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  • Posts tagged ‘information silos’

    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!

    Social Software Thrives in South Australian Government

    I’ve had a great time the past week in Australia, talking with customers and practitioners about how they’re utilizing social software to eliminate information silos, unlock knowledge, and improve their core business processes. One area that’s been particularly amazing to observe down here is the traction we’re seeing in government.

    During the past year, governments of all shapes and sizes have been utilizing enterprise social software to enable their employees to collaborate faster across organizational boundaries to serve constituents more efficiently, giving rise to a trend that’s becoming more widely known as Government 2.0. In the United States, Socialtext was added to the GSA schedule, and we’ve welcomed government customers like the Defense Acquisition University (DAU).

    But we’ve been seeing similar needs in governmental organizations internationally, such as here in Australia, where we’ll be holding a Government 2.0 event on December 2 in Melbourne with a Socialtext customer, the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC) South Australia. DPC is the principal government agency in South Australia. It delivers specialist policy advice and programs in a number of areas including social inclusion, the arts, and sustainability and climate change.

    Adelaide, South Australia

    DPC embraced Socialtext to help its 1,200 employees manage projects online, collaborate across departmental silos, share expertise and improve awareness of their colleagues’ day-to-day activities.

    Martin Jackson, the CIO of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, is spearheading the effort. The impetus: The DPC’s chief executive wanted to see the organization managed more like a business and less like a typical government bureaucracy. With the Premier himself being an active Twitter user, the department is now using Socialtext Signals, our private microblogging tool, to share work, thoughts and ideas with each other in real-time. Because Signals is integrated with deeper collaboration tools like wikis, blogs and social spreadsheets, employees have a range of ways in which they can access and share knowledge.

    Because government regulations often stipulate that data must be stored behind the firewall, DPC uses our secure, on-site SaaS appliance. This gives them the benefits of SaaS, but the security of on-premise software.

    Prior to Socialtext, the process of sharing information at DPC typically took place over e-mail and shared drives, cluttered with documents that had all sorts of different naming conventions. Now, Martin sees a lot of that project management and sharing to happen inside Socialtext, which he says eliminates information silos.

    I’ve really enjoyed spending the time with Martin and his team, and I’m excited to share what I’ve learned with Eugene and the rest of my fellow Socialtexters when I return home. Now I’m off to Sydney, where I’ll be checking in with some more customers and Australian press and analysts.

    Socialtext to Host Government 2.0 Event in Australia

    During the past year, more government organizations have harnessed social software to make it easier for employees to share knowledge, expertise and ideas across organizational silos. In doing so, government organizations can improve the flexibility of their business processes, cultivate new ideas, and serve constituents more efficiently. In September, Socialtext was added to the GSA schedule, and we featured some of our government customers, including the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) .

    But this “Government 2.0″ phenomenon hasn’t been just limited to the United States. In Australia, for example, we’ve been seeing a lot of traction for social software inside government agencies. On December 2, in Melbourne, we’ll be hosting a special event for government agencies in Australia looking to understand the benefits of social software. The event will feature a Socialtext customer, The Department of the Premier and Cabinet in South Australia, who will share their experiences using social software with peers in attendance. Their talk will be followed by a discussion and networking period.

    We want to create an intimate setting for this event, where attendees can have candid discussions about their current or future use of social software. So please register as soon as you can as space will be limited.

    Elsevier Embraces Social Software to Compete in New Markets

    For businesses in any industry, entering a new market creates both new opportunities and challenges. It requires tight coordination and communication across organizational silos — from product development, to sales & marketing on the front lines.

    So when Elsevier, a leading publisher of scientific and technical journals, went to launch a new service aimed at academic institutions, they turned to Socialtext to keep their teams coordinated across different departments. And today, I’m happy to announce that we’ve published a full case study on Elsevier’s experiences.

    With social software, Elsevier has improved the quality of information sales people take to customers, increased the speed with which they can gather and analyze competitive intelligence, and decreased the time to implement product feedback from customers.

    “With Socialtext, we can keep everyone in synch and informed of critical changes in the market that their colleagues encounter when meeting with customers. Because Socialtext is flexible and easy to use, they can work with their colleagues on crafting the material and insight they need to win in this new market.”–  Yukun Harsono, Vice President, Product Marketing

    We’re really excited about this case study because it highlights a pain point that we think is pretty pervasive throughout many industries (like publishing): How do companies create opportunities in periods of intense change? We think social software lets employees take change and turn it to their company’s advantage, and we’re proud of Elsevier’s success.

    Video Interview: Socialtext Co-Founder Ross Mayfield on Eliminating Knowledge Silos

    At the Enterprise 2.0 Conference this week, the Socialtext team has been very focused on how companies can build a social layer across their organizations to eliminate information silos that hamper business performance. Socialtext Connect, for example, allows companies to take events from systems of record (CRM, ERP, etc.) across their company, and inject them as streams inside of Socialtext’s social software platform — where employees can discuss, collaborate, and take action in real-time.

    Our president and co-founder, Ross Mayfield, sat down for this video interview with Joshua Hoffman of Research Access, where he discussed how Connect can tear down knowledge silos to accelerate business performance. Ross also provided a little history about the evolution of BarCamp

    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.


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