Throughout my blogs I have talked about how to best use the groundswell to connect with consumers, but an important key to having success is through employees. Tapping into the groundswell inside of your company is extremely important. Connecting employees through internal social networks, collaborative wikis, and contributing to idea exchanges helps the organization thrive because the people who know the company best know what changes need to be made. Having a collaborative workplace opens doors for innovation and also helps find better ways to be successful when using the groundswell.
“The internal groundswell is all about creating new ways for people to connect and work together, and to that end, it’s about relationships, not technology” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 244). By creating a collaborative culture, employees will feel empowered and more inclined to participate and share ideas if they feel they are being heard and making a difference. There needs to be a level of trust created that gives employees the security to talk freely about thoughts and ideas. Culture plays a huge role in the internal groundswell success and all levels of management need to be participating. Since the vast majority of companies run in a top down structure, the change needs to be implemented and exemplified at the top to allow it to filter down to all levels of employees. Once they feel they have the support from management they will be more confident in participating.
A way to encourage participation can be through creating easy “on ramps” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 247). On ramps are used to integrate the new technology with the old to help aid the resistors into the transition of utilizing it. Rebels in an organization are people who push for innovation and change. They are continuously trying to make things more efficient and create new ideas that can take the company to the next level. By finding rebels within your organization and utilizing them you can create an opportunity for them to reach not just the internal of the company but the external market. Their enthusiasm about the organization and its products and services can help attract customers on the groundswell. These are the type of people that WestJet has placed on their Twitter accounts, to connect with the public and spread the word of the company’s positive doings.
Employees are the ultimate success of any organization and by creating ways for them to communicate and collaborate through the groundswell is how innovation is sparked. Organizational culture is key to the successful operations of a company. You can have the best technology on the planet but without empowered employees, success is unachievable.
Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Massachusettes: Harvard Business Review Press.