This entry was posted on Monday, April 13th, 2009 at 17:45 and is filed under Business, Design, Technology Bits. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
I’ve been saying this for a long time (and have had a small role to play in getting this word out there) that large businesses need to embrace Web 2.0 good-ness even for their internal tools.
This means better interfaces and leveraging the power of their own internal communities- which are not insignificant in many cases.
It’s a small but significant indicator- barometer, if you will- of how a company feels about its employees whether it chooses to spend some time (and splash out some cash) and provide effective, and yes, even beautiful tools to work with.
Among these tools are the intranet necessities, doling out HR information, keeping up with adminutia and getting word from the leadership team on everything from strategy to tactical recommendations for getting stuff done in the workplace.
So why do these tools usually suck so bad? Because they’ve historically been seen as a necessary evil. Not critical to employees’ core job function (unless they happen to be in HR or maybe accounting). Truth is, not only should these tools be awesome there’s little reason for them not to be.
It’s not just a morale thing (though morale improves when folks have decent tools and are well informed of the company’s policies and direction… duh) it’s also an efficiency thing. When the tools are good, people will use them. Force them to use crappy tools and not everyone will know about the latest procedure change to the expense submission process… or that there’s a new cover for the TPS report.
Now, enter the social aspect of being connected to your co-workers. Large enterprises are a microcosm of the larger web. Let’s move on from the top-down Web 1.0 approach where information travels in one direction only. Employees have things to say, both up the chain and to their peers. Things that need a forum for discussion even if they’re not in the same building or working at the same time.
Social networks can work to fill the void of the old water-cooler, as described in this eWeek article. This is coming- and the slower organizations that need it most will likely get there last, but better late than never.
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