9 Adoption Strategies for Enterprise Collaboration


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Enterprise organizations are investing heavily in social collaboration technologies, but adoption rates have been surprisingly light. Employee engagement can suffer for many reasons, including simple inertia, poor communication, confusing or hard-to-use tools, and lack of consequences for doing things the way they’ve always been done.

Download “9 Adoption Strategies for Enterprise Collaboration” and discover how to empower your employees with these powerful new tools for social collaboration.

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9 Adoption Strategies for Enterprise Collaboration

  1. 1. 9 adoption strategies for enterprise collaboration
  2. 2. tibbr.com 2 9 adoption strategies for enterprise collaboration Enterprise organizations are investing heavily in social collaboration technologies, but adoption rates have been surprisingly light. Employee engagement can suffer for many reasons, including simple inertia, poor communication, confusing or hard-to-use tools, and lack of consequences for doing things the way they’ve always been done. Changing personal work habits isn’t easy, but it’s a requirement for effective collaboration in new collaboration tools is in their best interests: strategy #1: integrate new tools into your workflow When you think about business applications that get the most adoption, expense report procedures tend to top the list. This is because without adhering to the process employees won’t be reimbursed. The same concept can be applied to collaboration tools: Integrate them into your existing business processes and simply make it harder for employees to avoid using. Integrating these tools with all other business applications also makes it a seamless experience that’s easy. Your collaboration tools should replace—not supplement—older methods of interaction, and should link to important back-end systems like SharePoint or your CRM solution. According Laurie Buczek, who led strategy and implementation of social collaboration mid-stream. “Your intranet should be one in the same with your social platform,” she says, social platform must seamlessly be an integral part of that experience: Don’t ship off your employees to a separate site to socially engage and collaborate.” strategy #2: don’t overwhelm your employees Give your employees time to adjust to new ways of doing things. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so build your collaboration efforts on a steady stream of small successes. You can start by departments. This will allow you to work out any kinks in the system—and give you a ready supply of news you can use to keep awareness top of mind throughout your organization.
  3. 3. tibbr.com 3 strategy #3: celebrate Who doesn’t like a party? Creating excitement around a new collaboration platform is a great way to attract attention and generate interest, especially if you’re on a mission to create a new corporate culture. Consider ushering in your new era of collaboration with a company- wide party, where everyone’s tasked to buy a gift for another employee chosen at random. You can put a limit on the price tag and still get everyone in a sharing mood. After a rousing kickoff, you can plan smaller events as different collaboration milestones are achieved: Just make sure you have real reasons to celebrate. strategy #4: provide clear communication on a regular basis It’s ironic that many companies introduce social collaboration platforms without getting feedback or having conversations about it with employees. Ongoing communication— starting even before you choose a collaboration tool if possible—is important if you want to build trust and universal buy-in. Beforeimplementation,surveyyouremployeesaboutwhatproblemsthey’dlikeacollaboration tool to solve. Get as much input as possible, and make it public through traditional channels. If you have a steering committee leading the selection and implementation process, be sure their activities are open, accessible, and visible throughout the enterprise. Consider branding the collaboration effort at your company in some way to help get the idea to stick in the collective consciousness of your enterprise. Enlist a creative team, or better yet, ask your whole company to collaborate on the best tagline and/or logo. When you’re starting to implement your new tools or platform, use hands-on activities— such as brown bag lunches with champions or “super users”, road shows, focus groups, public. Provide a forum for airing criticisms and address concerns head on. Make sure your people know who they can talk to for basic information, suggestions and support. strategy #5: teach the why as much as the how Training around your new collaboration tool or platform should explain what it’s for, what processes will be impacted and how to use it, but it’s even more important to explain to employees why it’s so important.
  4. 4. tibbr.com 4 customer service how they can use to tool to answer their customer’s questions faster. more use-case ideas from your employees—using the tool itself—and frame all the examples within the larger context of the social media revolution. Consider making training sessions available in person and online. Produce and distribute video success stories, and employ super users of the collaboration tools to mentor others. Tailor your training by department or team if necessary, and don’t forget to revamp your employee orientation program to include collaboration training right from the start. strategy #6: show, don’t tell According to IDC’s Michael Fauscette, the more people who use a collaboration platform, the more people will want to use it. Nobody likes to feel left out, so be sure to use the earnings and other important company news. Make public demonstrations of how your CEO, top management, super users and likable people within your company are making the new tools come to life. Be careful, though, because executive support has to go beyond lip service. If you show a manager posting a document to a team site on Monday, she can’t go back to sending email attachments on Tuesday. For a new collaboration platform to become trusted, everyone has to follow the same rules. strategy #7: gamify the adoption process Increased productivity isn’t always incentive enough for people to adopt a new set of around your new platform and use a little friendly competition to get people collaborating. encourage action or participation. The basic components include:
  5. 5. tibbr.com 5 A series of rewards and incentives, such as badges or tickets to Hawaii, that can be earned for doing things like posting to a blog, talking to a subject matter expert or collaborating outside your normal silo Online recognition through leader boards, group rankings, points needed, etc. The ability to Level Up to achieve greater mastery and open new functionality, tasks or training Make it fun, but not frivolous, and make sure you don’t reward behavior that you’re trying to eliminate. And, whenever possible, reward teams of people working together, not single employees. strategy #8: include everybody According to Forrester, “elite” employees tend to adopt and use collaboration tools more than others: More than half earn over $60k a year, compared to 36 percent of non-users Forty-nine percent are managers or executives, compared to 31 percent of non-users Continually monitor your adoption rate and make a special effort to encourage non-users to join in. If anyone feels excluded in any way, you’re totally missing the point. strategy #9: collaborate with your vendor Your collaboration solution provider can be a valuable ally in your effort to engage employees. They can hook you up with other customers who’ve had adoption success, and can give you their own ideas of what could work best in your enterprise. You can return the favor by telling your success story by making a video, giving a tradeshow presentation or simply talking to a future customer who’s in the same position you were it. After all, isn’t that what collaboration’s all about?
  6. 6. tibbr.com 6 conclusion There’s no better adoption strategy than simply adding that real value to your employees work value in the utility that collaboration technologies provide, while others will appreciate how easily accessible the tools are. Others will respond to incentives, or to the sense of belonging that using the tools can create. With a diverse set of employees, you need a diverse set of value-added adoption strategies to get them all using the same collaboration platform.
  7. 7. tibbr.com 7 sources 2011. Retrieved February 2012 from http://karthikchakkarapani.wordpress.com/2011/07/02/enterprise-collaborationsocial- business-platform-key-steps-for-successful-implementation/ 2012 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-M17tZUkY-M Fauscette, Michael (2011). “Driving Adoption of Social Collaboration Tools,” http://www.mfauscette.com/software_ technology_partn/2011/06/driving-adoption-of-social-collaboration-tools.html, Thursday, 16 June 2011 Freeland, Amy (2011). “Can Enterprise 2.0 Tools Show Its Promise If Employees Won’t Use It?” NTTCOM.TV, September http://www.nttcom.tv/2011/09/05/can-enterprise-2-0-tools-show-its-promise-if- employees-wont-use-it/ Gotz, Ruben; Hkipple, Kanwal; McCoy, John; Palmer, Veronique (2011). “Best Practices for Ensuring Adoption of Collaboration Tools,” Focus Research, February 22, 2011. 2011. Retrieved February 2012 from http://www.dashe.com/blog/social-learning/the-key-to-adoption-of-collaboration- tools-process-integration 2011. Retrieved February 2012 from http://blog.theentrepreneursadvisor.com/2011/07/gamification-improving-software- adoption-rates/