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Let’s say you’ve taken the first step and invested in a social collaboration toolkit, then sat back in your chair with great satisfaction, rubbing your palms together and waiting for your profit margins to skyrocket. The first week has passed, but the promised results have not arrived. Weeks, months, and quarters go by, but the expected impact still needs to be there.

 

You may have chosen the wrong tool. Or are you so lost that even the latest tricks can’t save your company? In most cases, the situation is mild. The work doesn’t stop once you’ve signed the sales contract and got the toolkit. If you have fallen into this trap, you are not alone. The same happens to many managers, and it’s no surprise that it takes time to understand and get to grips with the new features. And in this case, it’s not just any innovation! If handled well, social collaboration tools can make a big difference to the bottom line and the workplace climate.

 

The following tips will help ease the transition and reduce waiting while you chew your cud and wonder if you made a suitable investment.

 

1. Get the attention

 

Employees hold the key to success. Although ideally, they would ask for social collaboration tools to be introduced into the company, this rarely happens. If this hasn’t been the case in your company, it doesn’t mean your employees will be pessimistic about the change. But they will not be able to support what they do not understand. Your job is to explain to them what social collaboration really is. Focus on something other than dry jargon and instructions – instead, bring up positive experiences from different companies and paint a picture of how the toolkit will help you. Of course, you don’t need to brief each worker individually – the hierarchy works well here, too, and what you pass on to the department heads, they pass on to their team members.

 

2. Apply it within an existing process

 

Think of social collaboration as an integral part of process management. Find a process with a defined start and end date and apply collaboration. Let’s look at a simple example: You must prepare an annual budget every year. In previous years, this was the result of endless negotiations and paperwork. Still, social collaboration can make the process much simpler. From the start, the marketing, production, and development departments know how much money the finance department has allocated to them so they can plan within this framework. It also allows them to work together – if the production department can’t fit into the framework, the development department can help out by, for example, devoting part of the budget to developing a production method that results in minimal waste and scrap, which benefits everyone. The best part was that there was no need for meetings and emails back and forth, as all communication could be done through the social collaboration platform. Projects started within an existing process have a high chance of success.

 

3. Make sure that you are really justified in implementing social collaboration

 

Only some companies need social collaboration tools. Whether it’s a small company that’s a few years old or a giant that’s reached the age of Matussalem, the collaboration will certainly not be to anyone’s detriment. However, suppose your company isn’t taking full advantage of it (or not using it at all). In that case, the money might be better spent elsewhere. Social collaboration is not a new keyboard that, at worst, ends up gathering dust on a shelf, with the money spent on it written off as overheads. It’s important to stress that no company will get some benefit from using the tool. Still, if that benefit dwarfs the investment, you, as a good manager, should know that in advance.

 

4. Ensure easy access and use

 

If the tool requires a separate login or constant switching of windows, employees will see it as an extra job. And that’s not the purpose of social collaboration—quite the opposite! It is designed to make work easier. That’s why choosing a tool that is easy to use, intuitive, not too time-consuming, and customizable is essential. Instead, Everyone would use a platform that almost makes up their mind rather than one that takes up long minutes of their life trying to find the document they need.

 

5. Avoid the “because” explanation

 

“We introduced social collaboration because it’s useful.” Useful for whom? What will you use it for? How is it useful? These are the questions all employees will ask when they find the new platform on their computer. Yes, social collaboration is indeed valuable, but not on its own. Think of it like salt. Nobody eats a spoonful of salt just because they can. But season your soup with it, and you’ll have a new taste. Social collaboration is that one extra that gives you the boost you need and the edge over your competitors.

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