ESS (Enterprise Social Software) – improving user adoption

Using ESS to share information & improve user adoption

In an earlier post (“Let’s Share“) I discussed the benefits of sharing information in the workplace.

One of the ways to do this is be using ESS (Enterprise Social Software). This includes employee’s blogs, wikis, and micro-blogging.

Just providing the tools, however, does not mean that will be used.

Murali Sitaram, (Vice President and General Manager for Cisco’s Enterprise Collaboration Platform Group), has written an excellent post in which he describes ESS, and the value it can have in the workplace.

I would like to borrow a few paragraphs from one particular section in his post in which he discusses strategies for User Adoption.

Make it personally valuable

Enabling employees to post, tag, bookmark and share information enables them to create their own personal learning environment and build relationships with peers based on similar interests.

Adoption will not be driven directly by what processes they are involved in, or any other formal activity that directs their role.

Instead, their use of ESS is influenced by their own goals – which might tie to career development, recognition of their expertise, or professional networking.


Make it a community effort

People often enjoy helping others and collectively co-creating something of value.

Adoption can be facilitated by posing challenges for employees to overcome.

For instance, inviting employees to participate in solving some of the more pressing issues facing the company (products, markets) or their department (customer service, data quality) can tap into the goodwill of employees to contribute.

Check this out:
An insightful observation on communication channels, or "What's better than texting"?


Make it the new way of working

Over the years, companies have changed the means of production by deploying office productivity tools, or automating work activities by deploying various business applications such as CRM. Employees had to change the way they worked as the work itself changed in terms of its tooling.

In some cases, we can change the work itself such that people blog instead of creating documents, or share information via wikis rather than email.

As people become comfortable using tools for their daily routine, they can become more comfortable using the same tools to voluntarily participate in communities and professional networks.


These points describe excellent ways to not only encourage the use of social media tools in a company, but to also bring about a change in the culture of a company in a way that is not “thou shalt, or else!” way.


Want to learn more?

Below is a selection of resources that I personally feel are relevant to this blog post, and will allow you to get more in-depth knowledge. I do earn a commission if you purchase any of these, and for that I am grateful. Thank you. (Important Disclosure)