Maybe some quick stories about how engagement helped people to solve business issues. I find storytelling a great way to illustrate key advantages of social engagement.
Also, I'd describe engagement activities that might range from 'likes' to external blogging. People outside the SoMe community don't really understand engagement, and are always looking for a practical application and 'proof'.
I was a recently speaking at an internal comms conference in Chicago, and a SVP with Edelman touched on this topic. It's a difficult one to answer because each company - and perhaps each department at that company - will and can define "engagement" differently. At Sprint, our internal comms group defines it as a behavior of "advocacy." To us, true engagement is when an employee tells the Sprint story and are advocates for us outside the company. So our goal in internal comms is then to equip them with the right information fast enough to be able to be our advocates. That mission drives everything we do in our group.
The difficulty I’m having is empowering employees to talk amongst themselves and across ‘swim lanes’ or ‘silos’. It’s a really new paradigm. I think we’ll have long term success and breed some engaged communicators that can then be empowered to share the Sprint story externally. Had a meeting with some early adopters yesterday and was greeted with the ‘deer in the headlights’ look – you want me to share? With other people? ☺ We got over that though and they are getting the idea about using social business software…
First steps first though – get them talking on the Internal community!
That is one of my fear, i wanted to start my own business but i have so little knowledge on what is <a href="http://impactpeoplepractices.com">employee engagement</a>. Its my pleasure to join this group.
I think employee engagement can definitely mean many different things. Now in terms of using Jive to help employee engagement I think its a wonderful opportunity. An employee community space can be used to communicate information, train, increase collaboration etc. You can also use the space to familiarize employees with social networking benefits. Some areas that come to mind for me are:
- Creating a space that is easy to navigate, friendly and clear user pathways
- Communicating that its OK culturally to contribute (many employees are afraid of being too active and getting into trouble)
- There are cool programs to help engage them such as Employee of the month, Post of the week, Newbies area... the list is limitless
Think about what resources, tools the employees are currently using and if this would replace or suppliment them and how the user experience will work. So ie: Intranet site, Sharpoint etc.
I hope this helps- and this sounds like a very fun thing for you to be working on.
For me, with an internal community, I define it as activity. While reading something or even telling someone offline about something you read could be defined as engagement, it is easier to measure and explain that people who are engaged are active.
Great responses - thank you everyone! I think the specific mindset that I am feeling challenged by is 'Let's give employees Facebook for the business - that should help them feel happier/more engaged, right?' The approach that I would like to take is to focus on activities and business value. Your input has helped validate that I'm on the right track.
@saramiller - thanks for sharing the aspect of advocacy, giving employees infomation and tools so that they can be company advocates out in the world. I hadn't thought of that one, and I think that will resonate with the team I'm working with.
@sarlesli - Great suggestions on the employee recognition programs!