A closed social network could be the key to getting your employees to feel more connected and to be more engaged in their jobs. A June 2013 article in Entrepreneur discussed what this means and how you can get started.
What is a closed social network?
Social networking and information flow are essential in today’s business world. Whether you are a part of a large corporation or run a small business, the fact remains: “When employees have the information they need, they make better decisions, feel connected and are more productive,” Mikal E. Belicove, Entrepreneur. A closed social network works like Facebook or Twitter, but is for use exclusively by your employees, allowing for a more open and accessible forum for sharing information. Closed networks can provide leaders better direction for their teams, give executives a closer look at the front line, and can also support global business models, which require the collaboration of colleagues around the world. Belicove also notes that “unlike traditional communication tools like shared files and e-mails, private social networks allow employees to easily organize into groups to tackle specific projects or objectives.” Organizing in this manner can result in better time management, more efficient meetings and an overall increase in productivity.
How can you start a private network?
According to Brian Murray, director of enterprise strategy for Yammer, a provider of enterprise social-networking software, the best way to see if a private network is right for your organization is to simply try it. Many service providers offer a free trial. Training is minimal, and not only will a closed network allow information to move more freely, but employees will also feel empowered when they use it.
What about privacy?
In a closed social network, private messages can still be sent to a specified recipient. Private groups can also be created when sensitive or confidential matters are on the table. Murray explains that the difference between a private, or closed, social network and a traditional format, like e-mail or chat, is that “the default mode of a social network is open, with the option to have a private conversation as needed.”
What about external networking?
Regardless of the business model, employees need to interact with outside partners. Many closed social networking services offer “external networking” options, so outside partners can be linked together.
Great for small businesses
Murray explains how employees of small businesses often play many roles, even if they are not specific to their job descriptions. “A closed social-networking platform can facilitate this crowdsourcing of ideas, help find experts and support and allow everyone to get their job done more cohesively. Social networking is about moving information through your business more efficiently, and that works for businesses of any size.”
–Can the Clutter/ CTC Productivity: Home and office organizing in Eugene/Springfield, OR and Minneapolis/St Paul MN
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