Employee Blog, Forum & Helpdesk

By: Snapcomms  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: Discussion Forums, Employee Communication

Barriers to Internal Social Media Usage

According to

, the main factors which prevent organizations from implementing internal social media solutions are:

Barrier 1: "Limited Knowledge of Social Media"

Employee Discussion Forums Managing Internal Rumors

Specifically for employee communication

The SnapComms Internal Social Media tools have been designed specifically for employee communication. Features such as; code of conduct options, easy setup, targeting based on existing network structures, flexible moderation, change notification and reporting are customized specifically for internal use and included as part of the ready-to-go template.

Pilots and 'proof of concept' trials

The SnapComms Internal Social Media tools are low cost and charged on a 'per user' basis. A fully managed, hosted version (as well as an in-house version) is available. Hence it is simple and cost effective to run a pilot or 'proof of concept' employee blog, forum, Q&A or helpdesk prior to committing to a wider social media implementation.

Barrier 2: "Lack of IT Support or Technical Capability"

Employee Forums can be Customized to Reflect Preferences

Low IT resource requirement Once the SnapComms client software has been deployed to staff, you do not need to enlist further help from IT. The SnapComms Internal Social Media tools are designed specifically for business units to use and manage easily and quickly.

Barrier 3: "Limited Staff /Resources to Implement"

Customizable Employee Profiles for Internal Social Media

Easy to setup

Templated set up allows administrator(s) to set up new employee blogs, discussion forums and helpdesks within minutes.

Automatic detection of existing Active Directory settings

This allows you to easily specify which employee groups have authoring, commenting, and reading rights for each channel.

Easy for busy staff to use

The design and layout of employee blog, forum and helpdesk pages are purpose built to be easy to read and easy to scan. New content, specific to each employee, is highlighted to them personally.

Desktop Alert Notification of a Discussion Forum Post

Desktop notifications

For important internal social media channels, such as a CEO blog or a crisis helpdesk, it is possible to automatically push out headlines via a scrolling desktop news ticker to targeted employees or groups as new information is posted.

Barrier 4: "Restrictions Imposed by Our Legal Department"

Reduced risk

The SnapComms Internal Social Media channels have been built for secure internal communication. Only people with a unique, organization specific applet residing on their computer can view these channels. And only then, if they have been targeted with view rights. This means that the risk of leaks to the outside world is dramatically reduced.

Employee Helpdesk Example

Stop worrying about inappropriate use

The SnapComms Internal Social Media channels allow you to specify a ‘Code of Conduct’ clearly at the top of each page view. You can link to an existing code of conduct on the intranet, use the default provided, or type in a code of conduct specific to each forum, blog or helpdesk.

Keep a close eye on high risk discussions

Code of conduct and moderation options mean that it possible to keep a close eye on employee discussions that are considered high risk. A range of moderation levels allow you to monitor and approve posts if required. Moderators can also receive an optional desktop alert when an anonymous post or comment is made on a high risk discussion forum.

Secure discussion groups

Access levels can be easily set up by the administrator(s) based on existing Active Directory network structures (and/or newly created targeting groups). You can easily specify which employees have author, comment and view rights. Only employees with view rights can access specified employee blogs and staff discussion forums. This allows you to set up confidential or sensitive discussions forums and workgroups online with full assurance of confidentiality.

Barrier 5: "Lack of CEO or Senior Manager Support"

CEO Blog Example

Senior managers may view internal social media as a risky option with little quantifiable value. They may also be concerned about an impact on productivity due to unnecessary distractions and 'time wasting'.

Internal only solution

Since the SnapComms Social Media channels are 'internal only', visible only to employees with the Snap client resident on their PC, the level of real and perceived risk is reduced.

Monitor 'time wasting'

Standard reporting options show the average time spent by staff and a view of the ‘power users’. These reports can help address any senior manager’s concerns with regard to time wasting.

