5 tips on preparing managers for Social Business tools

 In Change management

When companies transition from traditional business software such as e-mail and LANs to tools that include social business platforms such as Yammer there is going to be a period of transition. Here are some tips to help managers get to grips with social business and all it brings:

1. Prepare them for greater transparency 

Profiles and reputations develop fast in the online world. Social media offers managers new ways to promote their views and skills. Leaders will emerge that may otherwise have been hidden in dark corners. Social media platforms give everyone the chance to share their views in an open forum. Contributions are a lot more transparent and the Personal Brands managers create allow leadership potential to be spotted.  Smart managers and Talent teams embrace this opportunity.

2. Teach them that how they manage negative posts 

Managers’ reactions to controversial posts shape how people perceive them as leaders.   What’s key is to teach managers how to handle conversation well and to do so publicly. Over zealous moderation or insisting a post is deleted ends up sending a much louder message than simply responding in a well thought through manner.

3. Teach them that liking a post is a powerful feedback mechanism

Managers should be taught the power of liking posts. A like from a senior manager has a big impact and is a good way to drive colleague engagement and motivate action all in one second. Encourage managers to use the like button but also to be aware of the impact that ‘like’ can have if it’s not actually genuine. Before they know it a whole new product line could be accidentally developed.

4. Encourage them to take time to understand online behaviours 

There will be different responses to the new technology; from those that say social media is not for them to the over enthusiastic adopter. Some will embrace social immediately with a great eagerness for celebrity. A manager’s first reaction may be that time is being wasted. Teach managers not to react too quickly, to watch with curiosity to see what happens. The early adopters start off with a peak of activity but with time this balances out to a more steady activity level. The thing to observe is what happens to working time. The sun doesn’t set on social media. These 24/7 enthusiasts will contribute around the clock working a much different voluntary working pattern. The manager’s challenge is to find ways to harness that energy into the business advantage.

5. Help everyone get on board, not just the early adopters

At the other end of the spectrum, some people will need help getting onboard – at the outset, it’s too easy to say it’s not for me. You want colleagues to make an informed choice knowing what is on offer before they decide not to use it, not to decide against it because it’s a big unknown quantity. Any new rollout should offer help to onboard colleagues. It’s a self-updating skill set once they are on the bandwagon but at the start, you don’t want to leave good talent behind in the rush to go social. Everyone should be given equal opportunity to shine.



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