Beyond the balance sheet: How Social Contributes Real Business Value

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Best practices and guidelines for social media programs that help enhance organizational performance.

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  • Our survey made it clear that, regardless of industry or corporate strategy, it’s the sell activity that can benefit most, particularly for companies in high-touch industries such as retail, consulting and banking. It should be no surprise that activities such as customer service, sales and marketing are the obvious focus for social media efforts, since they are inherently built around external relationships, and most companies currently view social media as an external activity. But there’s an internal potential for social media here too: Sell activities arguably experience far greater change at a far greater pace than activities like run and report — and it’s in fast-changing circumstances that social media’s collaboration and knowledge-sharing can transform performance.At the other end of the spectrum, all the companies that we spoke to agree that social media is less important for the report function, which includes activities around finance and accounting. These functions interface less often with customers and even with other internal teams, and have clearly defined roles that benefit less from collaboration.
  • percentage of companies surveyed that reported improvements in business processes and organizational benefits according to the social media strategy it has deployed. A combination of bottom-up and corporate-wide initiatives works for processes such as sell (81% of companies that use this combination reported improvements in this process). A mixed bottom-up/top-down approach also empowers business agility. In terms of collaboration and information sharing it is better to have company-wide initiatives in place, otherwise organizational silos may be created, which hurts both processes (67% of companies with enterprise-wide initiatives improve information sharing compared to 33% of companies with bottom-up approaches).
  • percentage of companies surveyed that reported improvements in business processes and organizational benefits according to the social media strategy it has deployed. A combination of bottom-up and corporate-wide initiatives works for processes such as sell (81% of companies that use this combination reported improvements in this process). A mixed bottom-up/top-down approach also empowers business agility. In terms of collaboration and information sharing it is better to have company-wide initiatives in place, otherwise organizational silos may be created, which hurts both processes (67% of companies with enterprise-wide initiatives improve information sharing compared to 33% of companies with bottom-up approaches).
  • Danone Turning Disruption Into Productivity Managing Organizational Change Danone decentralized its organizational structure as part of a program of strategic change that it initiated in the early 2000s. The senior management team recognized that this reorganization would affect the way teams worked together and had the potential to damage productivity. In response to that risk, the company turned to social media to drive collaboration and increase knowledge share among staff around the world. The Solution In 2008, the company launched an enterprise-wide social media platform called Dan 2.0, to support the new company structure. Danone built the platform on IBM Connections, a software product that allows users to create personal profiles and participate in communities with other like-minded employees. It also supports micro-blogging and wikis for effective information sharing. Dan 2.0 is linked to the corporate directory so any employee can access it. Participation is voluntary, and all users who join the network are visible to each other. The platform enables users to create community groups across teams, divisions and projects, which can be public, invitation-based or predefined. To date, 30,000 members use Dan 2.0 across 400 communities. The Benefits Dan 2.0 has had a huge impact on Danone’s business process efficiency. The platform has allowed distributed global teams to share best practices and avoid duplication of effort. For example, by sharing their experiences, regional teams have been able to reuse product launch activities in each country, reducing the total cost of product rollouts. Danone has also witnessed a change in behavior as a result of empowering employees to express themselves. Dan 2.0 provides a platform for individual recognition that acts as an incentive for involvement. What Made a Difference? Danone’s HR and IT teams delivered a decentralized launch. They created supporting assets such as user guides, how-to videos, leaflets and posters to educate employees and raise awareness of the initiative. Danone recognized that cultural variations across regions would impact the way employees engage with the platform. In Asia, for example, Danone adapted the way the platform is used and invited a few employees to join existing communities rather than create their own. Danone understood that taking a horizontal approach to participation is a key factor for success. By granting everyone the same rights within the platform, Danone demonstrates that knowledge is valued over seniority or position, encouraging true collaboration that benefits the business. Key Success Factors: Danone surveyed 2,000 employees about their needs and expectations relating to social media tools. All users are treated equally to invite collaboration.
