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You know social collaboration will help make your organisation more efficient, you’ve convinced senior leaders to pay for new software – but what if employees don’t use it?

Angela Ashenden of MWD Advisors has heard it all before. ‘I talk to the people sitting next to me’, ‘I use my phone, I use email…why do I need to use this new tool?’, ‘I’m too busy to mess about with this’.

Whether it’s Yammer, Jive, SharePoint, Basecamp or a hundred alternatives, introducing a new social collaboration tool is not always welcomed with open arms by employees.

Angela will lead a session on ‘Making social collaboration work’ at IoIC Live on May 1 to talk about her experience of encouraging adoption of social media for work.

“A big pitfall is to focus on why it’s of benefit to the company, with things like efficiency, innovation and engagement,” explains Angela. “You’ve probably already established that to gain the backing of senior management and get funding for the project - but the average employee couldn’t care less!

“You’re trying to make them change habits that are well established. It’s hard and they just don’t have time.”

She says there are steps to follow to make social collaboration a success and the first is ‘what’s in it for me?’.

“Put yourself in the employees’ shoes,” says Angela. “It’s no good just saying ‘Go collaborate’. You have to help people identify situations where they might use it - or particular groups of people they might use it with.

“One of the most obvious benefits is getting answers quicker. If someone has a problem that needs to be solved quickly, they might go through their personal list of contacts or email their team.

“You can point out that, with a network, your audience is bigger and the speed with which questions are answered will be quicker – this is often the thing that gets people on board.

“The person with the answer is often not the person you’d think of asking. It might be someone you didn’t know at all.

“Another advantage is transparency - if you have a team working on a particular project, everyone can see what everyone else is doing, which avoids duplication or working against each other. It also means people can spot opportunities for themselves.”

IoIC members can read the rest of the interview and discover the other steps to follow in April’s InsideOut, the Institute’s free monthly magazine. Members should log in at the top right of this screen. You’ll then find InsideOut in ‘IoIC Knows’ – simply click on ‘Publications’ in the drop-down menu. Meanwhile, to download a full programme or book your place at IoIC Live 2015, click here

Angela (pictured right) is also chairing MWD Advisors' upcoming one-day conference Making Social Collaboration Work in London on May 16. IoIC is a partner for this event, and IoIC members benefit from a 20% discount. Click here for details.
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