Re-write your job description for the social intranet era

March 5, 2013 by

I was just on LinkedIn, briefly browsing the inevitable list of suggested new connections that appear on the site. You know the screen. A bunch of boxes with friendly faces of people, most of whom you’ve never actually met or seen before. Those who use LinkedIn are often either those looking for job opportunities, or those offering the opportunities and are looking for the right candidate. If you are the one in the latter position, perhaps you’re a manager looking to build your team, and you need someone for inside sales as an example, you can learn more about who to hire, why, and what to look for during the hiring process to make sure you have the best chance of getting the right person for the job. This switch into the online world is a further sign of the progression of business-oriented tasks being power by a technologically driven mindset.

I ran across a fellow whose title is “Intranet and Collaboration Projects Manager”.

I paused. I looked at that for a moment and then realized why the job title struck me so. Just a few years ago that title would have been just “Intranet Manager” but in today’s modern world the job titles need to be more specific to the job role.

“Collaboration” now central to intranet scope

The “collaboration” piece has been added to many people’s job descriptions over the last few years. Do you remember before intranets included collaboration? And enterprise social networking? And social business? And ideation? Do you remember when managing the intranet was about managing just centralized reference content and news? When only a small handful of people could publish to the intranet?

But today “collaboration” is becoming an almost universal piece of the intranet puzzle. If it’s not a piece of your intranet puzzle, you should probably be worried.

Collaboration is strategic, not just an IT issue

It’s not just that the features and scope of intranets have evolved. Another important change is occurring: collaboration team sites, such as those in SharePoint, are moving from the sole control of the IT department to become part of a larger scope now being managed by people in Internal Communications and HR.

Now the job of supporting collaboration amongst teams is being rolled into a larger effort. This effort aims to enable collaboration, open communication, connections and social networking across the entire company. And it also aims to integrate these activities with the central intranet platform.

Not only is this new scope of intranet management greatly increased, but the collaboration aspects now fall under the strategic banners of innovation and employee engagement, not just IT.

Has your intranet job description kept up?

Business card for the social intranet eraBack in 2011 IBF released a research report on the structure and management of intranet teams, which touched upon this new set of intranet-related responsibilities. Recently the Intranetizen team published a very popular blog post about job titles for people who work on intranets.

And last year’s creation of the new Digital Workplace Forum is a major nod to this growing scope of digital tools, and the need to chart and measure this new environment.

Bottom line: The intranet world is evolving. The role of the intranet manager is evolving. But are you evolving? Is your company evolving? Has your intranet-related job title evolved over the past few years? If not, should it?

How to update your job description for the social intranet era

In case you’re trying to understand the new scope of work for the “intranet and collaboration projects manager”, below are a few tips for re-writing your job description.

Three real-world examples of modern intranet job descriptions

Change #1 – Job title

Include the words “collaboration” or “social business” or “digital workplace” or “enterprise collaboration” or “community” in your new job title. Some of these job titles might do the trick:

  • Intranet and Collaboration Projects Manager
  • Enterprise Collaboration Strategist
  • Enterprise Community Manager
  • Manager, Digital Workplace Program
  • Director, Internal Communications & Social Business.

Change #2 – Job responsibilities

Try including lines like these in the scope of your new job description:

  • Research & understand impacts of new social, digital tools on leadership and innovation
  • Oversee stakeholder governance for social and collaboration platforms
  • Create business strategies for driving cultural change towards stronger collaboration
  • Advise executives on best practices for nurturing online employee collaboration
  • Lead strategy for integrating enterprise social tools with core business platforms
  • Program management, content and execution for enterprise social software implementations
  • Project planning and strategy for enterprise social software
  • Facilitate migration of content to new collaborative platforms
  • Evangelize strategic use of collaboration tools across the enterprise
  • Nurture enterprise adoption of internal collaboration tools and habits
  • Support adoption and strategic use of enterprise communities
  • Reengineer business processes for improved flow within enterprise social software
  • Capture and analyse actionable data about adoption and use of enterprise social software
  • Guide teams in use of virtual tools for improved project collaboration
  • Provide training to power users, community managers and executives for collaboration platforms
  • Administer system settings for enterprise collaboration platforms.

Of course, you can’t just list these things as catch phrases. You’ve got to actually be good at them.

Change #3 – Job goals

Finally, if you include strategic goals such as these in your job description, your new job may resonate strongly with executives:

  • Replace targeted mass emails with interactive news on the social intranet
  • Replace some use of team-based email with more targeted and open, opt-in communications online
  • Build targeted use of online communities around core business goals
  • Improve employee engagement through adoption of employee-centered online communities
  • Integrate collaboration platform with the intranet to improve employee ease of use
  • Establish a strong governance framework of managing user-generated content
  • Implement processes for managing the lifecycle of user-generated content
  • Create processes for structured employee involvement in solving critical business problems
  • Improve cross-departmental problem solving around core business challenges.

These are just ideas. The goals are very broad. Your new job description should tie into specific business goals at your company and include clear metrics.

But the point is clear: the role of the “intranet manager” has evolved and you need to make sure your job description has too.

To keep up with related intranet trends and strategies, sign up for the IBF Newsletter.

Categorised in: Collaboration

Ephraim Freed

Ephraim is a communicator, community builder, digital strategist and employee experience leader. He helps innovative, growing organizations provide meaningful experiences of work that enrich employees' lives, grow strong, positive organizational cultures, build community, drive productivity and performance, and bring employer brands to life.

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