Slumping stockmarkets, S&P’s decision to downgrade America’s credit rating, Europe’s debt crisis and jobs cuts – it’s all too clear that the latest financial downturn is taking no prisoners. Here’s how enterprise social networks can help companies address new challenges posed by the downturn and stay competitive.
1. Doing more with less
Answering the challenges posed by the downturn means not only slashing costs through job cuts, but also improving performance. According to McKinsey’s survey research, companies using enterprise social networking technologies are significantly improving their performance (for more details see the post ‘The Rise of Enterprise Social Networking’).
Whilst there are a variety of ways in which networks can help employees to get things done, the actual benefits are dependent on which particular business problems a company is facing. Enterprise social network capabilities can be used to get quicker access to knowledge and expertise, to collaborate easily and to reduce email overload.
2. Alumni relations
Job cuts have hit the world’s biggest banks as more than 60,000 redundancies were unveiled by eight big banks. According to the FT, this is “likely to be just the start of a brutal reshaping of the industry that could result in the axing of hundreds of thousands of jobs worldwide.”
In this light, it is vital for banks to stay connected with their alumni. An enterprise social network is an effective tool for engaging with former employees; it can be used to keep them abreast of key developments, track their career moves and identify alumni with specific common interests and experience. For companies this can lead to generation of new business from loyal alumni and reduction in HR and administrative costs thanks to ‘boomerang hires’ and better referrals for open positions.
We work in the world of near-constant disruption. The financial downturn makes it even more turbulent as employees encounter more exceptions, unanticipated non-routine issues that require timely resolution, break the standard processes and hamper business performance.
Enterprise social networks can help employees to resolve exceptions. Whilst other communication technologies support standard business processes, enterprise social networks are perfect for non-routine processes. They harness cross-silo communication so that questions, knowledge and actions can find the right minds and generate the best response to exceptions.