  • Responding to the Social Need France Telecom-Orange is one of the world’s largest telecoms brands, offering mobile, Internet and television services to over 200 million customers across 35 countries. The company uses social media to connect with customers and uses Facebook and LinkedIn to support recruitment initiatives. As well as these external applications of social media, the company has also launched an internal social network built on SharePoint called Plazza that aims to improve employee well-being. The Solution France Telecom-Orange launched Plazza in December 2010. The main objectives were to create a spirit of collaboration, and more importantly, to improve levels of employee satisfaction in the company. Before launch, staff morale was very low and the company recognized it needed to take action to improve the corporate reputation internally. France Telecom-Orange did not implement social media simply to increase productivity. Instead, it focused on creating communities where employees can interact with each other. The network now has over 35,000 members in 38 countries. 80% of the 1,200 communities that have been created are for business purposes, with the remaining 20% focused on personal interests that are shared between employees. The Benefits The success criteria for this project were more qualitative than quantitative. In fact, France Telecom-Orange sees performance improvements as a secondary output from the initiative, and one that it doesn’t choose to actively measure. Instead, it focuses on employee satisfaction levels that are evaluated with biannual stress surveys and by monitoring the rate of staff turnover. One important output from the project has been the increase in information sharing between the social network and other platforms within the company. France Telecom-Orange has integrated Plazza with existing internal platforms that are all accessible through the company directory. Users can choose the most appropriate platform that they need to complete the job at hand, benefitting from “collective intelligence” within the wider team. What Made a Difference? For France Telecom-Orange, the focus on social performance indicators rather than economic ones is a key factor in generating value for Plazza. In this case, all objectives for implementing a social media platform are focused on staff involvement and managing satisfaction. Senior management actively encourages users to engage with each other for non-business needs to help foster a community culture within the global team. By doing so, it has positioned the platform as a value-added initiative, rather than an obligation. Key Success Factors: Focus on social rather than economic performance measures to drive adoption. Promote personal connections as much as professional ones.
  • GDF Suez Energy Services Valuing Everyone’s Contribution to Innovation Promoting Information Sharing GDF Suez Energy Services (GSES) offers energy and environmental efficiency solutions to commercial customers. As part of the GDF Suez S.A. group of companies, it operates multiple local business units across 30 countries. Facilitating the sharing of technical and commercial information is a key priority for GSES, so in 2010 it decided to launch its own social network to increase and improve internal collaboration. The Solution The company chose to build a network based on BlueKiwi technology, involving a limited number of employees. Following a pilot phase, GSES deployed the network company-wide and now gives all staff the option to join. The platform is maintained by the GDF Suez Information Systems department and has 3,000 members across 65 communities. One of the initial drivers for the project was to encourage the sharing of knowledge on key topics that are at the heart of the GSES business: sustainable mobility and electric vehicles, energy efficiency and renewable energies. The most active members in the network are from technical and commercial divisions. All members are invited to participate in conversations about innovation that contribute to business development initiatives. The Benefits GSES’s social network has made a real difference to the way knowledge is shared between international teams and across language barriers. Experts are no longer isolated due to location and the business is more agile as a result of improved access to specific expertise. Roughly 90% of business questions posted in the network are answered within one week, allowing ideas and proposals to be developed faster. Individuals benefit from the combined knowledge available within the company to drive business growth. What Made a Difference? GSES focused on the needs of employees rather than the the senior management team, resulting in a bottom-up approach to the way the network is used. Active community members are not forced to use the platform but see it as a tool to improve their effectiveness, and so chose to participate for their own benefit. Although senior managers have not made it obligatory to join the network and participate in community conversations, they are fully supportive of the initiative. This has also been a key factor for success. Without sponsorship at the most senior levels of the company, social media initiatives can be de-prioritized and sidelined before they are able to start delivering real benefit. Key Success Factors: Adopt a bottom-up approach to implementation to increase participation. Focus on the needs of the employees so that the network benefits regular users. Find a sponsor in senior management to ensure the project receives the support it deserves.
  • Sharing Global Experience Groupe ADEO (ADEO) is one of Europe’s largest DIY retailers, with operations in 13 countries. The group is made up of 25 autonomous companies and employs more than 66,000 people. Employees wanted a way to share best practices and promote innovation in the company, which prompted ADEO to build a company-wide social platform called ADEO Community Network. The platform is available to employees across multiple business functions and hosts multiple internal communities. The Solution ADEO adopted social media to support three objectives: Improving the perception of the group across members and employees. Increasing employee well-being and promoting entrepreneurial spirit. Driving collaboration and promoting innovation. ADEO wanted to create a place where employees can express themselves, have their opinions heard and to develop their ideas. The network it developed supports “places of proximity” which are both face-to-face and online, where staff can get together and discuss topics without any barriers. The Benefits For ADEO, social media helped to break down internal silos between teams across the group companies. It has fostered a spirit of collaboration and promotes the sense of “one team” on a global scale. It has proved to be an effective platform for sharing best practices between teams and geographies, and provides a way to access expertise that is spread throughout the company. The platform also provides employees with a way to express themselves that recognizes their individual contributions. As a result of the visibility, employees are motivated to innovate and share their thoughts and ideas, promoting a true entrepreneurial culture in the company. What Made a Difference? The corporate culture at ADEO supports collaboration and encourages entrepreneurial spirit, which gave its social media initiative a great foundation for widespread adoption. By placing such importance on these cultural values, the company effectively empowered staff to break down internal barriers to communication and share their knowledge for the benefit of ADEO. ADEO also reassured staff by providing training on how to use their social media platforms, but with a focus on developing their mindset rather than on the features of the tools. Key Success Factors: A corporate culture that supports collaboration will promote widespread adoption. Delivering training that focuses on the benefits of using the tool. Reassuring employees rather than trying to control them.
  • MAPFRE Harnessing Employee Insight to Solve Business Challenges Enhancing Global Communication MAPFRE is a financial services company operating in 44 countries across Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas. There are 258 companies in the group that offer insurance services and investment advice to personal and business customers. MAPFRE uses social media to engage externally with customers, as well as internally to enhance communications with employees. The Solution MAPFRE employees actively contribute to internal blogs and forum discussions around issues that are operationally and strategically important for the company. A team of staff from HR, communications and IT governs all social media initiatives and manages the various platforms that are used. MAPFRE also applies a more specific usage for social media with its “idea incubator.” This is a platform for problem solving and idea sharing, where a business challenge is posted to a chosen group — generally consisting of staff who are most affected by the particular issue. Participants are invited to propose solutions to the challenge, critically discuss them and then vote for the best ones. The most popular ideas are presented to a committee that decides which ones to fund and develop further. The Benefits Social media has provided MAPFRE with a way to benefit from combined knowledge in the workforce and remove obstacles to business growth. It has helped to create a culture of successful innovation within the company by not only allowing staff to share ideas, but also by generating greater support for business changes amongst the team members who are affected by them. Social media platforms also provide a way for business leaders to monitor employee engagement on key initiatives. Team members are provided with an opportunity to share their opinions and be heard by the senior managers, contributing to a sense of community and inclusion within the team. What Made a Difference? MAPFRE governs all social media initiatives centrally, with a consistent strategy across the whole company. However, governance is light and employees are free to express their opinions. This encourages open discussion and creates a safe environment for participation. MAPFRE has also found that individual recognition is a great way to encourage people to get involved. Users create a personal profile with a picture so that any ideas they submit on blogs or in the ideas incubator can be associated with them. Individuals are not made to feel anonymous in the organization and therefore feel their voice can be heard. Key Success Factors: Focus on social rather than economic performance measures to drive adoption. Promote personal connections as much as professional ones.
  • Supporting the Corporate Brand Société Générale’s banking operations span 83 countries. It has largely grown through acquisition, creating communications challenges between the business units within the group. To help unify those brands, an internal social media solution called SharinG was launched in 2009. Its purpose was to standardize the practices of the HR department and reinforce a common corporate identity. The Solution SharinG has a very specific remit: to share information among HR teams internally and create a consistent cultural experience for employees. The solution is based on four pillars: A corporate directory with rich profiles which can be edited directly by individuals. Forums and wikis for information exchange. HR team communities. A central information repository for materials provided by corporate and content created within the communities. The platform is available to 3,200 HR employees who can create communities for project- or region-specific purposes. About 2,600 within that group are members and around 10% use the platform regularly. The Benefits Société Générale has successfully improved information flow across the HR organization by adopting social media. Local teams can share best practices and access corporate resources from a central location to ensure that initiatives and programs are consistent and within corporate guidelines. There is no restriction on usage based on hierarchy or an individual’s role within the company. All members of the HR community benefit from direct access to international coworkers and information that is provided through the platform. Teams have been brought closer together and working practices have been standardized across the group. What Made a Difference? Société Générale experimented with other social media platforms before they fully developed SharinG. The process of trial and error allowed the company to understand the most important features required and to create a platform that was fit for its purpose. Development lasted several months and required HR to collaborate closely with the IT team in order to manage all the requirements. Adoption was initially slow due to the nature of the tool – many users found it difficult to use. By listening to feedback and making changes, Société Générale has overcome this barrier to adoption. This highlights the importance of a user-friendly, intuitive interface for social media platforms. Key Success Factors: Don’t be afraid to experiment to find the best solution. Develop the platform in response to user feedback to improve adoption rates. Make sure the platform is user-friendly and easy for nontechnical people to use.
