October 9th is World Egg Day. Why are we using this as a discussion starter? Because it is our mission to always offer our customers the best experience when launching their social intranet, the best egg in the bunch so to speak. But if you don’t get it right, it can either get very hard or just run off your spoon. To ensure this doesn't happen to you, let’s stop the waffling. Here come the 6 social intranet no-gos:
1. Not thinking outside the box
Often one department is responsible for the internal introduction of a digital workplace – in most cases either the IT or the HR department. Whatever department is put in charge – it will always tend to control the process from its own bubble. Everyone knows which programs and features they need for their own work and where there is room for improvement. The problem is that it is difficult for an HR manager to list all the touchpoints important to the IT department – and vice versa.
The solution: putting together the best possible combination of software modules and features means that all departments must be given the opportunity to add their two cents worth, for example by having one expert per team. Another possibility is to entrust an external expert with the task of defining the ideal composition of the components in collaboration with the management level.
2. Not every employee is brought on board
Employees can become the biggest blockers to an intranet rollout – precisely when they are not convinced of the benefits of the Digital Workplace. The reason for this is often that they do not feel integrated and supported. This happens if the project is implemented with haste and managers underestimate the feedback from the workforce. Employees will instinctively reject the changes once they realize that they are big and require effort on their part. And that is precisely what should not happen.
The solution: communicate with your employees in advance to avoid the social intranet being perceived as “some new program that’s coming soon.” Be transparent, communicate the reasons and outline the new digital corporate culture.
3. The seriousness of the situation is exaggerated
Your employees should of course take the new intranet seriously – but they should also have fun discovering and using the new work tool. There will nevertheless always be employees who are afraid of new technologies and programs and who shy away from using them.
The solution: playfully minimize employee inhibitions, for example by holding an employee competition to find a name for the new Digital Workplace, a launch party, or a scavenger hunt involving all the new programs. We promise that it will be worth your while in the end, since a digital workplace thrives on the commitment of its users. No commitment, no improvement in the cooperation of your staff.
4. The boss doesn’t participate
Although management should be heavily involved in the introduction of a Digital Workplace, they are not always willing to participate in the new interactive digital communication. Rather than increasing the sense of unity, this has the opposite effect: the hierarchy inhibition threshold becomes higher when the CEO and leads don’t participate in the communication process. Managers also often find it difficult to question their traditional ideas about the strict separation of work and private life in order to improve to communication with their employees.
The solution: The basis for a successful Digital Workplace is willingness to change – across all levels of corporate hierarchy. The new corporate culture will not bear fruit without a fundamental rethink. Above all, this means trusting your employees – regardless of whether they are in their home office, only log on to the company software in the afternoon or share information about their private life on the social intranet. And the boss should also feel free to post a cat video or a recipe – doing so will make him or her more approachable and accessible.
5. Usage is not intuitive enough
The biggest problem for a social intranet: the users simply do not understand it! If intuitive user experience is neglected in planning and there are no briefings on how to use it, the Digital Workplace project will be toast faster than you can drop an egg into a frying pan. If a program is not understood, it will not be used.
The solution: make the product’s user interface as familiar, intuitive and simple as possible so that employees can get started immediately. For all more complex features, briefings should first be held in smaller groups – for example with the team experts mentioned in point number 1, who are involved in the introduction of the Digital Workplace in any case. They can then pass on what they learn to the team.
6. Information is shared via different channels
Storing relevant information in too many different places makes an efficient workflow impossible. People are creatures of habit and there will always be employees who are convinced that everything was better the way it used to be and who prefer to cling to old structures and processes. But people also tend to be a bit lazy and like to receive help, such as having a central point of information instead of having to search through various channels.
The solution: ALL important information, such as the weekly cafeteria schedule, the invitation to the company outing, application forms and other important documents are made accessible exclusively via the social intranet at the “single point of information.” This increases productivity, as valuable working time is no longer lost in searching for specific information.
Conclusion: Introducing a Digital Workplace doesn’t have to be a tortuous process
What do you want to achieve with a social intranet? Experience shows that the answer to this question is the same for most customers: increasing employee productivity. However, this objective can only be achieved by avoiding the above-mentioned mistakes, which are usually caused by a lack of preparation and misguided expectations. The solution is thus to take the time to facilitate the process for your employees, make the journey as playful and intuitive as possible and set a good example.
If you show patience and understanding, your Digital Workplace will be successfully adopted. Trusting your employees, promoting flexibility and mobility and sharing the odd post, such as a favorite recipe, can work wonders. By the way: Have you ever tried a fried egg on a COYO fruit? So yummyy!