Virtual Success Equals Real Results - Training Magazine Conference 2013 Session 415


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Social software can accelerate your productivity to decrease time to implement business changes, make decisions faster, and respond to market changes more quickly. How can your team do so by developing effective communities of practice and channels for social learning? We’ll discuss the five key elements of accelerating the effectiveness of a virtual team. Additionally we’ll address organizations primed to be early adopters of social software, and heavily regulated industries where adopting new social methods may seem daunting.


How to enable social on-boarding.
The key links between push and pull information.
Tips for fostering successful mentorships and informal exchanges of information.

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  • Work in HR Tech – primed for this – founded in 2003Business is knowledgeAssets are people
  • To further complicate our situation, we have clients across the US – limited to the North and South (Candada/Brazil) and limited European presence
  • We looked at a number of different solutions. OUR OBJECTIVE WAS NOT to find a social solution.Stuck with 2 main objectives – speed of response / employee empowerment. THOUGHT TECH AND NON-TECH solutions.
  • 5 specific steps. 1. how would population receive? What were we ready for?
  • Not just WIKI/BLOG and other technology, but WHAT IS THE CULTURE TO COLLAB ANYWAY?
  • No moderator – had to have legs on its own. KNOW – IT – ALLS WOULD HAVE THEIR OWN WAY OF USING IT, so we set guidelines
  • Saves time: Can quickly search for and find answers to questions.Reduces rework: By sharing knowledge, content is reused.Lessens dependence of geography: Experts can be found anywhere; employees have wider access to experts than they otherwise would.Lessens dependence on standard work hours: Employees can use the system wherever, whenever.Lessens learning curve for new employees: With resources in a consolidated location, onboarding time for new employees is reduced.Motivates members: Employees are motivated to participate through organizational incentives, intangible returns and social opportunity.
  • Here’s a type of description and sample tags.
  • We’d been creating silos – projects in healthcare or manufacturing were in those silos. We wanted to get rid of this to have a searchable solution.
  • Goes back to our goal of REDUCING REQUESTS that came to our most Sr. ppl.Changed definition of expert (in SOMETHING). In LMS, or Recruiting, or performance, but that needed to be public.
  • Huge – different engagements listed or certifications pursued – contributions are directly linked to profile.
  • OUTSIDE tech – MENTORSHIP PROGRAM – tech perspective with check-ins to chat / review profile and get to know them.Self-service directed, not only what we wanted them to do, but also for them to explore the system.
  • As a new hire, what is the path we’re hoping you follow. Usually expect LURKERS -> then build network -> then add resources and take leadership role moderating a group
  • In the process, they witnessed an almost instant increase in social collaboration, improved process consistency, and faster issue resolution.  
  • Platform is NO GOOD if you can’t measure IMPACT
  • Hurricane Sandy – Interestingly enough, Educe offices are on 14th floor next door here. UNINTENDED BENEFITS  even though my boss was unable to get up to the 14th floor for a week, NONE of our client engagements suffered.
  • Virtual Success Equals Real Results - Training Magazine Conference 2013 Session 415

