The Challenges Social Intranet Face
There are questions surrounding social intranet. Is it really taking off on the social business and digital workplace? Is the collaboration between employees and personnel within the organization happening on a daily basis regardless or where they may? Are they using their mobile devices while on the move and working with responsibility and efficiently across all levels of the organization? These are some of the questions a manager, executive or the CEO asks on employee collaboration and effectiveness. The attitude is changing toward the platform. Based on the studies made by an IT consultant Jane McConnell, she examined 362 organizations around the world with a wide range of industries and size ranging from 1000 employees up to 100,000 employees. The studies stated that the digital workplace is a combination of enterprise applications and managed content that stable information are acted upon; structured collaboration is a practice to coordinate, create, and work on work related activities; and social collaboration in which real time, uncoordinated and dynamic exchanges can result to discovering ideas.
The Challenges Ahead
The goals of a digital workplace are to develop intelligence in the organization, cost savings and drive efficiency across all departments. Based on the studies made by Ms. McConnell there are five reasons why implementing a social intranet is a challenge in some organizations.
1. There is rarely or no sense of urgency among the organization. There is no clear reason why it is happening. As per the Ms. Conells advice is to focus on the items and factors why the social intranet is critical in the workplace. There should be a need for planned stages or transition points to reflect the different levels of needs within the company. The agency will be greater when the goal of the organization has real impact on how the organization do business. It may not make an impression at first but it can make a difference in the way people do their work on a daily basis.
2. Middle management is being ignored or forgotten. All projects need the approval and support of the senior management but the middle managers are the critical personnel to make the changes possible. Depending on the work culture of the business, some employees will ask if their managers will let them do and continue with the project or go for the implementation of the system even if the whole organization has given permission and approval. The middle managers should be involved and oriented carefully to make the changes and implementation possible.
3. No employee empowerment. The vision is wonderful but not everyone is given the privilege and others don’t act on it. Freedom within the framework will be the foundation of an effective social intranet. Everyone should be able to blog and everyone should be able to find each other and collaborate. This will give freedom across the different levels within the organization and make polices and protocols that will organize the system and the whole workforce.
4. The digital environment is fragmented. Vendors would want their platform to be the all-in-one tool for organization. This is a good vision but in reality, the digital environment is fragmented. People that will interact with multiple communities within the system will just base their environment on whom they are talking to. If a third party is introduced and goes looking for any information, they may need to take many steps to gain access to that information. There should be a common standard across al system because in reality, a single vendor system is not yet possible.
5. Change Is the only permanent thing. The behavior of peers and colleagues are the greatest influences in the workplace. Management is reshaped by way employees influence each other with a digital social workplace. Look for the teams that is organized by line management and consider them as the most influential factor.
The challenges will continue to evolve along with the evolution of the social intranet. It will take some time and effort to put a stake on a digital workplace but down the line, everything will be realized and will fall into place.