Hello my lovely readers!
This week is bitter-sweet for me… On one hand, this is the last week for writing on the groundswell and being in university. But on the other, well…. I’m going to be done my degree!!!
I can’t believe it has finally come to the end of my journey in obtaining my Bachelor of Business Administration degree, and if all goes good in the next week or two, I’ll be graduating!!!
I’m soooooo thrilled!!! But, back to the main topic of this post…
Up until this point, the groundswell has been focusing on customers and how to engage with them. But this week is a little different. Chapter 12 is all about using the groundswell internally in your company. This means everything we have talked about thus far, is now being applied to your employees instead. This is essential for your organization because there is really no company without your employees, they are the whole reason your company runs, and they all have a common goal in mind: your company’s success!
So, using the objectives we learnt in past posts, we can now look at your employees and understand how these objectives really all mesh together when you are focusing on the internal applications of your company. For example,
Listening – With employees, listening can turn rapidly into problem solving. Management listens, and restore problems employees are having. Others within the company listen, and resolve problems too.
Talking – Corporate can now post policy changes where everyone can read them, and see what others in the company are saying about it. Thus, creating a conversation.
Energizing – How important are enthusiastic employees to the organization? The more involved the employees, the more they will spread positive thinking and advice within the company.
Supporting – Using social media, it allows the employees to support and interact with each other. Allowing for a self-regulating place for concerns and frustrations to be expressed and resolutions and understanding to be provided.
Embracing – The more a company embraces their employees the more successful they become. A community just for your employees is a great idea, and allows for more innovation of ideas and suggestions.
So how can companies nurture the internal groundswell? Well, its all about creating new ways for people to connect and work together, as well as focusing on the relationship aspect over the technologies. Therefore, Li & Bernoff suggest three strategies:
- Promote a listening culture from the top down
“Internal social applications demand a high level of trust because employees have more at stake when they participate – after all, their jobs and livelihoods are on the line…They need to know that management will listen to their openly contributed opinions, rather than punishing dissenters” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 245). Without the participation from management, the internal groundswell will fail because there is no substitute. Employees need the nurturing and support from management to really embrace the internal groundswell.
- Ease and encourage participation with incentives
“Having the right culture in place and an engaged management team is a good start, but it’s not enough, especially if a key goal is to foster better communication and collaboration” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 246). Participation in the internal groundswell is critical. Therefore, the authors suggest that creating an easy “on-ramp” to encourage participation. This allows the employees to ease in to using social media for work, and to give them time to adjust and realize how much more productive they will be.
- Empower the rebels in your organization
Because groundswell thinking is hard, you need to find someone within your company who has been pestering you to do something, anything to create change. Rather than thinking about the things that can go wrong, think about the opportunities this may create. Of course, as a company, you need to be ready to fail. But once you’re successful, you’ll reap the benefits. As a manager, you need to direct the energy to be productive. This means helping your rebels with political and technical resources, helping them figure out where the change can happen the quickest in the organization, and where it will be resisted. You will need to help them to try things, pick them up when things don’t work, and teach them to learn from their mistakes. Use your experience as a manager to show them the success and what happens when you succeed. Empower, empower, empower. Only then will the internal groundswell thrive.
Remember, the internal groundswell is all about the company culture, not about the technologies. You can’t force your employees to adopt groundswell thinking, but you can show them the way.
Thank you all so much for reading my blogs every week, and even though this is the end of my groundswell posts, I hope this is not the end of my blogging in general.
Cheer my lovely readers and until next time!!
Li, C. & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell expanded and revised: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.