Monday, September 26, 2011

Unisys leverages social media to share knowledge and increase engagement

I just read a well written article in Bloomburg Businessweek about how Home Depot is using social media to engage their customers. (Special thanks to the Social Media in Organizations group on LinkedIn for the reference).

I've read similar articles in the past, and always wondered, how can these lessons be applied to businesses for internal use? What are some creative ways that businesses can use social media to engage employees to share knowledge, increase morale and improve productivity?

So I was intrigued when I read this article in the Harvard Business Review. Seems the folks over at Unisys have jumped into the fray and are leveraging social media internally with great success.

I especially like author Jeanne C. Meister's  break out of the 8 keys social media to implementation, obtained from this infographic on It's really good content presented in an easy-to-digest format.

Note also how the success of this rollout began with Unisys CEO Ed Colement leading by example. As the article and infographic point out, executive support is absolutely critical to making social media tools work, and I believe the more open and transparent leadership is by nature, the more likely they are to really support social media (as opposed to only stating they support it because "everyone else is"). As I've said to clients in the past: if you don't really intend to support this effort, then don't move forward. You can do more harm by implementing social tools and letting them die on the vine than by not implementing them at all.

Again, this often comes down to a sincerity issue. Employers want to get employees engaged, but they must be prepared to do the engaging. Old school leaders assume the technology will do the engaging for them, and that too often only compounds the lack of engagement said leaders are trying to break down.

New school leaders not only join the discussion, they put themselves out there and start it. That's the first step to engagement, knowledge sharing and productivity.

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