Archive: Aug 2013

  1. Should You Be Using an Enterprise Social Network?

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    We have evangelised for many years that the best way of creating widespread involvement is through powerful and effective live experiences and events. That’s certainly the message we were conveying at last month’s Melcrum Live conference anyway.

    However over the last few years the way we communicate and involve has changed.  Twitter, Facebook and the increasingly integrated nature of the mobile web are allowing us to connect in ways we’d never previously considered. In our personal lives, the way we interact, share and communicate is evolving at an exciting rate.

    So, why are most companies still using the same internal communications channels as they did 5 years ago?


    What are Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs)?

    By the end of this year Deloitte has predicted that 90% of Fortune 500 companies will have at least partially implemented some form of company wide ESN.

    An ESN is basically a social network for business. It’s secure, sociable and designed to open up channels of communication within your organisation to increase crowdsourcing, collaboration and co-creation.

    At the moment it seems like a new one pops up every week, but for now we think these are the most effective ESNs out there.


    1. Tibbr

    Tibbr is probably the most interactive of all the major ESNs. In many ways, it behaves almost exactly like Facebook. Though there are other networks that might present a slightly more ‘professional’ hub for your employees, the visual nature of Tibbr makes it a great option for encouraging participation and  involvement.


    2. Yammer

    Yammer has been around for a while now and it’s still one of the most popular ESNs out there. Its major selling points are its security systems and it’s advanced integration with many other online applications and networks.


    3. Jive

    From our point of view Jive is probably the most exciting ESN out there at the moment. As well as performing all the basic functionality of Yammer and Tibbr, Jive also adds some exciting new ideas into the mix. From what we’ve seen it has huge potential to increase collaboration and productivity (Jive actually claim an average figure of 15%), but it’s social functionality is also very insightful. Just like LinkedIn, Jive will recommend people within your company who, it thinks, you should get to know. These recommendations are based on your interests and professional profile and have proven to increase interactions within companies across the world.

    ESNs are just one way that the digital world is reshaping engagement and internal communications. Want to know more about how you could put these tools to work for your organisation?

    Please feel free to get in touch, we’ll be more than happy to help.

  2. How to Measure Involvement

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    Last week we read an article that likened the measurement of employee engagement with the measurement of love.


    I know it sounds ridiculous, but bear with us…


    Love has no unit of measurement. We have no benchmark for the lowest or highest level that can be achieved. We also have no tools or technology capable of mapping or measuring it. It simply can’t be measured.


    Employee engagement is the same. There are no units, benchmarks or models to work from. Like love, the best we can hope for when attempting to gauge employee engagement is a rough indication based on more measurable indicators.


    Unfortunately, involvement is no more measurable than engagement – or love for that matter. However, because the implications of an involved workforce are far more noticeable than a workforce that’s simply ‘engaged’, measuring the indicators of involvement is much easier.


    Are You Asking the Right Questions? 


    One of the easiest ways to build an accurate picture of the levels of involvement within your organisation is to ask questions. In his article, Kevin Kruse calls these proxy questions. Though they don’t offer a concrete metric for gauging involvement, they will give you a pretty good idea of what’s going on.


    So, what sort of questions should you be asking to determine the levels of involvement within your organization?


    First you need to know what you are aiming for. Do you know what a fully involved workforce would look like?


    Once you know what your aiming for, you can then work backwards to put together questions that will determine how close you are to achieving this standard.


    You might start with questions like:


    –   Does [team member A] work extra hours without being asked?

    –   Do they take ownership of initiatives without being asked?

    –   Do they regularly come to you with new ideas?


    These are clearly just a start – but you get the idea. By answering these questions, both for individual team members and for your organization as a whole, you’ll be left with a clear indication of whether you are heading in the right direction.


    Unfortunately, a technological solution that allows us to accurately measure team involvement at the touch of a button is probably a long way off. That said, estimating the level of involvement within your organization, and measuring the effectiveness of your change programmes, is a crucial part of improving your team’s productivity. Just because it’s not perfect, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it.


