Over the last two decades, the rise of social media platforms and tools have not only changed how people interact but also forced businesses to improve their communications strategy and even business models. Most leading social media platforms provide tools for workplaces and organizations to increase employee social activity and manage business processes. In the last few years, social tools used in the workplace have expanded in their scope. They are being used to update employees, share ideas, manage progress, resolve queries, search company databases, and even allocate roles and responsibilities.
Here are a few critical reasons why social connect tools constitute an essential part of the modern workplace:
Enhance a culture of collaboration
While social media tools help increase interaction and collaboration by establishing direct networks between people in different roles, they accomplish a lot more during this process. For instance, non-work conversations about hobbies and current events allow people to identify with others having similar interests and perspectives. This flow of information and ideas not only sets the stage for effortless collaboration, but also allows people to interact in a variety of ways - tagging, uploading, blogging, liking, commenting - and search for information, people, and resources when needed.
Another vital benefit of using social tools in the workforce is making the organization more flexible and re-orienting work processes to make them project-based instead of function-based. In addition to facilitating better communication, this also leads to a more transparent workplace culture wherein employees are more accountable and self-organized.
The use of such tools by organizations to educate employees on new policies or announce new initiatives improves transparency. Updating employees on company news, new employees, and personal and professional milestones of employees ensures an engaging workplace culture that helps people connect with each other and the larger goals of the organization as well. Similarly, social tools also enable a seamless integration of remote workers into the organizational culture and processes.
Digitize internal and external work processes
Digital tools that improve social connectivity can help organizations digitize internal and external work processes as well. The use of social tools for customer and employee processes has resulted in the increased adoption of digital activities in functions like R&D, supply-chain management, demand-planning, order-to-cash, and procurement management. Using familiar social tools to introduce new digital systems and nudge employees to adopt them can increase the overall pace of the digital transformation in the organization. These tools, which are usually free from a formal tone that emails carry, can help managers design, send, and track the right message that encourages their team members to digitize the work processes. For example: A number of companies already use chat, messengers, internal social tools to facilitate communication within the organization, similarly, companies are also interacting with customers externally using social media and chat aimed at facilitating a better human connect with the brand.
Social tools do not operate in isolation and are usually embedded with human capital solutions used in the organization. For instance, the members of a sales team are more likely to use the company’s digital CRM tool to manage their clients when they know that their progress on the common leadership board depends directly on it.
Facilitate knowledge sharing
There is immense scope for informal knowledge sharing on social tools as the conversations, questions, updates, and appreciation on them can help employees solve everyday challenges without formally asking for help. Even passive participation can help employees gather information.
If social tools are used to drive change in the way employees collaborate and digitize their work, organizations will be able to develop a competitive advantage that helps them transform existing business processes. Organizations looking to take advantage of new-age social connectivity tools must become comfortable with personal and professional communication being routed through these tools. If used effectively, such tools could bring positive changes to the workplace and help organizations deal with modern business challenges as well.