Why should we implement social?

May 17, 2013 by

Ria BreuerMany discussions in the past hours of Digital Workplace 24 have evolved around collaboration. This morning there was a lively discussion after the Deloitte presentation. There are many reasons why we are trying to get these social tools introduced in our organisations and each organisation may have their own specific reasons. However, I think the reasons mentioned below apply to most of them.

Knowledge sharing

Many employees are having a hard time finding information and expertise on a specific topic within the organisation. Much is stored within specific projects, departments and within the head of individuals (tacit knowledge). Social Technologies enable employees to share knowlege across organisational boundaries.


Innovation is vital for many companies to survive in a highly competitive market. Great ideas usually do not come from one individual, but are the result of a group process. Social tools facilitate the generation of ideas across organizational silos and geographical boundaries.

Changing workforce

Worldwide there’s a rapid change in the workforce. Baby boomers still have a few years to go, but when they leave, they will take a wealth of knowledge and experience with them. And, in the near future, companies will compete for talented new employees. In both cases, social media can help. Knowlege of older employees can be recorded for future use. And new employees can be attracted (and kept!) by offering the same tools they use in their private life.

Facilitating learning

Learning is important and often occurs informally by working together and collecting information. Social media make this way of learning possible: it changes the way employees collect, organise and distribute information. It also plays an important role after an official training session: in online talks between trainer and trainees, knowledge acquired during the training can be maintained and extended.

The new way of working

Most employees still travel each day to the office, but in the near future flexible working will no longer be an exception for knowledge workers. Social tools enable employees to work when and where they want.

Inside out

Social media change the way an organisation is managed, how people collaborate and how people work. They affect a company’s culture which in turn affects marketing, product development, HR management and so on. And ultimately they change the way in which a company interacts with their customers – from the inside out.

What do you think? Is this list complete?

Ria Breuer (@riabreuer) is Global Intranet Manager and social media specialist at Océ-Technologies BV, a Canon Group Company in The Netherlands


Categorised in: DWG24

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