Social data about our employees can help us run better businesses

As social deployments mature and entrench, a wealth of social data is created - which can be leveraged to help manage and guide an enterprise. Here's a peek...

The value of a network. Having people work together is a real productivity booster, not just from an efficiency perspective (less re-work) and for profitability (draw from other teams rather than hire new), but also in terms of employee engagement. When a person is connected to more people in an organization, they have more social ties which keep them more engaged in the company. When they have more professional ties, they are in a better position to benefit from mentorship and get better support when facing tough challenges. Some of the data that we are now getting from our systems include the average number of colleague connections in an enterprise (similar to Facebook friends or Twitter followers), the total number of connections across all people in an enterprise, the percentage of people with more than one connection, and others. This is an exciting first step in providing companies the context to set goals and measure performance in delivering on the ‘connected’ enterprise - to then harvest all the attendant benefits.

A measure of influence. Power and information flows along both formal and informal channels in a company. It would be nice if, through reporting structures, we could efficiently communicate up and down the chain of command and keep everyone working in the same direction. Companies however are messier than this; people talk spontaneously, and the conversations they have shape future directions and how the company operates. Decisions are made in grey zones where there is no clear company guidance but a decision has to be made to solve an immediate problem. Mapping out in real-time the people who are your biggest influencers helps manage and take advantage of the way people really work. Identifying key influencers allows us to manage them like key employees – making sure they are happy and well-supported. Identifying key influencers allows us to make best use of them in company campaigns and programs – as they have a valuable persuasive power over their peers.

The voyage has just begun - but one thing for sure - it will be interesting!

Reach out to me with your feedback @esauve.

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