Corporate social networks can dramatically improve your business

Social networking is still seen as something teenagers do. But it is actually a natural human activity merely taken a technological twist. We are social animals by our very nature, so anything that allows us to socialise online is bound to be successful. And that theory is now being put to the test in some large companies.

Many bug businesses have an “intranet” – but often this is “top down”. It is full of material the “management” want the staff to know about and use. Traditional intranets have little staff engagement. Some companies, though, are now experimenting with internal social networks, so that there is more “bottom up” activity on the internal system.

One company has shown that by using an internal social network a company can have a dramatic impact on its operation. Since introducing its corporate social network for its staff, the retail giant “The Best Buy Corporation“, which employs 140,000 staff, has seen a dramatic shift in employee engagement. Not only do 18,000 people use the system regularly – that’s more than 10% of the workforce each day – the social network appears to have made people like the business more. So much so, that the company’s staff retention rate has rocketed. Unlike other retailers, where staff turnover can approach 60%, Best Buy has seen its staff turnover drop to a mere 8%.

Why should that be? After all, they have only introduced a souped-up intranet. What has happened is simple; by making the intranet a social network, the company has made staff feel as though they belong. The principal reason for staff turnover in any business – but especially retail – is a lack of a feeling of belonging. When staff feel they are just “a number”, their allegiance to the organisation is reduced. By allowing staff to socialise online, companies increase that sense of belonging.

There’s another reason as well. Retail staff are usually young – and they have grown up digitally. They expect the organisation they work for to be digital too. Companies that employ young staff and do not have young methods of communication can look forward to high staff turnover, lack of motivation and increased costs.

Like this article?

Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on email
Share via email

Other posts that might be of interest

Internet Psychology

Is your brain back to front?

British businesses will spend this weekend on tenterhooks as they wait for Monday’s announcement from the Government about the ending of lockdowns. For the past couple of weeks, the mutterings from 10 Downing Street suggest

Read More »
Internet Psychology

Can you do boring tasks?

Last week, not far from the M25 in Buckinghamshire, the biggest-ever boring machine in the UK started its slow churn through the Chiltern hills to dig a tunnel for the HS2 rail system. It will

Read More »
Fence painting
Online Business

When did you last paint your garden fence?

If you are a “big change” business, then you are like my garden fence. Leaving it unpainted for so long has created much more work, at a higher cost, than if it had been tended to every year. Ignoring reviews of your online activity for long periods also means you make more work for yourself and raise your costs.

Read More »