Benefits Of Enterprise Social Networks Align With CEO Priorities
As enterprise social networking starts to gain wider acceptance across businesses of all sizes, the C-suite is realizing tremendous benefits from increased collaboration and better communication. To know how enterprise social networking benefits CEOs, it’s important to understand CEO priorities. A few months ago, the Conference Board released this study about CEO priorities across industries. The following were determined to be the key priorities across all industries: business growth, talent, cost optimization and innovation. Let’s take a closer look at how enterprise social networks like Yammer can help CEOs reach these challenging goals.
Ultimately, growth is every company’s number one objective. If you aren’t growing, innovative competitors start to give you a run for your money, and eventually squeeze you out. You need to be growing by expanding your user base, as well as penetrating further in your existing user base. A platform like Yammer can be really critical in helping businesses accelerate their rate of growth in a variety of ways. When employees are exchanging information freely, without information silos slowing them down, the Company is able to properly service current business and aggressively pursue new business. Just check out this example of hastening problem resolution time, given by Giam Swiegers, the CEO of Deloitte Australia (roughly at the 1:22 marker).
Talent retention and productivity
Of course, no business growth can occur without attracting and retaining the right talent. “The emergence of talent as a key challenge [shows] the economy may be beginning to take a turn to a more healthy state,” said Rebecca Ray, managing director of human capital for the Conference Board. A business that’s internally social tends to go hand in hand with a strong culture of achievement, innovation, openness and risk-taking. This kind of culture is more likely to attract and retain high-performing talent.
A key emerging trend in the new Connected Enterprise is treating employees as an asset and thus as an internal customer and stakeholder — from both: an IT and HR perspective. Organizations that recognize that by empowering employees to achieve instead of impeding them, will gain a competitive advantage in retaining key talent. Because the current “social media generation” is used to working with tools that are increasingly social and collaborative, the ability to foster that type of work environment — while still satisfying privacy and security concerns — is key to engagement in the workplace. A recent Gallup poll indicates that most employees still don’t feel engaged at work. There is a real opportunity to convert engagement to productivity with networks like Yammer.
Talent acquisition and retention are just some of the ways in which an enterprise social network can help your business stay competitive. More effective onboarding via Yammer not only allows for faster information-finding and access to more current information — being part of a company’s social network from Day 1 ensures a tighter cultural fit that furthers the relationship between the employee and employer. Furthermore, as innovation is moving at a faster clip, it’s becoming more important for employees to continue their education in the workplace. By incorporating Yammer into your training programs, you are helping your employees maintain their skills and thus peak job performance.
In uncertain and unstable economic times especially, the ability to remain lean is oftentimes a determinant of survival. However, information workers are wasting more and more time because their business systems don’t deliver the right information at the right time. According to the IDC “Hidden Costs of Information Work in the Enterprise” study, most workers spend 8.8 hours each week searching and gathering information, of which 3.7 hours are spent searching for information and not finding it, and 2.5 hours are spent recreating content that already exists. These lost 6.2 hours cost $10,001 per worker per year, adding up to $10 million for every 1,000 employees. The cost is staggering for any business looking to remain lean and agile, especially in tough economic times. Additionally, it’s important to consider the opportunity cost of that time, which should be spent solving real business problems and innovating. The speed of business today makes this kind of corporate waste unacceptable. By making content social, Yammer is able to reduce the costs of information finding.
Finally, innovation can be also given a proverbial shot of adrenaline by using enterprise social networks. When employees discover what colleagues on their teams and across all functional areas are working on, they are able to make better decisions and innovate — not only in terms of the product, but also business process. Cross-functional discussion and collaboration simply allows for better ideas to be born. Greater transparency into internal innovation coupled with market-facing insights always yield better products and market leadership over competitors. When teams can come together and informal projects and work sessions without going through layers of decision-making, the company saves time and money.
Yammer is benefitting CEOs today; helping them transform their organizations and meet critical business objectives. Check out what the Supervalu CEO Craig Herkert says about Yammer, in his own words: