The rise of social media in the workplace may make some businesses uneasy, but the connections are too beneficial to ignore.
The rise of networks such as Yammer and SocialCast enable staff who never may have connected previously to join, collaborate and create solutions.
In a study done by Forrester of four companies more than 7,000 users, with a popular social network for businesses, the total benefit was $10.2 million – far outweighing the total cost of $1.7 million for a three-year license for the platform (at $5 per user).
- Project cost savings through avoiding redundant work, reorganisation of processes, improved collaboration.
- Faster on boarding: assuming a 5% turnover, with 2.3% to training, there was an overall 10% reduction in new hire training costs
Why is it important?
As a result, businesses are becoming more productive. Of those businesses which use social networks for employees, 34% of workers have said they take less time to find information and experts, while 27% recorded a decrease in duplicated tasks.
This goes beyond simple instant messaging and communication tools. The ability to share content and information with other employees over social networking is influencing job-hunting decisions. Employees are increasingly prioritising social-media freedom and device flexibility over salary in job offers.
Case in point: Westfield increasing efficiency through Yammer
Shopping centre operator Westfield has used Yammer to increase efficiencies between staff. As the company itself describes, having ground staff being able to communicate customer-level problems to high-level employees means those problems are identified and fixed much quicker.
In one particular instance, Westfield was able to identify problems with a gift card strategy after its employees on the shopfront level started communicating when those problems were identified.
Without the benefit of enterprise networking, that problem may have taken longer to fix.
Looking at the future
What you need to know