  • Beyond the balance sheet: How Social Contributes Real Business Value

    1. 1. In collaboration with Beyond The Balance Sheet How Social Contributes Real Business Value©2013, Cognizant
    2. 2. Content 2 Introduction 3 What is Your Social Quotient? 4 The Three Stages 16 How to Make Your Social Strategy Work 17 Case Studies1 | ©2013, Cognizant
    3. 3. Cognizant partnered with INSEAD to examine the socialquotient of enterprises Findings show five potential business impacts of integrating social technology in the enterprise: • Better information flow – sharing of skills and knowledge • Better collaboration – greater interconnectedness, within and across teams • Greater innovation – driving employee empowerment • Increased co-creation – particularly by bringing customers and partners into internal processes • Increased agility – the ability for organizations as a whole to refocus on new opportunities more quickly. 2 | ©2013, Cognizant
    4. 4. What‟s your Social Quotient? The combination of social media uses and company enablers impact business processes and deliver organizational benefits Drivers for organizational change 3 | ©2013, Cognizant
    5. 5. How Do You Get There? Following a three stage process for planning and implementation of an enterprise social media will maximize benefits. Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 • Identify • Identify the • Improve the activities major target company‟s that social audience for social technologies social media quotient can enhance 4 | ©2013, Cognizant
    6. 6. Stage 1 Identify activities that social technologies can enhance Report: Think: Finance and accounting Strategy development and management Run: Design: “Back office” functions Business New product or like IT and HR Process service development Sell: Build: Client management, Production or marketing and sales service delivery Six basic activities of organizational operations 5 | ©2013, Cognizant
    7. 7. Stage 1Connect with customers for co-creation, with employeesfor collaboration and with other companies for innovationUses of social media Sell Think Design Build Run CountEmployees + + +Customers +Suppliers and serviceprovidersOther companies in the + + + +industryField specialistsOur survey made it clear that, regardless of industry or corporatestrategy, it‟s the sell activity involving client management, marketingcommunications and sales that can benefit most, particularly forcompanies in high-touch industries such as retail, consulting and banking. 6 | ©2013, Cognizant
    8. 8. Stage 1Recommendations• Allow employees and customers to participate in the product development process.• Make sure that social media is implemented with clear objectives.• Gradually provide teams more participation in decision-making process. 7 | ©2013, Cognizant
    9. 9. Stage 2Identify Target Audience for Social Media Customers 24.6 % of companies surveyed use a 15.3% hybrid approach 20.7% 14.3% 24.6% 11.3% 5.4% 8.4% Employees Partners Adoption by target constituencies 8 | ©2013, Cognizant
    10. 10. Stage 2Choice of audience co-relates to benefits achieved Better internal Greater Better Increased Increased information internal Collaboration co-creation agility flow innovationEmployees only 52% 48% 35% 22% 26%Partners and 27% 21% 21% 30% 33%customersPartners,customers 52% 52% 31% 28% 46%and employees Percentage of companies that realized benefits from social media with each target constituency Organizations targeting both internal and external audiences achieve better results because they have invested more in maturing their social media competencies 9 | ©2013, Cognizant
    11. 11. Stage 2Success depends on engaging your users Think Design Build Sell Run ReportEmployeesonlyCustomerOthercompaniesin industry The mark “+” indicates in which business processes the different uses of social media bring a meaningful improvement, based on the survey data evidence10 | ©2013, Cognizant
    12. 12. Stage 2Recommendations• Start with the challenge you want to overcome or area you want to improve.• Experiment with a particular problem or department such as the helpdesk, for example, rather than starting a social media initiative without a mission in mind.• Establish a social platform that allows you to aggregate all interactions between employees and interactions with customers, in one place.11 | ©2013, Cognizant
    13. 13. Stage 3Improve the Organization‟s Social Quotient Integration of Social Media Technology with Company‟s core information systems is a key step in achieving better information flow across functions. The Survey found that more organizational decentralization makes companies more likely to report benefits in terms of improved information flow, more collaboration and, most interestingly, more employee innovation.12 | ©2013, Cognizant
    14. 14. Stage 3The best uses comes from users when social tools aretailored to specific business needs 100 80 60 (%) 40 20 0 Think Design Build Sell Run Count Bottom-up (organic growth) Company-wide initiative (top-down) Combination of both Percentage of Companies Reporting Business Process Benefits by Type of Deployment13 | ©2013, Cognizant
    15. 15. Stage 3A Top Down Approach is More Beneficial for InformationFlow across Company whereas the Hybrid Approachbrings in More Business Agility 100 80 60 (%) 40 20 0 Better information Better employee More employee Customers More business knowledge flow collaboration within innovation co-creation agility across teams and across teams (e.g. product development) Bottom-up (organic growth) Company-wide initiative (top-down) Combination of both Percentage of Companies Reporting Organizational Benefits By Type of Deployment14 | ©2013, Cognizant
