You’ve probably been hearing a lot about “breaking down the silos” in the business press lately. It’s presented as a pseudo-magical strategy for adapting to the social business economy and meeting the needs of today’s customers, who expect to communicate with people across your company whenever they want (not just with support when there’s an issue). It sounds great in theory, but actually making the jump to a more collaborative, silo-free company can be a bit of a challenge in practice.
Here at Get Satisfaction, we use a private, internal community called The Satisfactory to break down our silos for a more collaborative, connected culture. It works like this—whenever you post a new conversation, reply to an existing one, or choose to follow a topic, you get an email notification every time there’s new activity. If you’re not following a conversation, you only receive an initial email letting you know it’s been posted. It’s an easy way to get a pulse on what’s going on around your company, without bombarding your inbox. Here are 3 ways you can use one to do the same in your company:
1. Ask questions of members of your company
The Satisfactory is a great place to ask questions of other departments, solicit opinions and expertise, and share insight. We post information about sales deals that we win and lose, details about our new products and messaging, and technical questions that our customer-facing teams may not know the answers to. This ensures we’re all on the same page and are able to provide customers with the most accurate, specialized information quickly. Also, having these conversations in a public forum ensures that people who commit to doing things (tracking down stats for a customer, for example) are held accountable.
2. Give morale-boosting praise!
Giving your fellow employees praise in the community is a great way to get good vibes flowing in your company and reinforce positive culture. We give praise when an employee goes above and beyond to help out a coworker, gets a promotion, or does something especially awesome like baking cookies for the office. It encourages positivity in the office, and the good vibes are contagious!
3. Collaborate for strong company culture
We use The Satisfactory to discuss everything from the office snacks we should order to spreading the word about great books by thought leaders in our industry. This internal conversation hub allows us all of us to play an active role in building the company culture we want to see, and makes sure that everyone’s voice gets heard.
Do you use a community internally at your company? Let us know what your experience has been with it in the comments section!