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Enterprise social software can help organizations build communities to support employee engagement in the hybrid workplace. But IT leaders need to weigh how to manage communities.

Working toward creating an engaged workforce and a connected culture is certainly not a trend endemic to the hybrid work model that’s arisen out of the COVID-19 pandemic. But hybrid work does make the mission all the more important.

Working from home, even if only a couple days a week, can be isolating. Mixing and matching at-home and in-office hours during the week can be challenging. Only seeing team members or other key collaborators while working in a minimally populated office can lead to a feeling of disconnectedness with the company as a whole. Used effectively, enterprise social software can diminish the impact of these and other hybrid work challenges by building community and spurring engagement among employees.

Companies that are serious about optimizing employee engagement should have enterprise social software on their short list of employee experience technologies to implement. Some IT leaders may be tempted to think, “We don’t need social software. We’ve got our intranet for that or our team chat app does the job.” And, while it’s true there is some overlap among these different types of tools, social software shines in its ability to bring together any type of employee — from C-suite officers to the frontline workers — for conversation on topics of mutual interest.

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