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What Closed Doors Could Be Costing You

An expert makes the case that internal communications should be made through social networks. Do you agree?

Are you missing out on a more productive (and profitable) way to communicate? 

Apparently, companies stand to generate some 70 percent in additional profit by simply taking internal communications to social media, according to McKinsey analyst Jacques Bughin.

Rather than in emails or closed-door meetings, Bughin suggests sharing insights, experiences, and updates via internal social networks (like Yammer, for example) or social media platforms (like Facebook). He wrote: “When interactions happen on social-media platforms, work-related communications are visible to everyone. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that this change alone can improve employee productivity by up to 25 percent.”

The more productive you are, the more money you make.

A wide network, he wrote, can provide feedback and encouragement, or it could be a testing ground for new ideas in some cases. Even negative comments about a company hiccup or failure can prove fruitful--spurring quick action and readjustment that would likely move far more slowly behind closed doors.

He pointed out Dutch telecommunications company KPN as an example. The company learned the value of transparent communication first hand when the HR director blogged about high-level discussions concerning worker salaries and pensions as they occurred. The highly unusual, seemingly counter-intuitive approach to internal communication stirred up a great deal of positive sentiment among employees.

But for this kind of social magic to happen, platforms must be used at scale--McKinsey found at least 15 percent of employees must actively participate for the strategy to work.

Daily usage must be encouraged and enforced, all the way up to a company’s senior executives. Unfortunately, the firm found that more than 50 percent of companies fail to achieve this type of all-hands-on-deck participation.

If you can pull it off, there's another bonus: no more meetings


Last updated: Jan 18, 2013


Julie Strickland covers start-ups, small businesses, and entrepreneurial endeavors of all kinds for Inc. Her work has been published in Brooklyn Based and City Limits in New York, the Free Times in Columbia, SC, Real Travel Magazine in London, and Daegu Pockets in South Korea. She lives in New York City.

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