Regardless of the user-friendliness of your chosen social collaboration platform, you have to recognize that this is more than just a new tool to learn how to use - it's a new way to run a business and a massive paradigm shift in the way people work. Make sure you take the time to develop a comprehensive training program that covers both the technical how-to's and the reasons why your company is implementing an enterprise social network. Letting people "in" on the strategy side helps build trust, which gets people on your side and facilitates the organizational change required to make your social business vision a reality.
As you develop your training program, start with an introduction to social business and provide examples of how admirable companies are successfully running enterprise social networks today. Specific evidence definitely helps – otherwise, it's all hype. Get case studies from your technology provider and leverage those statistics to prove business value. If your technology provider can’t provide statistics, borrow Jive’s McKinsey report, The Social Economy – full of ammunition for credibility wars. If you already have a few groups using your social intranet as a proof of concept, that’s even better. Have a show-and-tell session to demonstrate real-life work scenarios at your company. People need to know that you’re there to make their work lives easier, not shove another tool down their throats.
How did you go about training your teams on your social intranet? If you could do it over again, what would you explain in more detail?
Next week, we'll wrap up this series with marketing tactics to promote and grow your community.