A new generation has begun to reshape the way we, as a society, and a work force communicate and collaborate. The popularity and interconnectedness that social networks provide have pushed the boundaries and are no longer just used for personal communication.
According to Gartner, by 2015, social networks will be the primary communication tool for making decisions and taking action in business, using these channels to implement changes related to work.i In 2016, a forecasted 50% of companies were estimated to have engaged in using internal social networks mirroring the functionality of Facebook and 30% of these "tools for communication" will be considered essential in the eyes of the user, equivalent, if not more convenient than email.ii
Slack, a social interface company started in 2013, surpassed 4 million daily users in October 2016.iii Other popular social media platforms configured for business among the many on the market today are:
- Microsoft Share Point
- Life Ray
The major shift in communication came when companies ultimately realized, according to McKinsey Global Institute, that the normal employee spends on average 28% of his or her work week, approximately 13 hours, just reading and responding to email.iv This realization was the cause for radical change. Research performed in 2007, reported that Microsoft employees revealed it took on typically 15 minutes to return to important mental tasks after replying to incoming email or instant messages.v A successful shift could translate into email only being used for external communication, basically minimalizing the necessity to sit in front of the email inbox continually throughout the work day.
Either companies could continue down the same road, wasting precious time bogged down by inbox overload or look for tools that would foster better communication and information sharing. The idea behind this next generation of communication software is that it is user-friendly, acting more like a private social network, helping employees, management, friends, and customers more efficiently communicate with one another.
Social media tools are not meant to replace email entirely, but rather the network is used to promote new ways of collaboration and outside-of-the-box thinking. Of course, not everyone will be willing to change. Email is traditional and often an embedded tool within companies.
Many veteran employees may be adhere from trying new forms of communication, but for that reason, it is important to define the purpose of the social media tools and organize an engagement plan before launching the network companywide.
Consider these points before rolling out new social media tools
- What is the use this tool has regarding business? What is the goal that the business wants to achieve by implementing this new functionality?
- Predefine the structure. Who will be using the network, ie. individuals, administrators? And what do they need to know about its efficiency, ie. hashtags, shares, department interconnectedness, privacy, etc.?
- Don’t forget to train employees how to use the tools you have launched. Schedule tutorials or information sessions where employees have the freedom to ask questions and help them to better understand how the social media network will positively impact their performance and simplify their work load.
From a technological perspective, social media initiatives are different from implementing other forms of technology, for example, Microsoft Outlook or remote presentation tools. Rather than having to "push" this technology on others, social initiatives require a "pull" approach, engaging personnel, and demonstrating how jumping onboard with the change will have a substantial effect on the day-to-day life in the office.
With the implementation of new social media tools in the workplace, our communications will now reflect the style and highspeed user ability often a key characteristic of this new, strong Millennial generation that is leading change. These Millennials will continue to shape and shift the work environment from what it once was, evolving it with technology and making new-found technology mainstream.vi
Topping numerous 2017 trends lists, rethinking email and the workplace functionality will be under the spotlight for the foreseeable future. Efficiency and user ability are keys to staying relevant in the dynamic world of business today.
Technology is changing and evolving at unprecedented speed today, what we can term the "information revolution" has been underway for some time complementing the increase in the globalization of business activities and the intensification of competition among countries for export markets, capital, R&D, and skilled workers. The growth of service, information or knowledge societies is a progression that may be likened to the advent of the industrial society during the nineteenth century in terms of the social impact it has had on the world. With the emergence of an intellectual or information based society comes new forms of innovation – "the ability to implement a new or significantly improved product, good or service, or a new organizational method in business practices, workplace organization or external relations". Innovation has become an important production factor changing the way the world conducts business.
That is why at GBSB Global we offer students a program focused on innovation, ingenuity, and design thinking. The Master in Business Innovation and Creativity is a degree which will foster skilled innovative managers. Many companies are enthusiastically looking for these managers who can monitor, assess, and manage current processes and offer insight on how to implement new, innovative procedures to better the efficiency of their company. The Master in Business Innovation and Creativity program in Barcelona will guide students through the creative processes of how to generate new, breakthrough ideas and how to evaluate these projects critically in terms of potential added value.
Thanks to the commitment of the Government of Catalonia to stimulate strategic new projects, Barcelona has evolved into the main innovation hub in Spain. Its primary aim is to transition Barcelona into a new city focused on the knowledge economy, positioning it as the center of innovation with powerful knowledge centers and intensive mobility infrastructures. There is no time like the present to get involved in this "innovation revolution", and become a successful leader promoting change and bettering the lives of many.
Written by Emily Dawn Szajda, Content Manager GBSB Global
[i], [ii]Gauri, Harpreet Singh. 30 September 2014. New Collaboration Tools Require Rethinking Email. Quinnox. Retrieved from www.quinnox.com/qthink/rethink-collaboration-beyond-email-using-new-social-tools
[iii]Altman, Ian. Top 10 Business Trends That Will Drive Success in 2017. Blue. Retrieved from www.coxblue.com/top-10-business-trends-that-will-drive-success-in-2017
[iv], [v], [vi]Schabes, Yves. 24 March 2015. Email Is Not the Best Solution for Collaboration. Entrepreneur. Retrieved from www.entrepreneur.com/article/244243