Social workplace – Nokia style

Earlier today I provided a summary of Neil Morrison’s talk on social media in the workplace. Neil was teamed up with Matthew Hanwell, HR and community Director for Nokia, and what follows is a summary of what Matthew had to say.

The good old days: Remember when telephones were introduced to the workplace? How about email? and the internet? Yep – folks were fearful of all of them too – and now we couldn’t work without them. Matthew recalls joining Nokia 14 years ago and you needed manager approval to have an internet browser installed on your PC!

What’s it for?: Why does Nokia suport the use of social tools in the workplace? Because they promote openness, participation, interaction and engagement. We learned of one employee dissing the new CEO’s strategy via Nokia social tools. That employee is still working there and once criticism is out in the open you can deal with it.

Feedback: Matthew spoke a lot about colleagues being able to vote, rate and review each other’s content. That sounds like a great idea – immediate peer recognition and feedback is cool.

Social Dialogue: The HR team were persuaded to open a channel where all things raised by employees would have a response within 24 hours. This service became hugely popular attracting 100k hits per month.

Values: The Nokia values were posted up – this caught my eye ‘Assume the best intentions of others’. Love it!

Tweet meet: Senior management meetings get tweeted so now the conversation has moved from ‘what did you lot discuss?’ to ‘how can I help with…?’ Sounds like a good way to speed things up.

Questions from the floor:

Negative sentiment: someone asked Matthew how do you deal with the negative stuff that some staff post. Quick as a flash the reply came ‘it’s so much better to have it all on display – every one can engage and agree, disagree – we have dialogue together – as well as just at the water cooler’.

More negative sentiment: How do you see social media fitting in with Nokia’s well documented financial problems? Simple – together we have more dialogue, openness and transparency. That seems to be helping us improve things more quickly again.

Toilets (again): What is the return on investment from your social media? ‘Why does no one ever ask what’s the ROI on toilets? They impact productivity too y’know!’

Matthew also focussed a lot more on tools that Nokia have developed to promote the use of social media. I chose not to focus on these because I felt the principles offered you more insight. The tools are just that – tools.

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

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