Employee Social Networks

6 Enterprise Social Network Features That Make Our Lives Easier

Being thankful is a year-long goal; however, this time of year it is especially top of mind. As a technology-focused society, it’s interesting to think about the products and features that we are most grateful for in our lives – what makes our lives easier, feel more connected, and brings us joy. Whether it’s your business or personal life, often these technologies overlap all parts of your world.

At Talk Social to Me, we are particularly thankful for enterprise social networks that nurture employee communication and engagement across an organization. As these social networks evolve, so do our favorite features within them. In the spirit of giving thanks, here are the top enterprise social network features we are especially thankful for…

1. Sharing – Sharing is the cornerstone of all enterprise social networks – sharing and consuming information, as well as asking and answering questions. This is where most of the value comes from in your enterprise social network – knowledge sharing, getting answers from subject-matter experts, learning about events and training opportunities, and the list goes on. People are social creatures; they want to share; they want to learn; they want to feel connected to each other and their company. This is definitely No. 1 in our book.

2. Mute – On the flip side of No. 1 our society has gotten extremely proficient at over-sharing. Many of us feel like we are on constant information overload on a daily basis and it can be exhausting; it can hinder our productivity and increase stress levels. Fortunately, some enterprise social networks acknowledge this reality and have features to help manage this deluge. The mute feature – whether it’s for notifications, chat messages, or a particular post – is a critical and wonderful component to today’s enterprise social networks. If you haven’t used the mute feature yet, we highly recommend it.

Yammer’s “stop following” feature ceases new replies on a thread in your Yammer inbox.

3. Mobility – If your enterprise social network does not have a decent mobile app, it’s time to find a new solution. The global business environment is transient; it’s fluid. Hardly anyone works from a desk for eight hours a day in the same place. The line that once separated your work and personal life is gone; it’s an illusion. Your mobile device, and most likely more than one device, is your access to world around you – your job, your family, your finances, your social life, etc. Your enterprise social network needs a solid mobile app to keep up with the needs of your employees. Otherwise, your enterprise social network is irrelevant in helping your employees feel engaged with your organization and their peers.

Workplace Chat, the chat app from Workplace by Facebook, allows you to communicate one-on-one and among groups via text, as well as voice and video calls.

4. Search – Oh search, we love search; don’t you? How did we survive without it? I’m not sure search really needs a lot of explanation, and one could argue this could be No. 1 on this list. We are open to some friendly debate on this topic if you care to weigh in on it in the comments section below.

5. Directories – Organizational charts are constantly changing. They are their own living and breathing entity of a company. And while change is a constant, the ability to access an up-to-date organizational chart is crucial to feeling connected to your company. Enterprise social networks bring together the structure of the organizational chart with the human need to find people, connect the dots to where they sit in the company, and how to contact them.

6. Groups of Interest – Many companies hesitate, and some are honestly petrified of allowing groups of interest within their enterprise social networks. These groups are often feared because of the myth they may cause employees to waste time, to not be productive. In our experience, the opposite is true. When employees can form a personal bond with other employees about hobbies, topics, and causes they are passionate about, they become more invested in the company and want to be more effective, resulting in a more engaged employee.

Groups of Interest, like a “Company Pets” group, can help employees become more invested in your company. We’ve also found them to be a nice gateway for helping employees get comfortable sharing on enterprise social networks.

Enterprise social networks are not all created equal; their features are unique – some helpful, some not so much. That being true, we can almost guarantee your employees are better off having an enterprise social network versus not having one. So as we begin the holiday season, it’s a time to be thankful for each other, for innovation, and for enterprise social networks that surface the human qualities diverse, global companies need to thrive and succeed. What is your favorite enterprise social network feature?

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