The world of Human Capital Management is littered with reasons you shouldn't try things - liability, technical issues, unresponsive employees or managers, exposure to bad stuff (another way to say liability), etc.
A great example - the use of social networks inside of companies. Joel Cheeseman recently waxed about HR's struggle with Web 2.0. (hat tip to Jason Averbook at Knowledge Infuser). In his article at The Industry Standard, Joel points to a lack of marketing and IT chops among HR people, along with liability, as the main reasons HR can't leverage Web 2.0 to their benefit.
Joel's right about his observations. But I don't think it has to be that way. So we're going to run a project in my shop and drop our notes and lessons every couple of weeks for as long as it's relevant here at The HR Capitalist.
The project - establishing a social networking platform inside a company...
Social Networking (think products like FaceBook and MySpace) should have positive impact inside a company. Linking employees to other teammates they've never met, sharing thoughts, interests and news inside a social network sounds cool. Surely that translates to increased satisfaction, retention and even engagement - right?
Here's how the project will work. We're going to launch a social network inside our company, including the ability to set up your own home page, a blog hosted by me with multiple contributors, youtube video capablity, widget functionality, etc.
I orginally tried to do this with Facebook, but got immediately concerned when I saw an existing employee account that had daily derogatory comments about the employee's manager. Since liability is always on the table, no reason to assume more risk than you have to.
So, the open platforms of Facebook and MySpace are out for this experiment. I can't afford a custom private solution, so we're going with a new product on the market called Ning... Ning allows you to create a social network for free, but the upside for me as a HR Pro is that I can approve anyone who's added - meaning we can "wall it off" to employees only.
That's it for now; I'm configuring it as we speak. I'll get it launched and provide updates as we move forward with the technology.