Thursday, October 21, 2010

Loss of control requires employee trust

Many companies are encouraging employee use of social media (within the guidelines they publish).  The value of participating has a big opportunity to improve brand image, and drive future revenue.  As participation grows ... and grows ... and grows, it's very difficult for a company to be able to get a clear view of where their employees are participating.  If there was an 'inventory' of places, and a list of relevant topics, companies would be able to reduce duplicate communities and help to streamline a common message.  However, it's very difficult to have this without some very rigorous and 'heavy' process.  The majority of employees participate in places where the relevant conversations are happening.  It's a tough position, and is one (of many) culture shifts happening.  Control is distributed, with the major factor being trust of your employees.  Trust ... with the support of training ... becomes the most important element of a successful Social Media business strategy.  I'll talk more about trust in my next blog post. 

As always, I welcome your thoughts and opinions.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

'Monkey see, Monkey do'

Once companies decide that they want to encourage social media participation by their employees, how can they encourage rapid adoption?  Viral enablement.  What does that mean?  Well, if 'people like me' are doing it, then so can I.  When employees can see their peers getting benefit from participation, they will want to 'jump in' as well.  Another key element to viral enablement is getting management and executives to establish a social presence.  This gives employees a sense of 'permission' for them to participate.  The key is to establish small pilots, recognize actives that demonstrate business value, and then communicate!  communicate!  communicate!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What motivates on-going social participation?

I highly recommend watching this video:  The surprising truth about what motivates us.  It uses entertaining animation  to summarize some insightful research on the topic of motivation and rewards. (how can people draw like that?)   Their conclusion is that money is not the motivating factor, but rather having a challenge, demonstrating mastery and making a contribution.  Wow!   Not money?  But, when you think about the open source movement and crowd sourcing, it does begin to make sense. 

So ... companies need take advantage of this need to be recognized for making a contribution.  Internally, this means on-going support from management, their close network, and co-workers from different organizations.  The hard part is keeping consistent focus on this ... every week, every day.  Employees need to be assured that their social participation is seen as having value within the organization. Externally, companies need to find creative ways to encourage conversation on topics that benefit their business.  Recognition by your brand goes a long way, but does come with risk.  It's an area that needs a careful strategy with a thoughtful analysis of the organizations ability to support it for the long haul.  Once you start, you have to keep it going!

I welcome any ideas that you have had in the area of motivation and recognition.