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Mark Guk, senior developer, Itransition

Large companies with dispersed offices and complex internal structures depend on effective collaboration. But even though enterprise collaboration tools are adopted by most businesses, enterprise social networks (ESNs) often become abandoned and unused, or transform into gossip meeting spaces where little business is conducted.

Below are 10 tips that can help integrate social collaboration tools into core business processes (from HR and training to development and marketing):

  1. Bring real value. Intuitive and business-aligned social tools must be used to share information that is valuable for business needs of every employee. When staff members can see that the information they gained helped them organize their work, be more productive, bring more revenue or learn a new skill, they will be naturally motivated to share and collaborate more.
  2. Encourage social engagement, knowledge sharing and debate between all company levels. Becoming stagnant in one role or identifying too much with one position can stall development and growth. Information from different company levels can help people come out of their comfort zone and try new approaches and techniques.
  3. Incentivize knowledge sharing. If information is a chance to learn and grow as a professional, receive bonuses and promotions, it will be shared and consumed naturally. When the cliché, ‘knowledge is power,’ is monetized, it can become a strong incentive for even those staff members who usually prefer to stay in the shadows.
  4. Make social tools fast and keep them in one place. Social solutions must be fast and information easily available – centralized in one location – to increase productivity. When something is cumbersome and takes effort to use, it is likely to be abandoned and also have a negative label stuck to it for eternity. Take the tools you use seriously and always choose the most intuitive ones.
  5. Empower users. Excellent user experience, including convenient notification controls, relevance content filters and easy customization makes collaboration effective. Users have to be empowered and not get inundated with nonsense messages that make them feel out of control. Let them customize their collaboration experience and enjoy content they really need.
  6. Make sure you facilitate easy integration with other business systems (email, content generation and CRM). When social collaboration tools are easy to pair with other powerful instruments you use in the enterprise, they will be used more often. If you can watch a new video from a popular third-party website right in the collaboration tool, chances of it actually being viewed are higher.
  7. Think of security. Make sure you invest in high-quality data encryption and security technologies that are always based on a level of confidentiality. Don’t treat all information the same and you will save yourself a lot of trouble down the road.
  8. Show statistics. Statistics help monitor the value of contribution, levels of engagement, recognition and feedback from people, so they can have the results of their efforts visualized. That helps them put their work into a wider context and see that it really affects the entire enterprise in a positive way.
  9. Use gamification to motivate your employees. Try to include some type of game elements in your social collaboration strategy. Use quests, missions, badges, prizes, incentives and points that add fun to the process and break the monotony of office environments.
  10. Give everyone access. Mobility features enable access from any mobile device, anywhere in the world, so that you can add your two cents on the go, wherever you are. Real-time collaboration helps avoid bottlenecks and silos, and keeps things moving at a pace that is necessary to stay relevant in contemporary business.


Better collaboration benefits business in various ways, from requiring less backtracking on missed meetings and making informed decisions quicker, to appreciating multifaceted perspectives of various experts and finding compromises in interactive discussions. Collaboration should work on all company levels, from top execs to trainees just starting out. Business-oriented social tools help managers be more effective with task tracking while allowing developers and programmers to benefit from more interactive, peer-assessed code review processes. Encouraging participation in ESNs is a business critical goal for every social enterprise with complex teams that strives to produce cohesive results on every project, no matter how complicated.


Mark Guk graduated from Belarussian National Technical University with an M.A. in Mathematical Modeling in 2012, and is currently working on his Ph.D. dissertation in Mechatronics, Robotics and Automation Engineering. Mark has been working with Itransition as a software developer for more than four years. He became a senior developer a year ago. He is experienced in a wide variety of technologies such as Ruby on Rails, ASP, ASP.NET, Silverlight, ActionScript 2&3, and Java. His areas of expertise are Ruby applications, as well as team support, common development environment setup, and improvement, code review and audit.



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