Social Collaboration in the workplace refers to "processes that help multiple people interact and share information to achieve any common goal.”
Achieving common goals is vital in the workplace. So demystifying this business process/function and delivering it to staff and clients as a more interactive, inclusive and communicative way of doing business, managing projects and working together is the key to a better understanding of its importance.
It’s not a buzzword - it's efficient communication
The truth is as we progress even further into the digital world in our professional and personal lives, this social way of communicating is second nature. Any business action from conference calls, group emails, Social Media posts and team-building activities are all part and parcel of engaging each and every project/team centric staff member throughout the working day. Essentially it is Team Collaboration. Along with this, clients are all too savvy when it comes to being ‘kept in the loop’ and keeping an eye on, frankly, where their money is going and what quality of service businesses are delivering. Social collaboration bridges the communication gaps that can occur when only standard email exchange is employed, between internal teams and with external stakeholders and clients.
Social Collaboration in business is not a ‘new’ or ‘techy’ concept, it is a term used to describe what we are already doing. Sharing information, discussing ideas, keeping records and versions of past and present data and metrics and involving key and peripheral members of teams and client bases, in order to work in a more creative and productive way.
Utilising SaaS now and in the future
Ways of collaborating in the business arena in a more social way are evolving year on year and so utilising a Social Collaboration software tool can provide a streamlined and task orientated approach. A report by Gartner provided key predictions around social and collaboration which is that “By 2016, 50 percent of large organizations will have internal Facebook-like social networks, and that 30 percent of these will be considered as essential as email and telephones are today”.
Achieving buy-in from staff to use a software solution can be tricky as different people have varying levels of technological acumen. Also some people are resistant to change. One way to achieve buy-in from staff/clients when it comes to Social Collaboration is if a software tool is used and the information being shared, uploaded and distributed is relevant to them. That way, working on one Cloud-based tool for the majority of their communication brings everyone together and gives incentive to contribute and engage each other daily. People like to feel valued and involved and it doesn’t take Maslow alone to tell us that.
No need to fret IT!
Using a cloud based/digital tool to accomplish this is only going to simplify not complicate the day-to-day communication. They lack of buy-in though could be due to ‘red tape’ in IT departments. Whilst in larger enterprise corporations IT are required for the technological infrastructure, they can rest assured that Social Collaboration software is not something that needs to be protected from a firewall, most providers have ample security and proof thereof. Also little or no training is required because the practice of Social Collaboration in general - comes naturally to most people, it is essentially communicating.
Therefore IT departments putting restrictions on any software solution which would aid this way of working is unnecessary.
If you or your colleagues find yourself looking for a fast, easy and efficient solution to manage your day, clients, team and overall communication, then express this to your IT department or managers.
Remember, content is king. Using one software platform that needs to be used due to the level and variety of content that is being exchanged and collaborated on, will ensure a faster take-up and it becomes second nature to everyone, just like email.
Early adopters of software tools often have an entrepreneurial flair which is a great quality and you can combine with leadership and team building skills in order to reach the common goal – a better and more streamlined working day no doubt.