Leaders – are you out there?

Something that could possibly have gone in my earlier post about your First Steps, is something that could potentially send engagement on your internal social community through the roof, but is unfortunately often overlooked or incredibly lacking in a lot of companies. Your leaders.

As the journey begins on your platform there are a lot of influences that make the success (or not) hang in the balance. One of the biggest of these, for getting people talking, sharing and collaborating on there, is the participation and visibility of your leaders. What more powerful message can there be than the fact that they too are willing to be open and transparent and to embrace a new way of working.

For sure, you might get a good community up and running and engaged with the site, collaborating and sharing and growing together without them. But what if the leaders were endorsing people’s ideas with a simple click of the Like button? How empowering could that feel for someone? What if someone posted about an issue they had come across and their MD posted, @mentioning various people to get it sorted quick sharp? What if they were Working Out Loud, opening up about the work that they do, the meetings they were attending and the decisions they were facing? How more connected would people feel to them?

And what if they weren’t there? What if the message was more “you kids go and play with the new toy we bought you. We’ll be in the grown up room!” How disengaged will that make people feel? How out of touch does that make every body, really?

Leaders being active in your online communities means that they are able to see how, in real time, the people in your company are actually feeling. If there’s a problem then it should be on there, and it becomes instantly visible. If they’re not there to see it then the problem solving process can become clunky as people knock on doors to try and bring it to their attention.

Recognising the efforts and ideas of people is easy to do with a Like, a comment, a fancy badge or even a nomination for an award. Simple. Easy. Powerful.

Why not get them to provide exclusive content for the site, like some video interviews, 30 seconds on a hot topic, filmed in your lift! Getting straight to the heart and soul of the company. See the comments and likes come in after that one!

Being more connected to the people working for you and being open with them as often as possible is so important in these times, as we all try to be as agile as we can and need to be able to respond to disruption as quickly and effortlessly as possible. If you want your site to get the maximum traffic, for it’s use to be a part of people’s daily work lives, then I’m not sure you can afford to look over this!

Do yourself a favour and get your leaders engaged as soon as you possibly can. Establish with them what the value is for them specifically, using some of the examples I mention here, but not limited to these. Highlight the effect of launching the site and them not being there. Help them set their profiles up and even to make their first posts. Show them the power of Likes and replies, how to blog and what it all means.

Do whatever you need to do. Just get them on there.

What happens on your internal platform? Are your leaders visible and taking part? What’s the impact you’ve seen from it either way?

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