Social businesses - what is it and why is it useful for teams, and leaders, within an organisation?
First, a social business is one which is constructed around the organisation being, you guessed it, social internally and externally. This means they may use tools like social media to engage with their clients, and may use other tools internally to help their teams communicate with one another. This can feel like a new system to companies which have been around for some time, but with the new generation of workers coming in, it is in their blood and their mindsets.
How can an organisation start becoming more social?
It takes time, and often training, to help become a company which is more open and innovative. It includes processes, structures and the very ethos and culture within needing a shake up. Teams and their managers need the ability to have the confidence to use social tools to build the connections within, as well as the company's reputation with customers as well.
Often a social business is just described as one which uses social media alone to engage with teams and customers, but I truly believe it is more than just using tools to enable social interactions. I believe, when a company is truly social, it helps employees become more of a network, a team of people singing the praises of the organisation, and connecting together. It can mean that more internal meetings are held to innovate with one another. Perhaps more social-style get togethers may happen (and it is welcomed, as this builds the bond between work colleagues). A social business is one which encourages its people to be more interactive with one another, rather than sticking to the job description and within their own office, cubicle or desk.
How can I enable a more social business?
If you are a leader, or manager of a team, you need to take a few steps in developing your leadership style to reflect that of the changing environment to a more social one. Your role may become more that of a servant leader, rather than directional. You will want to help your teams be motivated to carry out tasks themselves, together, and as one. This can be truly beneficial to you, as you can leave your great team to get on with a project, while dipping in to support where required.
You can also help your teams through arranging time for them to share their own ideas, enabling them to see that you want them to be a part of the organisation to help develop, encourage innovation and ultimately they will gain more satisfaction from having their voices heard.
Where do I go from here?
You may want to chat with a trainer or coach who can help you get to grips with the changing landscape, perhaps you may want to speak to companies which are showcasing this style of leadership within. I highly suggest you first get to grips with this being a big change, but a great change for the company, your employees and yourself as a whole.
If you would like to arrange some support from someone like me, who loves to help leaders find their leadership style, while also embracing change like becoming a more sociable business, I'd love to chat. You can book a free 15 minute consultation with me here.
For now, do you see companies becoming more social, and have you been in a team where this is already happening? What has been your experience?