Social media have reached worldwide users with personal accounts but also business accounts. Social networks are utilized for marketing to boost brand presence. Also, they work as channels where businesses can communicate with customers online. There are the likes of Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Yahoo Messenger which allow engagement wherever and whenever.

However, some companies still develop and build their own social networks for internal communication. In this article, we will discuss how Fortune 500 companies use internal social media for collaboration.

Case Studies

The foremost reason that Fortune 500 companies prefer to use internal unified communications is security. Their aim is to be able to have smooth and efficient communication within the company while maintaining a safe and connected environment.

By using public and commercialized social networking sites, company information may be at risk. Regardless of the number of time employees are reminded not to share these data to anywhere outside the company domain, there is no guarantee that everyone will strictly follow.

This is exactly why in General Electric, employees only have to connect through an online portal for communication called “GE Colab.” Short for General Electric Collaboration, this network is created like Facebook, where everyone can jump on board. Employees can comment on forum threads and find the files and data they need.

Another example is IBM’s internal collaboration tool called Beehive. This social network contains more than just work-related files and folders. Apart from posting work projects, employees can also share their personal favorites like books and movies, and other colleagues can comment on them.

IBM also has a social network similar to Linked-In and the homepage of Yahoo!. Accessible through intranet, w3 or IBM’s Blue Pages allows viewing of each employee’s profile from personal basic information to professional credentials and records. This site also includes the latest news and happenings about company stocks and shares and company events written by employees themselves.

Enhancing the work experience, Beehive and Blue Pages create a sense of community for IBM employees worldwide. These social collaboration tools connect the unify the whole workforce of the different departments and towers of IBM as well.

Benefits of Using an Internal Communication Application

The use of internal social technologies encourages everyone in the company to share their knowledge where others may get potential value. In fact, McKinsey released a report on this stating that Fortune 500 companies may win $31.5 billion a year just by collecting information from employees. These employees include not only top management but also the high-skilled workers and professionals. It said that the use of this technology can cut down the time of checking emails and tracking information by 20 to 25 percent.

Hence, the utilization of a unified communication tool in the company increases work productivity. By innovating and prioritizing communication at large, companies can get a big pool of knowledge that can’t be found elsewhere. Work culture can also be improved, when everyone in the enterprise is driven to participate in the online discussions. This is very beneficial for the long-term growth of the company.

The implementation of internal company social media can pave the way for a game-changing solution to employee engagement and thus employee retention. Fortune 500 companies may want to impart the same practice to small and medium-sized companies. The challenges here for employees are to separate their personal and work profiles and add value to conversations related to the business. Moreover, because this can be a shift in the company culture, the management may have to conduct user trainings and motivate employees to contribute for the betterment of their social journey.

Challenge For You

If you’re a business owner, would you consider preparing your company to take on this form of internal collaboration? Or will you stick to traditional methods like physical coaching, emails and verbal trainings? If you’re up to the transformation, make sure to embrace commitment and demand everyone’s consent to ease resistance.