    16. 16. Stage 3There is more than one way to implement• Differentiate in the market by educating and empowering employees to use social technologies in specific ways.• Plan awareness campaigns to inform employees how social technologies brings value to their daily activities.• Embrace bottom-up social initiatives taken by individual teams and units only if the company has company-wide processes for information sharing to avoid creating organizational silos.• Balance empowerment (encouraging individual creativity) and accountability. Establish an individual recognition system.15 | ©2013, Cognizant
    17. 17. How to Make Your Social Strategy WorkBe clear about • Start by asking yourself why you want to adoptyour motives social technologiesExperiment to find • Test the viability of social platforms and needs theyyour perfect fit should addressEngage with users • It is not enough to simply deliver – constantly reviewand respond to and adapt.their feedbackGet senior • Employees respond to change better when theirmanagement business leaders are onboardinvolvedGive users • Users need guidelines but they also need freedom tofreedom express themselves16 | ©2013, Cognizant
    18. 18. Case Studies17 | ©2013, Cognizant
    19. 19. Turning disruption into productivityBusiness ChallengeManaging change resulting from decentralization of organizational structure of a largeFood Processing CompanyHow was this addressed?• An enterprise wide social platform of 30,000 members across 400 communities was developed• The platform allowed distributed global teams to share best practices and avoid duplication of effortKey Success Factors• The launch was decentralized so it could be adapted to global needs.• Training assets are widely available to raise awareness and encourage uptake.• All users are treated equally to invite collaboration18 | ©2013, Cognizant
    20. 20. Supporting employee well-beingBusiness ChallengeResponding to social need by extending social platform internally to improve employee wellbeing by a Global Telecommunications ProviderHow was this addressed?• Developed communities with both business focus and employee interest resulting in 35,000 members in 38 countries• Increase in information sharing in communities helped strengthened “collective intelligence” within wider team and improve staff moraleKey Success Factors• Focus on social rather than economic performance measures to drive adoption.• Promote personal connections as much as professional ones.19 | ©2013, Cognizant
    21. 21. Valuing everyone‟s contribution to innovationBusiness ChallengePromoting information sharing of technical and commercial information and improvingcollaboration by an Energy Services CompanyHow was this addressed?• Company wide platform was deployed to encourage knowledge sharing on key business topics resulting in 3,000 members across 65 communities• Business is more agile as a result of improved access to specific expertise and knowledge sharing among international teamsKey Success Factors• Adopt a bottom-up approach to implementation to increase participation.• Focus on the needs of the employees so that the network benefits regular users.• Find a sponsor in senior management to ensure project receives full support20 | ©2013, Cognizant
    22. 22. Building a platform for self expressionBusiness ChallengeEmployees wanted a way to share best practices and promote innovationacross multiple business units within the Global DIY Retailer company.How was this addressed?• The company adopted social technologies to increase employee well being, drive collaboration and improve innovation.• Social platform helped break down internal silos between teams across group companies and fostered a spirit of collaboration and promotes sense of “one team” on a global scale.Key Success Factors• A corporate culture that supports collaboration helped promote widespread adoption.• Delivering training that focuses on the benefits of using the tool.• Reassuring employees rather than trying to control them.21 | ©2013, Cognizant
    23. 23. Harnessing employee insight to solve businesschallengesBusiness ChallengeTo enhance global communication by engaging externally with customers as well as internallywith employees in a Financial Services CompanyHow was this addressed?• Employees are encouraged to actively contribute to internal blogs, forum discussions and „idea incubator‟ for problem solving and idea sharing• The company benefitted from combined knowledge in the workforce, culture of innovation and helping monitor employee engagement on key initiativesKey Success Factors• Focus on social rather than economic performance measures to drive adoption.• Promote personal connections as much as professional ones.• Keep Governance light22 | ©2013, Cognizant
    24. 24. Unifying operations for equalityBusiness ChallengeSupporting the corporate brand and mitigating communication challenges between businessunits as a result of company‟s growth through acquisitions in an International BankHow was this addressed?• HR team communities were launched with access to 3,200 HR employees for creating corporate content and information exchange was enabled through forums and wikis• All members of HR community have direct access to international co-workers and working practices and access corporate resources from a central platform.Key Success Factors• Don‟t be afraid to experiment to find the best solution.• Develop the platform in response to user feedback to improve adoption rates.• Make sure platform is user-friendly and easy for non-technical people to use.23 | ©2013, Cognizant
    25. 25. Thank you If you would like to discuss this study further, contact Cognizant at Inquiry@cognizant.com©2013, Cognizant

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