This is the second in a series of posts on how a mid size medical association is implementing emergent collaboration strategies and technologies within its organization. Part 1 on Business Drivers, can be found here. The contents of this case study are based on a series of conversations and interviews that took place in July and July 2011, and conducted with an IT professional who leads the Enterprise 2.0 project at a mid-size healthcare organization. This individual wishes to keep their employer and identity anonymous. All communication took place in June and July 2011. The full case study can be downloaded for free on the Chess Media Group Resources page. Several other case studies and resources can also be found there.
The social intranet project was an IT led initiative that was sponsored by the CIO. A push also came from the bottom and middle. Project managers wanted to communicate better with project teams and to show that projects were aligned with strategies. Cleary being able to convey to the team the business value of an initiative was of great importance to the project managers.
The employee demographics were a challenge for us. Gen Y and Gen X employees are more accustomed to social and collaboration tools. Using tools like Twitter and Facebook come naturally to them. However, older generations needed help to understand what this was about and how it benefited them. One common question that was asked for example was, “should employees be looking for information on the platform or on email?” People will slowly realize that email is for disorganized content and they will eventually move to collaborative solutions – there is no need to force it.
The company offered employees basic education and training sessions demonstrating external tools such as LinkedIn and Twitter. They were also shown a few social media videos and statistics that had been quite popular on YouTube. To show some employees how to use internal tools, they first had to show them external tools. Looking back, they felt they could have done a better job on education and training. They intend to develop this, and create some test accounts for employees to play around with. They also intend to continue to provide internal platform training and conduct road shows at various locations.
The company assumed that their employees were all users or perhaps familiar with platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, but were surprised to find out that this was not the case. They showed employees these external tools to help everyone “get on the same page.” They received quite a few basic questions such as the difference between a blog and a tweet. As part of future hands-on workshops being planned, they will team up older and younger employees, and social and non-social tool users together. They felt they could have also done a better job at conveying the value of these tools and platforms instead of showing the features & capabilities to the employees. They assumed that by showing employees the features that it would help them understand the value, but again, this was not the case. Employees would still ask questions such as, “why should I share my ideas publically?” The truth is that employees do not care about features and tools; they care about what’s in it for them and what is the value for them – Can I get my work done using these tools? Can this tool help to do my work faster?
The senior level team was not that involved with this project. In fact, they took a very different approach which was much more low profile. However, the company is now doing a lot more to try to get executives involved.
Regarding adoption, the company had two types. One was basic adoption, which meant an employee was in the system and had an account. The other type of adoption was an engaged employee. The company had 100% of employees in the system able to use a single sign-on solution. This helped to ensure employees did not have to do any extra work on their end to get involved. They simple had to had to click on a link in an email. As far as actively engaged employees, the company had approximately 30-40% of employees engaged, meaning they are doing some sort of activity within the platform, such as getting involved in a discussion or posting a status update.
The full case study can be downloaded on the Chess Media Group page.