Social Business: Slow And Steady Worked For Philips
Social business success isn't impossible. Philips shares five best practices that helped grow its enterprise social network from 400 to 50,000 users.
Social business success doesn't happen overnight -- a valuable lesson that Dennis Agusi says more companies need to understand.
Four years ago, Agusi spearheaded the deployment of Socialcast's enterprise social platform at Royal Philips Electronics, a healthcare, lifestyle, and lighting business. The company, which prides itself on innovation, needed a better way to connect its 120,000 global employees and improve collaboration.
Over the last four years, the company's network, called Philips Community, has grown to more than 50,000 users. Employees log on to find information faster, exchange ideas, and ask questions -- 54% percent of which are answered within one hour and 92% of which are answered within 24 hours. These adoption numbers and engagement rates didn't come easy -- or quickly -- but they validate the company's perseverance, Agusi said.
Philips' social business success is unusual by all measures. According to Gartner, 80% of social business efforts will fail due to inadequate leadership and an overemphasis on technology. But while the odds are stacked against most companies evolving into a social organization, Agusi, internal communications manager at Philips, says that achieving social business success is not impossible.
"What often happens is that companies simply provide the infrastructure and offer the enterprise social network believing that employees will run with it themselves," he said. "We took a different approach and looked at it from a holistic point of view to develop a digital internal communications strategy to support us in this social business journey."
Philips shared with InformationWeek five best practices that helped it achieve impressive adoption rates and engagement numbers. Here's how it launched the platform, cultivated its communities, and iterated along the way.
1. Build a small, but active community first. Reaching critical mass for enterprise social network adoption is crucial, Agusi said. But to get there, you need to start small, focus on making the community active and engaging, then work to grow your numbers.
Philips created a pilot community first and invited the company's strongest social media proponents to join it.
"We focused on employees who were already using tools like Yammer, plus our communications and marketing employees," Agusi said. "To create ownership across this group we asked them to come up with a name for the community. When you co-create the name together, you see
Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio
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