Rob Catalano is passionate about helping companies succeed – by leveraging technology to make employees successful. As a founding employee, Rob spent the past ten years at Achievers in three different countries. With his unique experience in HR Technology, Rob co-founded WorkTango – a platform that helps managers build authentic relationships and trust with their employees and create high performing teams.

When I moved to the UK in 2015, I quickly joined two communities. The first was a group of people to play hockey with (if you know me that won’t surprise you) and the other was a community called Engage for Success.

If you haven’t heard of Engage for Success, you definitely should get involved.  They are a voluntary movement promoting employee engagement as a better way to work that benefits individual employees, teams, and whole organisations. 

I love their focus: “to grow awareness about the power and potential of employee engagement, encourage people to think more about it, and to provoke them to take action where they work.”

Engage for Success. It says it all right there.

Trying to improve work lives by engaging employees is what I’ve devoted the last 15 years of my life to. When you get that right, success follows in the form employee retention, customer satisfaction and increase in company value.

As part of my volunteer work with Engage for success, one of the things I’m proud of is being a part of developing a Guide to Enterprise Social Networks.

Our group is called ‘the more social than media group’ and our purpose is to make the world of corporate media (enterprise social networks) accessible to leaders and their advisers so that they can make informed choices about investing in technology. 

It was recently published, and reminded me of two things: the great group of people that were a part of it with me and the things I learned that I want to share with you.

The Guide to Social Engagement

The guide is intended to provide an accessible picture of corporate social media with cases to illustrate how other organisations are using it to enable change, generate and deliver strategy, and impact engagement and performance.

I’m a big fan of setting ‘Top 5’ goals each week and also taking five key learnings from experiences. Here are mine while building this C Suite Guide:

  1. Social technology is changing businesses even more than I thought – one example from Southwest Railways, is that they attribute their internal social networks to their best ever performance and customer satisfaction scores, and best ever people scores on a range of metrics from formal grievances to sickness absence, a 12% increase in response rate to the employee survey to 80%, and a 10% increase in their engagement metric to 70%.  There are also four complete case studies in the appendix that are a great read.
  2. The four enablers of employee engagement – these principles go deeper than this paper, but I personally really like them and how they are framed in the idea of building a social enterprise:
    • A strong strategic narrative about the organisation, where it’s come from and where it’s going is
    • Engaging managers who focus their people and give them scope, treat their people as individuals and coach and stretch their people.
    • Employee voice throughout the organisation, for reinforcing and challenging views, between functions and externally.
    • Organisational integrity – the values on the wall are reflected in day to day behaviours.
  3. You’re likely going to need a business case – in our discussions with practitioners, this level of cultural shift and change management seems to require gaining buy-in from the rest of the executive team. There’s a slew of great data and insight that can help you in this guide.
  4. Two things are integral: a plan and commitment– when you start peeling back the layers, there is a lot to do to make this shift. Specifically, what parts of the plan need to be included, who needs to be involved, and the time it will take to make the decision.  
  5. How important measurement is – not only is measurement important to see impact and define success, it’s also a part of the plan that starts way before you actually start measuring anything if you want to do it right.

At the end of the day, this guide will prompt the right discussion about what an organisation needs to deliver when it comes to social technologies.

There is little commercially-neutral advice available and we hope that this guide and our other streams of activity will help C suites to focus on the what before the how.

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