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Finding Balance with Social Collaboration Software

Sep 29, 2020 12:22:00 AM

Different teams have different collaboration and communication needs, and implementing a social collaboration software can help.

Many organizations tend to treat everyone in the same way. At a time when many employees feel overwhelmed with information, the need for a “single version of the truth” for content, conversations and other knowledge assets is critical for business success. 

Delivering the features and user experience that our employees want and need is an important part of this, but it needs to be done in a manageable way. Otherwise, organizations will find themselves repeating history, managing many disparate tools and data silos, and constantly fighting administrative, compliance, and governance fires. They need to find a balance in their collaboration strategies.

social collaboration software

Two key tips for balanced collaboration

In a Beezy webinar (How to Achieve Employee Success through Collaboration), we discussed several tips for collaboration success, showing examples of how Beezy can help organizations to achieve their goals. There are two key tips for achieving balanced collaboration.

1. Understand why teams stray

It is not uncommon to find different teams within the same business unit collaborating and communicating differently. We all bring our own experiences to the table, and our projects and priorities may have unique requirements that require different tools and features to “fit” their needs. 

In an era of cloud-based standalone productivity solutions, anyone can use their credit card to sign up for an online service and immediately begin using that tool.  As a result, a plethora of apps and other technology has sprung up in many businesses, often with no more strategic planning than the personal preferences of local workers.

It is easy to see how some managers and IT teams react negatively to these tools, and how employees can be left feeling confused and frustrated.  Rather than shut down the use of an unsupported or non-compliant tool, organizations should be asking these teams and users why their existing corporate platform does not meet their needs. It may be that the current slate of tools is woefully behind the times, and the additional features provide a baseline of capabilities that people need and expect to get work done.

On the other hand, users may not be aware of the extended features of their existing platform. That is often the case with SharePoint and Microsoft Teams, where users understand the basics of navigating a site and uploading documents, but fail to realize that many of the advanced features they want have gone unused inside of the platform.

In the current business environment, where speed and agility can be key market differentiators, the ability for organizations to enable the unique needs of different teams or projects is at the heart of success. Of course, this must be balanced with common sense.

It is important to understand your governance, compliance, and security limitations, and then work with your employees to find the right technology that can align with your overall IT framework, while also delivering the capabilities they need.

A digital workplace or social collaboration software are a great way to bring together the tools, places, culture, and skills employees need in one place to accelerate performance.

2. Trust your employees

Another major factor in achieving a collaborative approach is recognizing that employees are better at self-monitoring than we might think they are.

When left on their own, employees generally do the right thing with the best interests of the organization and customers in mind. We ask them to sign NDA agreements, complete online and classroom training, and find ways to monitor their work.  Yet when we stop watching their every move — they still tend to do what they’re supposed to do.

Rather than create a police-state around collaboration, organizations need to increase levels of trust. With clearly articulated guidelines and standards and some basic oversight, there are surprisingly few employee activities that undermine collaboration policies. In fact, when employees feel that they have a ‘voice’ in local decision making, they are much more likely to feel engaged and motivated to deliver their best work.

 “The more controls you put on a system, the less likely people are to use that system.”

Find balanced collaboration with Beezy’s social collaboration software

When allowed to collaborate on their own and in the formats that fit individual and team requirements, people naturally form communities of practice. 

At Beezy, we believe that creating communities using an Intelligent Digital Workplace, or social collaboration software, is a great way to empower and connect a workforce using digital communication. This allows them to find the information and solutions they need to collaborate and deliver on their individual and team goals. In fact, that is the primary collaboration model within Beezy — the Community. For example, an employee may be a member of the “All Hands” company Community, the “Project Managers” Community built around his or her role, and several project-based Communities.

By adding custom branding and enabled features that fit their unique business requirements and fully integrating the tool with SharePoint and the Microsoft Office productivity suite, Beezy creates a powerful user experience that provides managers with oversight of communities, but puts control in the hands of employees.

Personalized search and communication features that allow people to like, comment, and share, as well as easily search for what they need, ensures that important information is delivered quickly and efficiently across your organization and within each community. In addition, by integrating with Microsoft Teams and third-party software like Salesforce and Workday, Beezy makes sure that communities have everything they need all in one place, helping to drive productivity. 

Finding balance within your social collaboration software often has little to do with the technology and more to do with how you manage your employee relationships. At Beezy, we understand that the end-to-end user experience is as much about listening to the needs of your employees and building trust with them than it is about deploying the latest technologies. 

This webinar (How to Achieve Employee Success through Collaboration) provides great insights into providing a more balanced and engaging platform for your employees. Get a snapshot into how Beezy extends and enhances the out-of-the-box SharePoint experience.

If you have not yet seen Beezy for yourself, schedule a consultation today and see what all the buzz is about!  

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