This week San Francisco has been hosting the Enterprise 2.0 conference which has brought a different format than in previous years. The first keynote kicked off last night by Don Tapscott author of Macrowikinomics in which he gave a passionate and thought provoking keynote about the impact of collaboration across industries and government. The impact of social and collaborative tools in business means we are now seeing a collective and collaborative leadership emerge.
One of the highlights of this year’s conference was eBay’s Enterprise Portals Manager, Ramin Mobasseri (@RaminBay) discussed eBay’s multinational, multi-organisational corporate intranet. Ramin who oversees eBay’s intranet and works closely with their community managers had the following learning points:
Have clearly defined objectives for the intranet and make sure stakeholders are on-board. The three key objectives for eBay are:
- 1. Get knowledge to people
- 2. Connect people across boundaries
- 3. Find experts quickly
Thinking of going mobile? – Go Extranet First! – The extranet is the first step to enabling your workforce. Often less painful than going straight to mobile and gives you a better understanding of what’s to come next.
Adoption Tip – Engage your users by having a featured “guest spot” such as Pension Advisors every week to answer questions at a scheduled time. Make sure it’s the same time and it happens every week.
Intranets are NOT like Facebook – you need to continually cultivate and manage engagement as it doesn’t happen by itself.
VPN – Can be cumbersome – Look at Microsoft Direct Access to give user’s a painless route to the intranet whilst away from the office.
On Boarding is important – Give new starters a dedicated area to ask and find answers to questions they were too embarrassed or afraid to ask. Questions and answers can then be categorised to build up an organic library. This is especially important to new members of the workforce as it can instil trust in the intranet.
Video is a driver – Short video content in an intranet is a big pull factor to get users engaged.
Molly Graham (@molly_g) from Facebook gave a great overview of how Facebook manages the culture of their 3000+ workforce. In a company made up of mostly Millennials, Facebook has a relatively unique culture and those listed here are some of her key observations:
Always asking why? – Millennials constantly challenge, which can be frustrating but there is often innovation on the other side. Collaborative tools provide a platform to do this.
Email is broken – FACT. Email was born out of a replacement for an existing function which doesn’t manage volume well. Facebook did some analysis on emails sent through their organisation and found that 80% either didn’t have a subject or it read something like “Hey” – the subject line simply didn’t serve a purpose.
Tim Young (@timyoung) from vmware addressed the role of workers and communities in the workplace and the how as a business we interact with them. Interestingly Tim made the statement “communication is the oxygen of your company” and that with more complexity that comes with the growth of an organisation, communities cannot keep up enough oxygen to fuel that complexity – “complexity will choke your community to the point of collapse”.
One particularly interesting discussion looked at using game mechanics to engage employees. Looking at how adoption, usage and engagement can be increased by manipulating three basic human motivators:
Achievement – levels in games, miles or points, progress bar
Status – standing, job title, number of ‘likes’, number of followers
Rewards – small tokens, access to exclusives
All three of these principles can be applied to intranet’s and help provide and maintain sustainable user engagement.