Posted on 16 August 2011 by
This blog is post #3 in the Ten Days of Office series to celebrate the one-year anniversary since the release of Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010. Tune in each weekday for new tips and tricks to get the most from your Office and SharePoint e experience.
On Wednesday, as part of the one-year anniversary celebration of Office 2010, my colleague Erik Jensen wrote a great post about one way that you can get the most out of Microsoft PowerPoint through the broadcast feature. Yesterday, Roby Kurian wrote about Outlook Social Connector, including how it can provide information from SharePoint My Sites. Today, I want to share one of the ways you can get the most out of the social capabilities in Microsoft SharePoint 2010 by promoting the use of My Sites within an organization.
There’s a lot of buzz today about social networking within an organization, and with good reason! According to Gartner, “It is no longer a question of if an enterprise should invest in social software, but when, from which provider and for what business purposes.” and by 2015, 40% of large enterprises will have a corporate "Facebook," for circulating both business and personal data. (Gartner, Predicts 2011: When Social and Business Processes Collide, November 19, 2010) When done right, enterprise social networking can be a very valuable tool in helping employees find colleagues with the expertise they need to solve a problem or better serve customers. SharePoint has included My Sites since the 2003 version, and today in 2010 they are better than ever at helping people locate one another and the critical business information they share, enabling everyone to do their jobs more efficiently and feel more connected across the enterprise.
Now onto the good stuff! SharePoint My Sites is only as valuable as the information people contribute, which you can do easily by leveraging tools such as tagging, document and photo libraries and colleague connections. So in an already busy work environment, how do you ensure your employees understand the value of My Sites? Below are some tips for driving adoption in your organization.
- Identify a select group of early adopters who can spread the word about My Sites among their colleagues. Showcase them through email, a newsletter or an Intranet feature story, citing personal examples of how My Sites has improved their everyday work life. Also, reach out to the avid consumer social network users in your organization to become early adopters and promoters of safe, secure social networking inside the organization.
- Use My Sites as a marketing tool inside organizations. For example, smaller teams within a larger organization can boost their profile by making sure their My Sites are completely utilized. Each team member can list expertise, share documents, tag material and update newsfeeds, making them easier to find in an organization. In fact, simply saving your documents to your My Site will make it much easier for people to find out what you know and benefit from your work. It is much easier to find files by looking up people in SharePoint.
- Make My Sites your own. Custom skins that live on top of SharePoint allow organizations to brand My Sites, helping drive interest and loyalty. The theme might be for your department, role, or a corporate HR-sponsored initiative—whatever is most relevant for your business.
- Incorporate filling out My Sites as part of an employee orientation. This helps quickly drive adoption and ensures employees know how to properly utilize the tool. Many of your new employees will already be familiar with these tools as consumers and successful job seekers.
- Encourage high-profile executive involvement. When your executives share, they set the tone for everyone. Using the built-in blog on a My Site is a great way for executives to share trip reports, reflections on the business, and career development tips. This knowledge is shared more visibly and persistently than in email and encourages other employees to share their experiences as well.
We use My Sites widely across Microsoft, and from personal experience, it has helped me engage colleagues more quickly, locate expertise and find the information I need to not only do my job better, but be more efficient. When I can find the right contact for a customer by doing a people search, take advantage of colleagues’ presentation by finding it on their My Sites, or stay in touch with a colleague through their personal updates, SharePoint is enabling me to benefit from the power of social computing in the enterprise. That makes me more productive, effective and connected in today’s fast-paced world of business.