Introducing an CSR is a great idea, but …
There is no doubt that CSRs* play a key role in companies’ digital transformation processes. So why are they not more widely adopted? The answer is simple – CSRs overturn established rules on information sharing and cooperation. Information that had previously been held by a limited number of people must now be made available to everyone. This represents a genuine challenge in many respects.
Employee and manager perceptions
Some managers may fear loss of control over knowledge if an CSR is set up. Employees also express concerns over the deployment of these tools. By sharing their opinions, they expose themselves to criticism by their peers. Such systems may also be perceived as a means of increased management surveillance. There is also the challenge of adopting a new solution that may be viewed by staff as a real burden that is difficult to use or generates extra work.
So CSRs radically change our habits. However, we now have sufficient experience with these systems to be able to identify potential pitfalls and best practice for successfully deploying an CSR.
As with any project, it is important to set one or more goals
Companies generally set up an CSR to streamline interaction within their organization, enable their staff to cooperate more effectively, increase cross-disciplinary collaboration, and instill a knowledge-sharing culture.
These projects transcend the IT dimension to incorporate all company departments including senior management, HR, IS, marketing and PR, and business areas.
Support with change is essential
It is vital to coordinate change and communicate effectively. Any employees who wish to be involved should be included from the start and encouraged to contribute at each step of the project. Staff upskilling may also be necessary to prevent a digital gap resulting in people not using the solution.
Managing the CSR to unite employees
Low uptake of the platform is another common pitfall facing CSR projects. So prior to launch, it is a good idea to identify people who could act as ‘community managers’ and give impetus to the project by regularly disseminating content. These individuals should be trained in order to prepare them for their future roles.
However, an active user is not necessarily someone who publishes ten items of content a day and offers their opinion on all information posted. Generally, 10 to 20% of users are classified as active contributors and share one or two new items per day.
Learning from employees’ digital culture and habits
Several studies have revealed that over 44% of browsing at work relates to personal use of sites such as Linkedin and Facebook. The two main market leaders have introduced practices and habits that have now become entrenched such as setting up a digital profile, posting content in various formats, commenting on publications, and creating communities.
If these features that are widely used every day are harnessed and incorporated into projects, CSRs can be presented as user-centric tools encouraging more willing uptake from all employees.
In order to deploy an CSR successfully, the project must be well prepared. While it is essential to take account of all technical aspects, it is also vital to involve all staff in the project to ensure they take full ownership of the tool. CSRs can be extensively deployed in companies if this process is adopted.