Improve productivity

The SnapComms Internal Helpdesk and Q&A channels are specifically designed to improve employee productivity. Employees can ask a question in an online helpdesk or Q&A spot and nominated content owners can receive a desktop notification of the question. Once the question has been answered, it sits in a tagged, searchable, evolving repository of knowledge.

Appropriate discussion in an appropriate place

Setting up a specific, moderated helpdesk, for example, around an organizational change, can help keep inappropriate content out of other, possibly more public, online discussion forums. (Sometimes people just need somewhere to 'vent').

'Risky' discussions can be focused and secure

Risky discussion, where sentiment might be negative, can be targeted securely to only those affected (e.g. by a restructure). This means that negativity does not need to ‘infect’ the rest of the organization.

Barrier 6: "Lack of Metrics to Measure the Impact"

Measure the ROI of social media

Reporting options, specific to internal use of social media, make it easier to measure value and show an ROI.

You can report on the total time individuals spend using the tools, demographics and the social media channels that they find most useful, as well as the more traditional social media traffic statistics.

Online polls can be customized to provide an insight into the perceived value of each channel. This makes it easy to quantify the time spent by staff on internal social media versus the value gained by the business.

Encouraging Participation with Internal Social Media

Employee Forum for Change Discussion

One of the key factors associated with any new technology implementation is to encourage behavior change and uptake. Once Internal Social media channels have been implemented, the SnapComms solution has a range of features to maximize uptake:

Automatic authentication

Staff do not need to remember and enter user names and passwords: automatic user authentication via the client software keeps your network secure. Staff will not be put off by laborious sign up or log-on procedures.

Promotional tools to drive participation

Notification tools

A scrolling

can provide a notification of the latest updates relevant to an individual, and/or a

can notify employees of an important update requiring their attention.

Fast moderation

If moderation of posts is required, desktop alerts can inform moderators as soon as new or high risk content is posted. This can help ensure that internal social media channels are lively and active and staff enthusiasm is not 'killed off' by long approval processes.

Search tools and tagging

Help staff find important information fast.

Hosted or in-house versions

The SnapComms solution is available as a fully hosted solution or an in-house solution. The in-house solutions can be a good option for IT teams worried about hosting company information outside of the organization.

Keywords: Discussion Forums, Employee Communication

Other products and services from Snapcomms


Internal newsletter Software from SnapComms

Printed staff magazines, or laborious html magazines that you have to pull together yourself, can be out of date before employees even read them. SnapMag is automatically produced without any need to wrestle with html formatting. SnapMag allows you to produce a staff magazine very quickly with limited resource. It lets you distribute ‘safe discussion’ directly to employee’s computer screens.


Desktop Alert System :: Staff Alerts

RSVP Staff Invitation system The SnapComms Desktop Alert system is ideal for important Human Resources updates, Health and Safety notifications or internal communications that have legislative requirements. The desktop RSVP will record all of the answers and provide full reporting on staff invitation responses via the SnapComms Desktop Alert system.


Corporate Screensaver Tool :: Screensaver message

SnapComms' corporate screensaver messages can contain multiple embedded hyperlinks directing staff to information sources, to provide feedback, to participate in discussion forums or to opt in to staff quizzes, surveys or polls. Change screensaver message quickly and easily - PowerPoint slides, images with text, countdown clocks, flash animations and video can be deployed quickly and easily in a matter of minutes.


Staff Quiz Tool :: Employee Quizzes

Silent Staff Quizzes can be activated by hyperlink allowing you to embed links to important information updates and training programs. When the staff member submits an answer, an optional personal pop-up display shows their individual score and the correct answers. Full reporting allows you to see which employees have completed the quiz and to monitor their results.


Staff Survey Tool :: Internal Survey Software

This information is useful when trying to convince senior managers how internal communications can add value to the business. SnapComms' staff survey tool can act as a quick and easy 'temperature check' on issues important to your business. You can specify how often and how quickly the survey pop-up reappears until a staff member completes the survey. Use the staff survey tool to check the pulse of your organization when you want to.