Tag Archives: Benefits

Social Networking: How to take advantage of the human web

8 Oct

Here it comes! The last compulsory blog post related to the use of web2.0 tools for companies. But fortunately, this experience gave me the taste of sharing my “knowledge” (if we can say so) with you my dear readers. I therefore intend to keep this blog updated with any information that I find interesting or any discovery that I make about Web2.0 technologies, which are always on the move.

But back to today’s topic: Companies’ usage of social networks.

Social network can be defined as a set of connections through individuals that lead to an expansion of one’s business or social contacts. Today, social networking can easily be achieved on the Internet: People can create their personal identity and share information with their contacts on an online community.

Social networking is more popular online. Indeed, the online community is a gigantic database of people that share common interests, and because it’s global you can get to know helpful contacts that you would be unlikely to have met otherwise. There even is a theory called “the six degree of separation concept” that conveys the idea that any two people on the planet could make contact through a chain of no more than five intermediaries.

The six degrees of separation concept

This clearly highlight the huge potential of social networking in linking up with others, keeping in touch with them and above all connecting with new contacts that can give you a hand in a specific area.

It is widely known that individuals use social networking should it be in their personal life (to keep in touch with friends on Facebook) or their professional life (to connect with potential employers with LinkedIn).
But companies have realized the value of social networking, and benefits for businesses are numerous.

Internal benefits:

• Enable ongoing and integrated communication
• Encourage employees creativity and foster innovation
• Support collaboration and employees engagement
• Build corporate culture and increase employees satisfaction

External benefits:

• Build relationships and trust with your customers
• Keep in touch with clients, suppliers and partners
• Gain exposure
As regards Airservices, I will try to explain how social networking can be used from a Human Resources perspective both internally and externally.
Human resources management is a key issue for Airservices because their workforce is ageing and 30% of their staff is forecasted to retire over the next 5 years.
Using social network could be part of their workforce plan to ensure that Airservices has sufficient and capable staff to deliver organisational objectives.

Internal social network:
  • Fulfill hiring needs through collaboration: Referrals from existing employees have been shown to be one of the best recruiting source. Advertising job openings on an internal social network, will make employees aware of the latest positions available without interrupting their day-to-day work with loads of emails.
  • Keep job descriptions accurate and up to date: By collaborating with hiring managers and teams, the HR department can truly understand their needs and adapt the job description so that they can reach the right audience to find the specific talent they need. HR manager can sometimes have a hard time to understand the specificities of each position. To help them, topics for every team in the company could be open, where they could discuss and explain the reality of their job and the qualities required to do it well.
  • Integrate new employees: For a new recruit it is always hard during the first few weeks to get to know who is who and what everyone does. An internal social network can act as an ice breaker and help new hires to get to know their co-workers, browsing through their profiles and connecting with them on the online community.
External social network:
  • Create a set of potential applicants: Airservices could extend the social network externally to have graduates and other people seeking employment with Airservices join the network and upload their current certifications, qualifications, work history and references, so that Airservices has a ready pool of potential canditates to draw from.
  • Showcase the company: To attract the best employees you need to provide them with an attractive value proposition. This means that potential candidates want to feel that by joining your workforce they will have the opportunity to do meaningful work in an enjoyable environment. Showcasing Airservices work, achievements, people but also corporate culture is a good way to convey a positive image of the company to attract the best candidates.
Some famous companies already took advantage of Social Networking to recruit new talents:

Feel free to read my team related posts about the use of social networks at Airservices to:

REFERENCES

Internal Microblogging To Enhance Corporate Collaboration

20 Sep

In this week’s blog post, I’m going to talk about microblogging. You must think “God! Another tortuous word that only nerds use”. But I’m sure you are all familiar with Twitter and therefore already familiar with today’s topic! Let’s clarify with an example what exactly microblogging is and how useful it can be for businesses.

Airservices is a government-owned corporation responsible for the safe, secure and efficient management of the Australian airspace. To manage the air traffic operations, they provide the aviation industry with aeronautical data, telecommunications, navigation services and aviation rescue and fire fighting services.

The company in numbers:

  • 3900 employees
  • 950 air traffic controllers
  • 2 centres in Melbourne and Brisbane
  • 28 towers at international and regional airports
  • manage traffic operations for 80 million passengers and four million flights every year

As you can imagine, safety is the most important consideration for this company. To ensure the integrity of Australian’s air navigation system it is therefore critical that the firm communicate with its different stakeholders, including Air Traffic Control (ATC), engineers, technicians, firefighters, defense and other external service providers, smoothly, accurately and in a timely manner. At the moment, all of this communication occurs either via recorded phone calls or emails.

Phone calls are instantaneous but on the other hand, misunderstandings can easily happen in spoken language. Emails are detailed and easy to access later on, but might lack of timeliness. Furthermore, going through emails overload is time consuming and can lead to employees loosing focus, and missing out critical information.

To enhance corporate collaboration and make sure that information flows seamlessly, I would advise Airservices to implement a microblogging strategy.

What is microblogging?

Blogging, microblogging, web 2.0 tools, social media… It’s easy to get confused by all these technical terms, so I’m going to try to explain what makes microblogging so special.

Microblogging allows subscribers to broadcast short messages to other subscribers of the service. Microposts can be made public online and/or distributed to a private group of subscribers. The appeal of microblogging is both its immediacy and portability. Posts are quick to write (typically 140 – 200 characters) and instantly consumable by readers on a variety of computing devices, including cell phones. To summarize, you can think of microblogging as a digital newspaper, which updates itself in real time after every single new posting.

What might be the benefits of microblogging for Airservices?

  • Share latest updates instantaneously: Which is important for Airservices when they want to communicate about timely issues. For example, keep Air Traffic Control updated about service outage status.
  • Cut down email volume and redundancy inherent in email communication: The message only need to be posted once and it is broadcasted to all concerned people.
  • Information is easy to understand and precise: Because microposts are expressed in a short, informal format, employees need to go straight to the point and eliminate all unnecessary information.
  • Keep record of conversations: Airservices can easily access their conversation feeds online, instead of having to listen to a recorded phone conversation. Information is all the more easier to find as threads can be organized into categories, using hashtags.
  • Enhance overall company productivity through improving channels of communication.

Twitter is obviously the leading microblogging tool, however I would suggest Airservices to use Yammer as this tool is precisely designed for corporate collaboration and would probably be perceived as more secure regarding the disclosure of private information, since your Yammer network is only composed of people who share your company’s email address.

Some companies already managed to rip great benefits from the use of Yammer:

  • Suncorp – Overcame barriers to collaboration, providing instant connection for people, teams, informal networks, communities of practice and other shared interest groups.
  • Dachis Group – Dachis Group has woven Yammer into its daily workflow, allowing easy company-wide collaboration
  • Philz Coffee – Uses Yammer for internal business communication on the management network, and as a virtual office where Philz employees can connect to one another on the Community network

To wrap up I will just talk about some key points to bear in mind while implementing this microblogging strategy:

  • Define outcomes and benefits expected
  • Create clear microblogging guidelines
  • Train employees on how to use the tool
  • Create a microblogging policy

Can you think of some other tactics to implement this strategy? Do you think that some dangers can be related to the use of such technology?

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