    If you’d like more information about gauging involvement within your organization, or if you’d like to know more about why our change programmes are so effective, don’t hesitate to give us a call

  3. Measuring Digital Sentiment – Are Your Workforce Happy?

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    Rather than trying to directly measure involvement we usually see companies measure less abstract concepts that give an indication of involvement. Employee satisfaction is one of the more popular ones.

    Companies have been trying to measure employee sentiment for years.  In most cases this meant ‘confidential’ surveys and appraisals. Needless to say, they weren’t always reliable.

    In recent years the tools and methods that companies are using to measure employee satisfaction have moved on a bit…

    Measuring Digital Sentiment

    One of the most interesting developments has come from the surge in digital social media. Over the past year the tools and algorithms that companies are using to scan the social web for happy customers, complaints and PR opportunities have developed at an alarming rate. Companies can now tell whether the Twitter community are saying positive or negative things about a recently launched product or even compare the different ways that men and women have reacted to something online. It’s proving to be an incredibly powerful tool for mapping customer sentiment on a large scale.

    So, why’s this relevant to employee satisfaction?

    Well, you know how last week we were talking about ESNs (Enterprise Social Networks)? Well, companies are now starting to apply the same technologies that have proven useful whilst monitoring Twitter and Facebook to these internal communications channels.

    Microsoft use Yammer to facilitate organisation wide communication and collaboration. It works really well for them. Recently however, they took things one step further. They’ve now developed an app that constantly scans the network to give real time indications of employee sentiment and emotions. The app is called Crane and is now available to anyone using Yammer.

    Imagine if you could get a real-time visual indication of the overall happiness of your entire workforce at the touch of a button!

    What do you think? Is the measurement of digital sentiment going to become more important for managers? Will it ever replace the employee survey? Let us know in the comments below.

  4. Recognition – An Easy Win

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    Recognition is a basic human desire.


    No one wants to feel like their efforts are going un-noticed, do they?


    To be honest, it’s pretty rare to find a working environment that doesn’t operate some form of recognition.  Maybe it’s just a pat on the back at the end of the month, or perhaps some muttered words of appreciation when a big project is finally completed.


    It’s something, at least.


    Unfortunately, this common, erratic approach to recognizing your team’s efforts will inevitably lead to dissatisfaction and gradual, widespread disengagement.


    If it’s done well, implementing a culture of recognition within your organisation can improve individual performance, team engagement and help align your team with your organisation’s wider goals and strategies.


    In short: recognition creates involvement!


    What makes this technique even more appealing to managers is that you could start to see visible improvements very quickly.


    Recognition = Involvement


    Recognition shouldn’t be seen as a way to boost team morale. It shouldn’t be used as a way to get your team through a tough patch or inspire them to ‘grind through’ the current workload. Recognition should be used as a tool to help keep each member of your team working in-line with your organisational goals.


    Keeping your team engaged is all about cultivating a culture of involvement. If they feel that what they are doing is helping the organization, and that they are making a positive difference, they will be more engaged, productive and fulfilled.


    Productive Recognition


    To create a culture of ‘productive recognition’ you should look to recognise whenever a member of your team does something that clearly furthers your organisation’s cause. This will motivate that particular individual to continue working well whilst also showing the rest of your team the type of work that’s valued within your organisation. You’ll give everyone direction.


    If you implement this strategy in the right way, you will quickly see it catching on. It’s common to see whole organisations adopt this strategy within just a couple of weeks. It’s fast, effective and contagious.


    Implementing a culture of productive recognition within an organization is one of the most reliable and practical ways to drastically improve involvement.


    Try it. Lead by example. The results might surprise you.


    If you’d like more information about how to implement an organisation wide recognition strategy, or if you would like more information about how you can use recognition to start creating a fully involved workforce, please feel free to get in touch.