    1. 1. Virtual Success = Real Results Training Magazine 2013 The Educe Group #trg13 #virtual2IRL
    2. 2. Question For You… What is the biggest challenge affecting your business today?2
    3. 3. Question For You… What thoughts or phrases does the term “the new world of work” conjure?3
    4. 4. Question For You… What are you doing to prepare for the “new world of work”? What are your plans?4
    5. 5. Objectives To explore:  The best solution for Educe (case study)  Using “social” for employee onboarding/communities  “Enterprise Social Networking”  Creating the business case for social  Elements of a successful implementation5
    6. 6. Educe Environment implement HR technology adopt performance content development small plan business social networking talent develop vendor consulting selection services = employee locations learning6
    7. 7. Educe Environment commercial regulated retail health care small business financial global pharmaceutical government hospitality compliance US-based = employee locations manufacturing = client locations7
    8. 8. Educe Challenges • In person meetings twice a year Expertise Dispersed • Weekly status Office meetings through Locations web conferences • Monthly all-hands deep dives Geographically • “Educe All” emails Dispersed • Document repository Client Travel Limited “Connectivity”8
    9. 9. What really got the ball rolling… In 2010, one-third of Educe employees were new hires, joining the organization at different times to fill different roles. With a growing virtual team, the in-person onboarding model used in the past was not going to work.9
    10. 10. Educe Objectives Speed of Response Employee Empowerment External Internal Accelerate Effectiveness of Our Virtual Team Where did she go now?  Improve access to/reuse of organizational knowledge  Reduce use of email as a method of knowledge exchange  Reduce dependency on experts  Reduce new hire onboarding time  Improve onboarding experience10
    11. 11. Our Solution: EduceConnect Varied levels of expertise Exchanges are captured – can be reused Wherever, whenever Ability to limit access to groups Everyone can First day access Extensive profile contribute for new hires11
    12. 12. Question For You… What steps would you take to implement a social learning platform?12
    13. 13. Implementation Steps Understand - set achievable objectives 1 Organizational - understand challenges Readiness - consolidate existing data 2 Seed Data - provide examples to be followed Consider Search 3 - use lessons learned from other initiatives Strategy Find Your - enables everyone to be a contributor 4 Experts - changes as employees gain experience Deploy a Soft 5 - ability to make corrections Launch13
    14. 14. 1: Understand Organizational Readiness - History of collaboration Things to Consider: - Comfort with technology  Start with a group that already collaborates, and secure buy-in with the experts in that group  Launch with a limited set of functionality. Add on as adoption takes hold.  Understand your organizational challenges I hope she’s not looking This has me written this way… all over it.14
    15. 15. Common Objections What if the data is What if the outdated? data is not Who is going to accurate? monitor the site? How are we going to What if someone control what people comments contribute? inappropriately about another employee?15
    16. 16. Educe Organizational Readiness Pros Cons • Already work in teams • Not good at loading • Culture of collaboration documents and knowledge sharing • No dedicated • Consolidation rather than person/team to manage it introduction of technology • Know-it-alls • “Early Adopters” • Familiar with the space Understand strengths • People want it and weakness, and work with them16
    17. 17. 2: Seed Data - What data has no home? Things to Consider: - What repositories can be replaced?  Drive initial system use with a library resources that can’t be accessed in any other system  Demonstrate how the system will consolidate disparate information repositories  Set an example for how you want data to be entered and tagged I have no idea My email is over the limit when I last again. We’ve got to get this backed up my thing going. laptop…17
    18. 18. Why will employees use it? • Saves time • Reduces rework • Lessens dependence of geography • Lessens dependence on standard work hours • Lessens learning curve for new employees • Motivates members Call me when I can find Wow. She really something useful on this just said that. thing…18
    19. 19. Informal Learning Activities + Methods Activity Example Method “I’m receiving an error message Discussion, Chat; Problem Solving – anyone know what to do?” Workspaces; Issues Requesting “Does anyone have the most Discussion, Chat Information recent SoP template?” Seeking “Has anyone dealt with this Discussion, Chat Experience/Advice situation?” Creating Resources; Sharing links, files, tips and Knowledge Discussion; Skills; tricks Repository Impressions “Check out the new mockups. Ideas; Ratings; Vetting New Ideas All feedback welcome!” Discussion “I’m going to Training 2013. “Following” People; Networking Anyone else?” Profiles; Workspaces19
    20. 20. Model “Ideal” Entries20
    21. 21. 3: Consider Search Strategy - Company Terminology Things to Consider: - Existing Applications  Structure/ tag information to allow users to quickly locate what they need  Think about SharePoint, document repositories, or other past experiences  Avoid creating silos of information  Consider pre-populating tags for people to select  Think about how and when different audiences will use the system Vendor, year, document type, client…we need as many tags as possible…21
    22. 22. Tag Strategy User Search Filters Access Experts and Assets Simultaneously
    23. 23. 4: Find Your Experts - Who are your “experts”? Things to Consider: - Can this definition be expanded?  Ensure all experts are findable  Require all employees to complete their profile  Employ competencies, certifications  Encourage experts to post resources using various incentives or establishing contribution goals Expert Expert Expert Expert Expert Expert23
    24. 24. Profile Management24 Self Others Contributions
    25. 25. 5: Deploy a Soft Launch - Early Adopters Things to Consider: - Current Company Initiatives  No need to “create” activities, use the real thing  Focus on evaluating your process, not the technology  Use the first phase to solicit feedback before structure becomes more complex  Initial group will naturally aid the data input process This is one of our top priorities this year.25
    26. 26. New Hire Training One-stop shop for curriculum and HR items Instant access to mentors Self-service, self-paced ramp up Forum for Q&A26
    27. 27. Performance Competencies Organizational Individual Goals 360 Assessments Goals27
    28. 28. Adoption Process Newcomers explore the site and peruse Add links and existing resources files; leave Make Establish and discussions ratings and connections by appropriate “following” impressions level of others; build governance own profile28
    29. 29. Outcomes Understand - consolidated multiple systems into single 1 Organizational application Readiness - designed a phased approach - provided guidelines for creating ideal 2 Seed Data entries Consider Search - prepopulated tags to select from 3 Strategy - allow employees to create new tags Find Your 4 - everyone set up as a contributor Experts Deploy a Soft - new hire onboarding 5 Launch - client-specific sites29
    30. 30. Question For You… How would you measure the impact of a social platform?30
    31. 31. Measurement Resourcing Response Administrative Tasks Time to Deployment Product Questions RFP Information Contacts Opportunity Response Client Satisfaction Client Issues Templates Time to Fly Solo Time to “Expert” Document Examples31
    32. 32. Metrics Speed of Response Employee Empowerment External Internal  Average client response  Employee retention – still time decreased from 2-3 engaged from home office days to less than 1 hour  Time to deployment reduced  Elimination of email from months to weeks distribution lists  Increase in overall collaboration32 Educe Group Confidential
    33. 33. Disaster Recovery – Unintended Consequences Educe New York City office33 Photo:
    34. 34. Q’s and A’s #virtual2IRL if we don’t get to chatEduce Group Confidential
    35. 35. Thank you for your interest! Contact Us Brandon Williams Email: Phone: 540.471.0186 Twitter: @bdotw Additional information and white papers can be found at: www.educegroup.com35