Social Platforms in the Workplace
A comparative look at ESNs and Social Intranets
These days, social platforms follow two main trends: the Enterprise Social Network and the Social Intranet. The main challenge of a professional social platform is to ensure it meets company needs and encourages healthy work practices. In this white paper, we’ll discuss benefits and challenges of social platforms.
The enterprise social network (ESN) can be very similar to a typical social network. Here’s the key difference: it is expressly intended for the work environment, to be used by company collaborators.
Then we’ll consider the alternate choice: the social intranet. This type of platform infuses traditional intranet structure with new social features, for a seamless experience that equally answers corporate and employee needs.
Why include social features in a corporate platform?
Boosting digital transformation
There are many potential benefits when companies implement social media platforms. When implementing an ESN or intranet, companies are aiming to foster better internal communication and collaborative work practices, as part of a larger digital transformation strategy. These platforms are meant to unify and create new processes, by combining and/or replacing old tools.
Adding social features reinforces the chances for a successful transformation. For instance, some communication tools inside a corporate platform can be a great alternative to email, and used correctly, the platform can be powerful tool for business use cases in Marketing, HR, or other teams that need to communicate with the entire organization.
Basic social features
At its most basic form, the social platform should present the following features:
- An enriched profile, to bring to light employees’ expertises and interests
- A news feed, that displays a global vision of the employee’s activity and the company ecosystem (colleagues, communities, exchanges, etc.)
- User reaction and interaction, such as likes, comments and shares
An efficient social corporate platform should also create workspaces for easy project management, with: calendar, file sharing, posting, instant chat, etc. In some versions, this workspace is also used to share information from outside the enterprise. These spaces help employees to collaborate, exchange thoughtfully and develop their work relationships.
Some main uses for social corporate platforms (Lecko study, 2015):
- 37% sharing good practices
- 35% managing projects
- 20% support network
- 7% competition monitoring
- 1% innovation practices
Promoting Employee Engagement
You know this by now: employee disengagement leads to exhaustion, irritability, loss of concentration, cynicism, or worse. Implementing an enterprise social network can help to combat these frequent issues. For instance, inserting social features inside the enterprise can increase individual initiatives to coordinate and come together productively.
Trying to choose between an ESN and a Social Intranet? Check out our white paper!