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Engaging colleagues with new online tools

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A quick slidedeck on engaging people with new ways of working.

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Engaging colleagues with new online tools

  1. 1. WorkSmart Engaging colleagues with new online tools! ! Dave Briggs, April 2014
  2. 2. WorkSmart WorkSmart is a consultancy and online community that is all about bringing positive change to the workplace. We work with organisations to help them develop the strategy, leadership and capability to deliver smarter working. 2
  3. 3. Dave Briggs Dave is the principal consultant and main writer at WorkSmart. He has considerable experience delivering technology based change projects in organisations of all sizes. 3
  4. 4. Engaging colleagues with new online tools Here’s the thing: if you build it, they won’t come. No matter how cool your new social business platform is, your colleagues (except for the super keen) won’t suddenly leap into using it. Instead, you need to think tactically about how you engage workers with new online tools. Here are ten simple ideas to help. 4
  5. 5. Put the user first The organisation has its needs, the users their own - and they might well clash. Don't make the mistake of putting the organisation's needs front and centre. That won't inspire anyone to use it. Instead, design around the user's needs and figure out a way for the organisation to benefit. 5
  6. 6. Grow organically Big launches rarely work. "Quick, everyone! Look at our new website!" As it's new, there's not much there. Everyone is disappointed and many never return. Instead, don't try to get too many users too quickly. Allow the amount of activity to be relative to the membership size. 6
  7. 7. Not another task! People are unlikely to respond cheerfully when you tell them they need to start sharing knowledge or collaborating. Not another chore! Instead, present the new tools as a better way of getting work done, that will relieve the burden, not add to it. 7
  8. 8. Fewer rules are better rules If you create rules, people look for ways to get around them. They see bad behaviour as getting one over the rule-makers. In many ways rules legitimise the activity they seek to prevent. So don't have rules. Assume competence and politeness as a standard. If people don't meet the standard, then deal with it. 8
  9. 9. Let people work differently Different people will use different tools in different ways. It might depend on their role, or on their personality. You can't expect uniformity in usage. Keep things flexible, and don't demand people fit a universal process. 9
  10. 10. Let users own their tools If people in an organisation see a new platform as being imposed on them from above, it will fail. Instead, the community must own the community. Get the enthusiasts to help make decisions and manage the processes. It will make your decisions better and your system more popular. 10
  11. 11. New tools need new skills Does your organisation have the skills in-house to make your platform a success? Do you have a community manager? A social reporter? An online curator? An analytics expert? None of these things are rocket science, but you can't assume anyone can do them without support. 11
  12. 12. Make it work on any device If people want to be able to use some software to do their job on their own iPad, at home, at the weekend, then make sure they can do it. If they have to use their work laptop, and only at certain times of the day, then engagement will be limited. Make sure your system works on all the popular devices and don't restrict access. 12
  13. 13. Give it time There are no quick fixes when it comes to organisational culture. If you want to see your new technology having a major impact within six months, prepare to be disappointed. Instead, relax a bit. Let people find their feet. Let them discover what they can do and how it will help them. Measure progress, sure, but don't panic when short term results don't materialise. 13
  14. 14. It’s not about the technology Please don't make rolling out social software within your organisation an IT project. It's not an IT project. It's about people, and culture, and working methods. It belongs with people used to working with learning, organisational development and that sort of thing. 14
  15. 15. Thanks for reading! Hopefully these ten ideas will help you develop your organisation’s use of technology. If you need further support, WorkSmart is here to help. WorkSmart 15
  16. 16. Acknowledgements Thanks to Steve Dale and Anne McCrossan who provided me with invaluable feedback on the ideas in this document.
  17. 17. Photo credits Slide 3: Paul Clarke photography for Learning Pool Slide 5: Slide 6: Slide 7: Slide 8: Slide 13: Other photos are author’s own or from public domain sources.