In all the mechanics and software and theory of social media, too often the social is forgotten. Its always all about the media.
At its heart business has always been a social activity. The new economy is simply bringing that into focus again.
Any business seeking to be successful in its social marketing efforts must begin in one place: within. If a business is not social at its heart, then it is not going to be successful in its social marketing and social media efforts.
Here is a brief check-list to determine how social your team or employee environment is.
1. Is everyone in the know? Can every one of your employees answer the most important question in business: why? Why are they doing what they are doing?
Ricardo Semler of Brazil is probably the most famous example of a CEO who took this question on . Among the many changes Semler made when he took over Semco from his father, was the creation of 'participatory management'. Whether you want to take it as far as Semler did or not, the idea that people provide more value when they know why they are doing what they do so they can best add value to the business. The tendency towards secretiveness in so many managers will not only ensure that their teams do not do their best work, it will also ensure the business will never transition successfully into the social economy.
Social take-away: successful social organizations are flatter and more open than traditional organizations.
2. Does everyone know how to make a difference? As a logical next step after knowing why we do what we do, is the knowledge how we can maximize what we do for the benefit of the organization.
Most businesses I walk into would fail this test. If I walked up to an employee and asked her, "What is the one thing you do that adds the most value to your organization?" she could not give me a clear answer. When we are not clear on how we could make the biggest difference, we don't. As a secondary issue, that failure renders performance evaluations meaningless. Meaningful performance evaluations are predicated on employees knowing what great performance looks like for them.
Social take-away:successful social organizations are clear how we can personally can make a difference.
3. Is there a positive feedback loop? In a social organization we receive feedback about what is expected of us to maximize our contribution to the whole. When we make that contribution we receive feedback that we are on the right path. That feedback confirms our choices and behaviours. For most of us that makes us feel even more committed to the team and the tasks.
Social take-away: a feedback loop between our team members, our customers, and us, that focuses on appreciation, listening, and confirming value generates greater loyalty, is a the heart of successful social organizations
4. Are you investing in retention? A successful social business understands that retention is the very heart of the design. Clarity of values and purpose, recognizing and leveraging great talent, confirming for people that they matter, all ensure that employees have a great experience with your business. Retention is more profitable and supports the kind of learning organization that is critical to great operations and remarkable customer service. If you are hiring new front line staff every 3 months, your customers will never have the experience they expect.
Social take-away: for a successful social organizations the game is retention. Creating the organization, systems, and communication that makes you sticky is your number one goal.
Whether you are talking to a customer on Facebook, or an employee on the shop floor, these practices are preconditions for success. You must be honest and open and revealing of who you are and what truly matters. You must be clear about how your customers and employees can add the greatest value to the organization. And you must provide great feedback when you identify behaviour and decisions that move you in the right direction.
At the Great Performances Group we improve the success of small and medium business anywhere in the English-speaking world. Check us out to find out how. Read Clemens’ book “Great Performances – the Small Business Script for the 21st Century.” Leave a comment or question! A Facebook “Like” is sweet too.