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When employees connect, companies thrive

When employees connect, companies thrive

If social networking through platforms such as Facebook and Twitter is the way we like to connect and communicate at home, why can’t we do the same at work? Now we can. Enterprise Social Networks, or ESNs, are set to radically change the way we connect, communicate and collaborate in the workplace. And companies using...
Dunbar’s Number and the importance of social grooming

Dunbar’s Number and the importance of social grooming

We use and reference Dunbar’s Number in our Line Manager Communication program. The creator of Dunbar’s Number is Robin Dunbar, professor of evolutionary anthropology at the University of Oxford. Dunbar, on an expedition in Ethiopia, observed baboons in the act of mutual grooming. This led him to wonder why primates – to which we are closely...
The importance of emotions in driving employees to action

The importance of emotions in driving employees to action

We like to believe we are rational creatures, driven solely by reason. As a result, leaders have a tendency of focusing on the logic of their argument when communicating with employees. “Here are the facts, let’s get on with it.” The latest developments in neuroscience indicate that using this approach has some serious drawbacks. Instead...
Helping managers to use an adaptive communication style

Helping managers to use an adaptive communication style

It’s not news that line managers are an important, if largely ineffective communication channel. A recent study by Melcrum* found that “preparing line managers to communicate effectively” remains the number one priority for most internal communication teams. The question is what sort of training or support should managers receive? We believe there is no ‘silver...
Gamification rewards the behaviours that really matter

Gamification rewards the behaviours that really matter

Gamification is going to be big, very big. Gartner predict that by 2014, more than 70 per cent of Global 2000 organisations will have at least one “gamified” application. If gamification isn’t a key feature of your social network’s deployment strategy, you’re missing a trick. What is gamification? Put simply, it is the process of...
The "Pelz Effect" highlights the importance of upward influence

The “Pelz Effect” highlights the importance of upward influence

When looking at the flow of information inside an organisation, attention typically focuses on downward communication. However, recent developments have shone a light on the importance of two-way communication, the critical but all too rare dialogue between people leaders and employee that turns information into meaning. The effectiveness of these conversations, can be heavily influenced...
Helping senior leaders access the "unvarnished truth"

Helping senior leaders access the “unvarnished truth”

I recently had the opportunity to watch again the 1987 Michael Douglas classic, Wall Street. In one scene, Douglas’s character Gordon Gekko explains to the naive young trader Bud Fox the realities of life in the financial markets. After some locker room banter, Fox reveals to Gekko “We took a little loss today. We got...
The risks involved in deploying an enterprise social network

The risks involved in deploying an enterprise social network

A potential client recently asked me about the risks involved in deploying an enterprise social network. “You’ve told us all the good stuff, but what are the risks? What’s going to trip us up?” My initial thought was to dispel any concerns by asserting that a well-managed deployment would carry little or no risk. However,...
The 10 hats of an enterprise network manager

The 10 hats of an enterprise network manager

Many organisations face the challenge of deploying an enterprise social network with limited funds. There just aren’t enough free resources — money, headcount and time — to devote to this important task. If you’re about to assume the role of project champion inside a small or mid-sized organisation, you need to be aware of the...
Top 10 reasons to work at Google

Top 10 reasons to work at Google

It’s more important than ever to possess a compelling employee value proposition. Attracting and retaining top talent requires a clear point of view on why people should want to work with you. This can sometimes become an exercise in listing entitlements and benefits, of some interest admittedly, but certainly not inspiring or motivating. Early on...
A new way of communicating with remote workers

A new way of communicating with remote workers

Communicating effectively with workers in geographically remote locations is an all too common problem in a country as large as Australia. The challenge multiplies when you discover many of these workers do not have access to a computer. One exciting solution on the horizon is an inexpensive brand of interactive technology that comes embedded in...
Big payoffs in following the rules of engagement

Big payoffs in following the rules of engagement

In my last column I explained the reasons behind the sudden emergence of employee engagement on management’s agenda. Basically, it boils down to the fact that engaged employees are more “satisfied, loyal and productive” than disengaged counterparts. Unsurprisingly, research confirms that this combination of attributes leads to superior performance across a wide range of company...