, seminar registrations, and to assign and track questions for Knowledge Shop advisers. When a rep enters a question into Salesforce.com from a Knowledge Shop member, the service rep can push that question into Socialtext Signals with the click of a button. Even though the question is addressed to a specific tax adviser, Hayes Knight finds value in letting others see the questions being asked.

    Then the Knowledge Shop adviser documents answers in Socialtext Workspaces, for current and future use. Once they’re completed, using a customized button inside Socialtext, they can send the proper answer back to Salesforce.com for processing.

    Hayes Knight CTO Jack Pedzikiewicz used Socialtext Connect to perform the integration. The ReST API within Socialtext Connect allows Socialtext customers to take events from a variety of other enterprise systems and surface them inside of Signals. Jack says he wants the advisers working in Socialtext because the software has deep collaboration features that allow them to create, share and capture knowledge −− something they wouldn’t get if they worked in Salesforce.com.

    “Signals allows us to respond faster,” Jack told me recently in a video chat. “The speed with which we’re answering questions has been cut in half, and is a full 7−8 minutes faster on average. The wonderful thing is, as we capture these great answers inside of Socialtext workspaces, we also cut back on repetition where questions cover the same issue and build best of breed responses and knowledge on key issues of importance. It allows us to serve our customers faster and more consistently.”

    We’re always looking for more great uses of Socialtext Connect to share. Please feel free to send me yours. Customers or business partners interested in joining our Socialtext Developer community, where practitioners can learn how to get the most from Socialtext Connect and share best practices, please contact us at socialdev@socialtext.com.

    The End of the Culture 2.0 Crusade?

    There have been a lot of great summaries of what was discussed at last week’s Enterprise 2.0 show in Boston. But for me, the most interesting topic was one that was not discussed: Culture.

    That’s a big change.

    Right up until a few months ago, Enterprise 2.0 discourse was dominated by a movement which I like to call the “Culture Crusade.” A collection of practitioners, analysts, consultants, and vendors alike have been saying that changing organizational culture is the key to successful deployment of enterprise social software. “If you don’t have a collaborative culture,” says the crusader, “all the tools in the world won’t help you.” The crusaders cited culture as the reason for failed implementations that led to the familiar phrase, “The tools were great, but we just don’t have the culture.” Consultants exhorted companies to make sure that their social software projects included a cultural change component.

    Last week, the Enterprise 2.0 world turned a corner. Nobody pounded the table for cultural change. Nobody talked about incentives or change management. Nobody talked about transparency or modeling collaborative behavior.

    Instead, people talked about process.

    Eugene Lee focused his keynote on process. Mike Gotta and Marcia O’Conner talked about it in a breakout on microblogging. Rachel Happe, Dennis Howlett, Sameer Patel, and Ted Schaedler talked about it in our sidebar conversations and on blogs. The growing consensus: Social software delivers business value when it integrates with business process.

    Process, rather than culture, is increasingly seen as the key enabler of social software in the enterprise. Rather than wringing our hands and gnashing our teeth about how to change organizational culture, we’re looking at how to insert social tools into the existing business process. Conversely, we’re also starting to look at how business processes can be redesigned and optimized now that these social tools are available.

    This is the most pragmatic shift in focus since the inception of Enterprise 2.0. It will have huge effects on the pervasiveness of social software in the enterprise, because it shows a clear path to the business value companies can realize from their implementations.

    I’ve been arguing for some time that social software achieves widespread adoption only when workers use it in the flow of work. Asking your colleagues to step outside their daily processes and tools to share what they know or network with others won’t get you very far. (Trust me, I’ve tried.) Bringing your colleagues collaborative tools and practices that make their daily processes better, faster, cheaper, and more interesting does work. It’s all about process. Improve the process, you win. Don’t improve the process, you lose.

    We are far better at managing process than at managing organizational culture. We know how to study process, how to assess its breakdowns, how to re-engineer it, how to build tools that enable it. The shift to process means that, as they so rarely say in New England, you can get there from here. There’s a way to get to the types of processes and organizations to which we all aspire.

    We also now have a workable approach to quantifying social software ROI. Business process, almost by definition, are measurable. Well-run companies know what metrics matter for each business process. They know how to measure those metrics. They understand the downstream effect that changes in their metrics have on the effectiveness of the process, and ultimately on company’s overall business performance. When we integrate social software into business processes, we automatically inherit the tools, frameworks, and benchmarks that have been developed in support of those processes.

    For the first time, we can get there from here.

    About This Blog

    Weblog on gaining business results from social software.

    On this blog, Socialtext staffers and customers explore how companies can gain the most business value from their use of enterprise social software, including microblogging, social networking, filtered activity streams, widget-based dashboards, blogs and wikis.

    Search

    Find us on Facebook

    Archives

    Recent Posts

    Recent Tweets


    From Warm-up to Winner’s Podium: Social Onboarding Goes for the Gold

    Free Recorded Webinar with Peoplefluent

    Join Socialtext and Peoplefluent as we discuss how Social Onboarding can help your business get new hires engaged and working faster!