Driving Employee Engagement
through a Social Intranet
Kelly Osborn
Community Manager, National Archives
Kelly.Osborn@nara....
THE PROBLEM
Facts about NARA:
• Lots of people work in lots of different places
(more than 40 facilities nationwide)
• Bra...
Also?
According to the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Results,
we’re consistently one of the worst places to work in th...
THE PITCH
Can we make a positive change at the National
Archives by empowering employees to foster
communication and colla...
Internal Collaboration Network
Our Internal Collaboration Network
(ICN) is a platform that uses social
media-based softwar...
But what is it, really?
Useful functions
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Profile pages
Contacts (“friends”)
Groups
Workspaces
Status updates
Discussions/Forums...
Step 1: Find a champion
Step 2: Identify and clarify your objectives
• What is the business need? Determine this
first. Then look at technology. T...
Explicitly state what you want your
network to accomplish
• One NARA (transfer best practices/knowledge across NARA
units)...
Step 3: Research
• Talk to other agency networks, internal
stakeholders, and vendors
• Find out about best practices and l...
Define requirements by gathering
input from EVERYONE
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Legal Counsel
Human Resources
IT Security
Reco...
Address “risks”
• What if someone says
something mean or
negative on the
network?
• What if people waste
their time on the...
Best practices from other agencies
• Find out what your users’ “pain points” are and make
sure the system addresses these ...
What have these networks done for
other agencies?
• Revolutionized knowledge capture and transfer
(“wikified” US Army fiel...
Step 4: Get ready, because the rest is a
long slog, all uphill
“Where’s the ‘real’ work?”

Steve Radick, “If You Want a Culture of Collaboration, You Need to Accept the LOLCats Too” (Ja...
It’s all just puppies and kittens!
It’s NARA, but it’s still not work, is it?

• 250 replies
• 2400 views
Information exchange

•
•
•

56 likes
Almost 600 views
20 comments including a follow-up from Micah
Collaboration

•
•
•

800 views
34 comments
About a dozen different parts of the agency
Innovation

• 300 views
• 46 replies
• Input from across the country
The complex relationship between an
"information" intranet and a
"collaboration space"
• Different audiences require diffe...
Managing stakeholder relationships
•
•
•
•
•

Make your critics early adopters
Encourage conversation
Share liberally
Writ...
Measuring engagement and using that
to inform a broader strategy

Technology adoption lifecycle: Everett Rogers’ bell curv...
1% rule of Internet culture

1% of the population creates the content that 9% edits or comments
on, while 90% view and sil...
Identifying issues preventing wider
adoption
• Managers nervous that their staff will make
them look bad
• “I don’t have t...
Separate the issues
• Technology problems are fixable!
• So are training issues
• But technology alone will not solve a cu...
Take your community seriously

Kelly Osborn
Kelly.Osborn@nara.gov
@kellygo
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Driving Employee Engagement Through A Social Intranet - Federal Communicators Network - January 16, 2014

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Slides from Kelly Osborn at the U.S. government's National Archives, from an event January 16, 2014, Driving Employee Engagement Through A Social Intranet.

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Driving Employee Engagement Through A Social Intranet - Federal Communicators Network - January 16, 2014

