Do you want to implement an enterprise social network within your company? If so, good thinking. Internal social network platforms such as Yammer, Slack, and Convo are some of today’s top options. Before you dive in, though, you might consider how adding this feature to your small business network can potentially benefit both you and your workers. If used correctly, an internal social network can boost productivity, simplify team collaboration on projects, and foster better personal and professional relationships between team members.
Promote Collaboration and Transparency
Sharing frequent project updates invites team members to stay up to date at all times, allowing a faster transfer of information. Status updates come in especially handy if you collaborate with team members located in different time zones or those who work remotely. When it’s time to hand over reports or work papers, you can quickly get them up to speed and pick up where you left off in previous collaborations. When it’s your turn to run with it, you can easily see the progress your team members made.
Build Strong Team Relationships
An internal social network can connect co-workers through their discovery of common interests. Encouraging team members to share information such as hobbies, humor, education, and achievements helps them identify with their peers in new ways. This can create a more meaningful, enjoyable work culture for those who participate. Likewise, senior level team members can use the platform to lead with action. This kind of socializing humanizes managers and opens the door for them to connect with employees on a more personal level.
Discover Internal Expertise Among Your Employees
Social networks can also unveil hidden talents and passions in your employees. Imagine having an employee contribute to a project outside their role by using a skill they enjoy developing on their own time. Let’s say you have a quarterly business review coming up fast, and you think an infographic would perfectly showcase your company milestones. You might think of giving the job to your internal design team, but you know they have demanding schedules. On a break, you check the social network and notice a customer service representative posting that they do freelance graphic design in their spare time. Knowing they have a lighter schedule at this time of year, you ask if they would be interested in taking the lead on the infographic project. This can be a win-win for both parties. On one side, your business gains an internal resource it didn’t know it had. At the same time, the employee showcases a hidden talent, which could lead to an unexpected but welcome change in the scope of her role.
Focus on Long-Term Gains
It’s important to be patient and focus on long-term gains when you start an enterprise social network. Keeping things flexible and encouraging healthy feedback from participants lets you mold your chosen platform to your company’s needs. If certain platform features don’t fit your business, that’s okay. You can always stop using features that don’t work for your team and double down on the ones that do. A defined set of guidelines ensures participants stay on the same page and share in a comfortable and professional way.
Set Internal Social Network Guidelines to Keep Things Professional
It goes without saying that both you and your workers should comport yourselves in a professional manner on internal social networks. This means treating other participants with respect and honesty. Developing social media content guidelines for your company make sall participants feel comfortable engaging on the platform and keeps information flowing freely. Firm guidelines regarding what topics can be discussed online, how people should treat one another, and how to respond to any breaches of the policies also help protect your small business if issues arise down the road.
Creating a collaborative, fun, and productive online internal community takes effort. But the effort can prove well worth it for everyone involved, as it can lead to potentially fruitful outcomes on both personal and professional levels. Don’t forget other tools that help you increase productivity and manage your business. The QuickBooks Self-Employed accounting app helps freelancers, contractors, and sole proprietors track and manage their businesses on the go. Download the app today to see how it can help your small business.