Social Collaboration – Ultimate Software's Blog http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com Thoughts on Putting People First in the Workplace Tue, 23 May 2017 19:20:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 I’m not anti-social, but… I’ve got work to do http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/im-not-anti-social-but-ive-got-work-to-do/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/im-not-anti-social-but-ive-got-work-to-do/#respond Thu, 28 Jun 2012 14:34:42 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=122 People are social beings, and socializing as a part of work is ubiquitous. It is not surprising, then, that a multi-billion dollar industry has arisen to facilitate online socializing in our fast-changing, mobile world. Yet three key assumptions underlying many current social media deployments in organizations jeopardize their success. First, the assumption that merely introducing […]

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People are social beings, and socializing as a part of work is ubiquitous. It is not surprising, then, that a multi-billion dollar industry has arisen to facilitate online socializing in our fast-changing, mobile world. Yet three key assumptions underlying many current social media deployments in organizations jeopardize their success.

First, the assumption that merely introducing a social solution will assure its adoption is misguided–unless an organization takes the time and effort to ensure that a socially-enabled project provides observable business value. At Ultimate, because of our strong culture of putting people first, we recognized an opportunity to improve the onboarding process and enhance communication between new and long-time employees using our partner solution, Yammer. Now new employees are welcomed into a network of colleagues who answer complex business questions, and allow them to experience Ultimate culture, regardless of their geographic locations. Other organizations, like logistics companies, offer social media solutions that quickly help stranded truck drivers find repair parts, resulting in significant cost savings. If a social solution solves a known operational challenge, broad adoption and success are much more likely outcomes.

Second, assuming that social behavior inside and outside of work is similar creates expectations about the use and adoption of social solutions. People in the workplace collaborate and engage with different motivations than in their personal lives. At work they usually have a specific purpose beyond mere sociability for reaching out to a colleague. Nor do they generally “follow” co-workers’ activities unless they have a reasonable expectation they will find solutions or innovation that impacts them directly. In reality, social interactions in the work place are more focused. A more apt term for “social media solutions” in the workplace is “collaboration solutions”, which more clearly defines the nature of workplace social interactions.

My final observation: another danger is that a project with the overused term “social” runs the risk of trivializing these more open and collaborative solutions that add value to any organization. I believe going beyond “social” to “collaborative” solutions and recognizing that they bring real measurable value to an organization, is the best way to ensure that we all benefit from the richer and more engaging work life these solutions can provide.

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Implementing Social Collaboration Tools in Your Organization http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/implementing-social-collaboration-tools-in-your-organization/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/implementing-social-collaboration-tools-in-your-organization/#respond Mon, 14 May 2012 10:00:13 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=118 A key component to developing a high-performing workplace is sharing. Being able to share information in an effortless way builds strong teams and enhances the team performance. Social media creates opportunities for people to use a medium that is very natural and comfortable to communicate. But over the relatively short period in time corporations have […]

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A key component to developing a high-performing workplace is sharing. Being able to share information in an effortless way builds strong teams and enhances the team performance. Social media creates opportunities for people to use a medium that is very natural and comfortable to communicate.

But over the relatively short period in time corporations have been using social media, something has happened. We’ve created silos. There are networks for social goals and social projects. Even more for social tracking. The key to breaking down these silos is integration.

Ultimate Software and Yammer, an enterprise social network, have recently announced a partnership to create that integration. The vision is to use Yammer’s collaborative tools to connect employees with the organization in a social way, for the benefit of everyone involved.

Here’s an example: let’s say the company’s sales team is working on a presentation for a major prospective client. In preparing for the meeting, they’ve run into a challenge. Sitting around the conference room table, someone says “Gosh, we can’t be the only team who has faced this challenge before. It would be great to know what other teams have done.”

Instead of calling around hoping to find an answer, organizations can now use social collaboration tools to pose their questions and get answers. Maria Ogneva, director of community for Yammer, explains how social collaboration benefits the business. “The possibilities are endless, and the most important thing is to understand what business problem you are trying to solve. As today’s rapid pace of change increases, companies must adapt faster and faster just to remain in the same place, let alone get ahead of the competition. Adapting to the speed with which you need to move to stay ahead of the competition is simply not possible when the people who need to execute on the vision aren’t on the same page and are hindered by archaic processes. Besides, you often don’t know where the best answer lives; you may be surprised.”

Not only do social collaboration tools help solve business problems, but they contribute to employee satisfaction and engagement. Ogneva says sharing information leads to less frustration and allows employees to easily get their work done.  “Social collaboration helps employees feel like they are part of a larger goal, like everyone is marching to the beat of the same drum. It also reduces the barriers created by hierarchies and flattens the organization, providing insight into what other teams (and management) are doing and thinking. When the leadership team is able to be more open and honest not simply about what’s happening, but why – employees are more compelled to support the overarching business problems and execute on the vision.”

Implementing a social collaboration tool reaps many benefits. Before introducing social tools within an organization, here are some points to consider.

  • Understand your corporate culture.
  • Look at current processes: how information is obtained and shared within the organization.
  • Define what success will look like using social collaboration tools.
  • Get support from senior leadership and key stakeholders.
  • Create an implementation and communication strategy for the roll-out. Be sure to include employee training on the social collaboration tools!
  • Establish a schedule to evaluate and monitor progress.

Social collaboration tools can bring a tremendous amount of information and knowledge to an organization. The key is harnessing it to solve business issues. Ogneva reminds us to focus on the success metric. “For any business social effort to be successful, it has to tie to a business objective. You know it’s bringing positive results when you are getting closer to meeting these objectives.  What do you want to enable with this collaboration? If your goal is to increase customer satisfaction, perhaps the business impact metric you are looking for is the increase of speed of a response to a customer, and how collaboration helps you do that.”

To learn more about social collaboration tools and how they can benefit your company, check out the Yammer blog and talk with your Ultimate Software representative.

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