How to Get your Company Excited About Social Collaboration

eXo Platform Blog


There are many benefits of social collaboration – including an increase in top line revenue, a stronger corporate culture, and lower training costs – which can help you win your case for executive buy-in and project resources. However, these benefits won’t speak to each person in your company the same way.

Your finance and sales departments will always be more interested in revenue than any other department, while your HR team and hiring managers will care more about corporate culture and training. Each department, and role within those departments, will have their own pain points, and may lose interest with a one-size-fits-all approach to adoption. If you want people in your company to get excited about social collaboration, you have to have to show them how it will benefit them personally.

What’s in it for me?

In many organizations, successful social collaboration adoption requires a change in behavior. While the phone and email have been the primary methods of communication, you are now asking people to collaborate in a more transparent way. This shift in behavior may come with some push-back if each person in your organization can’t answer the question: what’s in it for me?

Each person in your company needs to see the value of using a social collaboration tool if you want a successful adoption and continued usage. That means they have to see how the tool makes their job easier or better.

For instance, let’s say one of your customers calls your account manager to say that they’re switching to your competitor because they’re looking for a specific feature. Your product team is planning to include that feature in their next release, but your sales team is unaware of that. With traditional communication, the account manager may send an email to her boss to see if there’s a way to salvage the account – and news of the product release may come too late. However, a social collaboration tool would help the account manager find that information much faster so she could retain the customer.

Understand Pain Points

In the example above, social collaboration solves a real pain point for the account management team: it allows for collaboration between the product and sales teams. As a result, it provides significant value to the account management team because it helps them retain clients.

Each department, and possibly function, will have their own unique set of pain points that social collaboration could help them solve. If you’re able to identify situations where a social collaboration tool could solve those pain points, you should be able to drive adoption.

To do so, start discussions with various members of your team early on – including both executives and individual contributors. Get to know them to understand what’s standing in their way to success, and consider how technology could help them solve those problems. For instance, human resources may be struggling with employee retention, so you could show them how social collaboration increase employee engagement and reduces turnover.

By showing people within your company how social collaboration can solve a real business problem, you prove the social collaboration can benefit both the company and each individual team member.

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I am the Chief Executive Officer of eXo Platform (the open source digital workplace platform), a company that I co-founded while in college and that I came back to after several years in the banking and consulting industry. I blog about modern work, about open-source and sovereignty issues. Occasionally, I also blog about my personal areas of interest, such as personal development, work–life balance, sustainability and gender equality.

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