Do Enterprise Social Networks Over Promise and Under Deliver?

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Enterprise Social Networks (ESN’s) promised to revolutionise and democratise the work place, to empower us to collaborate and communicate like never before. They said goodbye to overloaded inboxes and old school communications and assured that they would cut through the noise to make our lives easier. Have they under-delivered?
Facebook’s mission: ‘to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.’ This is what every Enterprise Social Network should look to achieve. We share these values of transparency, autonomy, empowerment, collaboration and creating a future workplace that we want to work in. Technology improves our every-day lives and it should improve our work lives; which is why we look to overcome the challenge of improving adoption and implementations of ESN’s.
The problems that many communications professionals encounter are implementation and adoption. The first hurdle starts with leadership buy-in. Perhaps it is in the interest of some CEO’s that their employees don’t have a voice or don’t connect as a workforce and discuss what matters to them. If this was of thinking prevails, businesses will fail to attract/keep talent and fall into a ‘Digital Vortex ’ if they do not adapt. Another concern may be security or lack of clarity around the enterprise security of these Networks. Without the leadership spearheading communication strategy, it loses credibility instantly.
‘With the rise of Social Media, leaders have had to pay attention to the employee voice. We live in a world where everyone has a voice that they can broadcast, and that includes employees. They have to realise that what people want from work has changed and we no longer live in a world where people will do what their manager tells them. The workforce are flexible and there is no loyalty any more so it has to be about emotion.’  Read More
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Adoption is key. However, in our experience, an average of 10% of employees use their ESN and 20% have logged in (if they are lucky). A recent study showed that out of those with Social Networks, over 40% report limited tool use. Many feel that this is what success looks like, we disagree. If you are only engaging and accessing 10-20% of your audience and only giving a voice to the minority, which is not listened to, this is not success.
Perhaps the problem is not that they under delivered. ESN’s when implemented properly and not over exaggerated, can be incredibly successful. There have to be the right antecedent conditions and culture – ‘you can’t bolt social onto the Kremlin’, businesses have to be ready to welcome this openness and employee empowerment. ESN’s are not a complete solution, interactions have to be rooted in conversations of meaning and therefore it is strategic. Leadership must also pay attention to it. It is also must be very simple and easy for people to use and understand. As soon as it becomes complicated, takes time, or makes people’s lives harder; they will not use it.
Mhub solves this problem by delivering your own, branded company app that not only facilitates collaboration, cuts through the noise and improves communication itself, it also accelerates adoption and productivity of your ESN. With an on-demand video software layer and powerful integration layer – we hold the door open to your ESN and other apps making it easy to use without the need to log in. We make it easy, give communication security, meaning and have seen adoption accelerate to 50% and higher. We help you get the most out of this investment as part of becoming the future workplace we believe in.