Exploring the challenges and benefits of ESN adoption

Exploring the challenges and benefits of ESN adoption

Social media platforms designed specifically for work, known as enterprise social networks (ESNs), have proliferated recently with the likes of Yammer, Facebook at Work, Jive, IBM Connections and Chatter becoming a part of the internal communicator’s lexicon.

In 2015, the simplysucceed social intranet barometer research suggested that ‘Management increasingly understand the value of social and collaborative platforms’. However the report also indicates that ‘people managing the platforms rarely have access to the tools or resources they need to do so properly’.

Although some organisations are still considering whether or not to implement an ESN, for many it’s now more an issue of ensuring their platform is used as a useful internal communication channel and collaboration tool. The social intranet barometer report also found that:

When asked to determine proportions of active users defined as logging in at least once a month (not even posting or necessarily even interacting with the content in any way), just five companies (a little over 10%) indicated they have an adoption rate of more than 60%

This resonates with discussions with my Internal Communication Diploma students. The potential of ESNs is widely understood. By replacing traditional command and control models of communication with networks that focus more on engagement and collaboration they can help to improve agility and productivity. By breaking down silos and enabling up, down and sideways communication ESNs can facilitate engagement, information sharing and innovation. However, as the social intranet barometer report shows, adoption is stubbornly low. Indeed, not all employees like to use social media outside work, let alone at work. As one employee said to me when I was doing my PhD research, ‘I’m just not a Facebooky kind of person’.

I am conducting a five-minute survey to explore the challenges and benefits of ESNs and how they are impacting collaboration and communication at work.

A summary of the survey findings will be presented as a webinar and made available as a downloadable report.  

Please register your interest now in receiving a copy of the findings.