  1. 1. Driving Employee Engagement through a Social Intranet Kelly Osborn Community Manager, National Archives Kelly.Osborn@nara.gov January 16, 2014 National Archives Office of Innovation and the Federal Communicators Network
  2. 2. THE PROBLEM Facts about NARA: • Lots of people work in lots of different places (more than 40 facilities nationwide) • Brain drain caused by retiring staff • Outdated technology • Risk-averse agency culture • Buried expertise • Shrinking budget
  3. 3. Also? According to the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Results, we’re consistently one of the worst places to work in the Federal Government, and we don’t trust our leaders.
  4. 4. THE PITCH Can we make a positive change at the National Archives by empowering employees to foster communication and collaboration from the ground up, instead of the top down?
  5. 5. Internal Collaboration Network Our Internal Collaboration Network (ICN) is a platform that uses social media-based software to enable staff to better communicate, collaborate, and build communities. Its features are similar to those found on social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn, but are used in a professional context.
  6. 6. But what is it, really?
  7. 7. Useful functions • • • • • • • • • Profile pages Contacts (“friends”) Groups Workspaces Status updates Discussions/Forums Tagging Project Management Blogs (team and individual) • • • • • • • • • Wikis Team calendars Robust search functions File sharing Ratings and polls Announcements Flags for abuse Social bookmarking Mobile capability (eventually)
  8. 8. Step 1: Find a champion
  9. 9. Step 2: Identify and clarify your objectives • What is the business need? Determine this first. Then look at technology. Then think about design. • What goals can reasonably be accomplished? • How do you measure success?
  10. 10. Explicitly state what you want your network to accomplish • One NARA (transfer best practices/knowledge across NARA units) • Out in Front (building our internal infrastructure with innovative tools) • An Agency of Leaders (empower staff throughout the agency to lead) • A Great Place to Work (opportunity to participate and collaborate, allowing for trial and error; encouraging creativity, using technology to empower staff) • A Customer-Focused Organization (improve work processes, get answers to customer questions quickly) • An Open NARA (make internal information, including decision making, accessible to staff by default)
  11. 11. Step 3: Research • Talk to other agency networks, internal stakeholders, and vendors • Find out about best practices and lessons learned • Ask, “What’s the worst thing that ever happened?” • Useful phrase to use for fellow govies: “Might you share that documentation with us?”
  12. 12. Define requirements by gathering input from EVERYONE • • • • • • • • • • • Legal Counsel Human Resources IT Security Records Management AFGE (Union) Acquisitions Policy Social Media Web Programs Knowledge Management COOP (Continuity of Operations Plan)
  13. 13. Address “risks” • What if someone says something mean or negative on the network? • What if people waste their time on the network?
  14. 14. Best practices from other agencies • Find out what your users’ “pain points” are and make sure the system addresses these issues. • Usability is key. Make it “stupid simple” to use. • You can likely address most concerns about the network (legal, HR, union, etc.) in the terms of use policy. • Recruit subject matter experts to serve as community leaders. • Don’t allow anonymous postings. • Don’t spend too much money on the system, but do carefully calculate the true costs of different options.
  15. 15. What have these networks done for other agencies? • Revolutionized knowledge capture and transfer (“wikified” US Army field manual) • Uncovered hidden talent so every staffer can fully contribute to the mission of the agency (State Department’s expert locator) • Captured and shared “unwritten” knowledge (State department’s procedures for visiting dignitaries) • Prevented duplication of effort (DoD’s Aristotle project search) • Diversified working groups (NASA’s Spacebook expert/interest search)
  16. 16. Step 4: Get ready, because the rest is a long slog, all uphill
  17. 17. “Where’s the ‘real’ work?” Steve Radick, “If You Want a Culture of Collaboration, You Need to Accept the LOLCats Too” (January 5, 2012; http://steveradick.com/2012/01/05/if-you-want-a-culture-of-collaboration-you-need-to-accept-the-lolcats-too/ )
  18. 18. It’s all just puppies and kittens!
  19. 19. It’s NARA, but it’s still not work, is it? • 250 replies • 2400 views
  20. 20. Information exchange • • • 56 likes Almost 600 views 20 comments including a follow-up from Micah
  21. 21. Collaboration • • • 800 views 34 comments About a dozen different parts of the agency
  22. 22. Innovation • 300 views • 46 replies • Input from across the country
  23. 23. The complex relationship between an "information" intranet and a "collaboration space" • Different audiences require different levels of access (employees vs. contractors, for example) • Intranet as storehouse for official documents • This is a conversation, not a press release
  24. 24. Managing stakeholder relationships • • • • • Make your critics early adopters Encourage conversation Share liberally Write an “in case you missed it” every week Help your users write content that people want to read
  25. 25. Measuring engagement and using that to inform a broader strategy Technology adoption lifecycle: Everett Rogers’ bell curve
  26. 26. 1% rule of Internet culture 1% of the population creates the content that 9% edits or comments on, while 90% view and silently judge you.
  27. 27. Identifying issues preventing wider adoption • Managers nervous that their staff will make them look bad • “I don’t have time for that” (and neither does my staff) • Work conditions and access to computers • Technology flaws
  28. 28. Separate the issues • Technology problems are fixable! • So are training issues • But technology alone will not solve a culture problem
  29. 29. Take your community seriously Kelly Osborn Kelly.Osborn@nara.gov @kellygo

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