Manager requests connected collaboration – how do Vucarockers support, using ESN?

I am asked to help fostering more collaboration in my business environment, and I am trying to establish a social media-worthy approach.

The first idea of everyone seems to be the founding of a Group in the Enterprise Social Network (ESN). All employees of an organisational unit shall be invited as members. This invitation is mostly implemented without opt-in for the employee, but mandatory. What is more, in order to – supposedly – onboard unexperienced social media users the default is set to send email notifications on each new post. I am not happy with this.

From my point of view this approach is contrary to the idea of social media, where users pull contest according individual chice of relevance by following people, hashtags or groups of their interest. Forcing people into groups is a repetition of hierarchical communication and may reduce the group to be a top down distribution list rather than a community. Employees having the courage to post may even drive colleagues upset, who find themselves overwhelmed by a multitude of information, with little relevance for the individual – not to speak of the amount of subsequent notification mails, spamming hundreds and even thousands of Inboxes.

However I would like to pick up the momentum, when business heads wish to create social networking. Do you have experience in this situation? Please share it with me – I will highly appreciate.

Here is the approach I am currently following to support leaders in fostering connected collaboration by means of ESN:

  • clarify the real intent behind the original request with the respective leader
  • support the respective leaders in posting on ESN on their intent to have more connected collaboration within the business. (and thus start a new way of communication themselves)
  • Support in choosing or creation of a Hashtag for exchange on whatever the leader wishes for his business.
  • Possibly invite employees to found hashtags starting with the department abbreviation, followed by underscore-topic (example: „#departmentname_topic“)
  • Emphasizing, that connected collaboration needs nothing more than encouragement, confirmation and role models.
  • Creating trust in leaving community founding to the employees, rather than founding them top down.

Looking forward to feedback and your experience on the topic. Be assured, I am still a beginner in this field trying hard to help my company rock VUCA ;). Any response highly appreciated.

Connective greetings, Benedikt Pape