Tuesday Dec 04, 2012

How to Set Up Your Enterprise Social Organization

The rush for business organizations to establish, grow, and adopt social was driven out of necessity and inevitability. The result, however, was a sudden, booming social presence creating touch points with customers, partners and influencers, but without any corporate social organization or structure in place to effectively manage it.

Even today, many business leaders remain uncertain as to how to corral this social media thing so that it makes sense for their enterprise.

Imagine their panic when they hear one of the most beneficial approaches to corporate use of social involves giving up at least some hierarchical control and empowering employees to publicly engage customers. And beyond that, they should also be empowered, regardless of their corporate status, to engage and collaborate internally, spurring “off the grid” innovation.

An HBR blog points out that traditionally, enterprise organizations function from the top down, and employees work end-to-end, structured around business processes. But the social enterprise opens up structures that up to now have not exactly been embraced by turf-protecting executives and managers. The blog asks, “What if leaders could create a future where customers, associates and suppliers are no longer seen as objects in the system but as valued sources of innovation, ideas and energy?”

What if indeed? The social enterprise activates internal resources without the usual obsession with position. It is the dawn of mass collaboration.

That does not, however, mean this mass collaboration has to lead to uncontrolled chaos. In an extended interview with Oracle, Altimeter Group analyst Jeremiah Owyang and Oracle SVP Reggie Bradford paint a complete picture of today’s social enterprise, including internal organizational structures Altimeter Group has seen emerge.

One sign of a mature social enterprise is the establishing of a social Center of Excellence (CoE), which serves as a hub for high-level social strategy, training and education, research, measurement and accountability, and vendor selection. This CoE is led by a corporate Social Strategist, most likely from a Marketing or Corporate Communications background.

Reporting to them are the Community Managers, the front lines of customer interaction and engagement; business unit liaisons that coordinate the enterprise; and social media campaign/product managers, social analysts, and developers. With content rising as the defining factor for social success, Altimeter also sees a Content Strategist position emerging.

dandelion modelAcross the enterprise, Altimeter has seen 5 organizational patterns. Watching the video will give you the pros and cons of each.

Decentralized - Anyone can do anything at any time on any social channel.

Centralized – One central groups controls all social communication for the company.

Hub and Spoke – A centralized group, but business units can operate their own social under the hub’s guidance and execution. Most enterprises are using this model.

Dandelion – Each business unit develops their own social strategy & staff, has its own ability to deploy, and its own ability to engage under the central policies of the CoE.

Honeycomb – Every employee can do social, but as opposed to the decentralized model, it’s coordinated and monitored on one platform.

The average enterprise has a whopping 178 social accounts, nearly ¼ of which are usually semi-idle and need to be scrapped. The last thing any C-suite needs is to cope with fragmented technologies, solutions and platforms. It’s neither scalable nor strategic.

The prepared, effective social enterprise has a technology partner that can quickly and holistically integrate emerging platforms and technologies, such that whatever internal social command structure you’ve set up can continue efficiently executing strategy without skipping a beat.

@mikestiles

Tuesday Nov 27, 2012

Social HCM: Is Your Team Listening?

Word BalloonsDoes integrating Social HCM into your enterprise make sense? Consider Sam and Christina.

Sam is a new hire at a big company. On the job 3 weeks, a question has come up on how to properly file an expense report to get reimbursed. It was covered in the onboarding session, but shockingly enough, Sam didn’t memorize or write down every word of the session. The answer is probably in a handout, in a stack of handouts 2 inches thick. It also might be on the employee web site…somewhere.

Christina is a new hire at a different big company. She has the same question. She logs into her company’s social network, goes to the “new hires” group, asks her question and gets an answer in seconds.

Christina says, “Cool!” Sam says, “Grrrr.” It’s safe to say the qualified talent your company wants is accustomed to using social platforms to communicate and get quick answers. As such, Christina is comfortable at her new company, whereas Sam is wondering what he’s gotten himself into.

Companies that cling to talent communication and management systems that don’t speak to talent’s needs or expectations put themselves at risk. Right from the recruiting stage, prospects can determine if a company has embraced the communications tools of the 21st century. If they don’t see it, alarm bells go off. With great talent more in demand than ever, enterprises should reconsider making “this is the way we do it, you adapt to us” their mantra.

Other blogs have clearly outlined that apart from meeting top recruits’ expectations, Social HCM benefits the organization itself in terms of efficiency, talent performance & measurement.

Recruiting:
Jobvite shows 64% of companies hired using social. 89% of job seekers are using social in their search. Social can give employers access to relevant communities of prospects and advance the brand. Nucleus Research found general hiring software can provide over 1,000% ROI by reducing churn and improving screening. Social talent acquisition should perform at least as well.

Learning & Development:
Employees, learning from the company or from peers, can be kept on top of the latest needed skillsets and engage in self-paced training so as to advance within the company.

Performance Management:
Just as gamers are egged on by levels and achievements, talent can reach for workplace kudos, be they shout-outs from peers & managers or formally established milestones. Plus employee reviews become consistent and fair as managers have access to the cumulative feedback social offers.

Workflow and Collaboration:
With workforces dispersing in terms of physical location, social provides a platform that helps eliminate drawbacks that would have brought just 10 years ago. Finding and connecting with just the right colleague to get the most relevant info at any given time has never been more possible…or expected.

While yes, marketing has taken the social lead inside the enterprise, HCM (with the word “human” right there in its name) is the obvious locale for the next big integration of social in business. The technology is there. At Oracle, Fusion HCM apps are deeply embedded with Social HCM…just one example of systems taking social across the enterprise.

Christina’s company is communicating with her in ways she’s used to. Sam’s company may as well be trying to talk to him using signal flags.

@mikestiles
Photo via stock.xchng

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