Young Consultants can lead the way with Social Business

Social Business is a powerful way for organisations to put their employees at the heart of their business and amplify the value of their connections.  Using social tools and new ways of working, companies can engage with employees and enable collaboration to drive change within the organisation. Research from IBM’s 2014 global Making Change Work Study shows that organisations are already recognising Social Business’s increasing prevalence.  [1]

How can Social Business be implemented to increase employee engagement?

An organisation can focus on increasing employee engagement using an application, similar to Facebook or Twitter, as a business enabler. These internal social tools can give employees the opportunity to have a louder voice in the organisation and to engage and inspire with their colleagues on a wider scale.  The organisation can also give up-to-the-minute priority access to company news and information.

What are the benefits?

Organisations utilising Social Business can benefit from fresh, valuable ideas from those in the know (their employees on the ground). In turn these employees feel valued and motivated through public recognition of their ideas.

Social Business also provides new ways to mobilise and embed change and transformation faster, allowing employees to work ‘smarter’ and become more productive through knowledge sharing.

For example, Berlitz, the market leader in language and travel-related products, worked with IBM to create a global social platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing to help accelerate its globalisation, improve communication and enable collaboration. Breaking down boundaries with a social platform, Berlitz saw employees become more productive and accelerated the development of higher quality products in a third of the time. [2]

Also, Cemex, the third largest building materials company in the world, implemented a social platform with IBM that led to new best practices and enabled Cemex to launch their first global brand of concrete.  It enabled CEMEX employees worldwide to exchange ideas, resources, and expertise regardless of their geographic location, thus accelerating the rate of innovation across the company and speeding up the time-to-market for new products. [3]

How can young consultants help?

Becoming a Social Business is not easy; it takes time and often involves culture change. A business wide adoption of any new tool is a challenge and needs to be looked at as a priority. 

However, young consultants are in prime position to lead the way. Numerous studies highlight that young professionals enjoy and place greater value on collaboration in the work place and are familiar and confident with social tools.

Written by Sarah Hughes, Managing Consultant at IBM Global Business Services and Young MCA Steering Committee Member.

This article was written for the Young MCA Summer 2014 e-newsletter.