Deploy learning and development to drive the social enterprise

Deploy learning and development to drive the social enterprise

Armin Hopp from Speexx explains the the key tenets of any social enterprise 

Caspar Herzberg |

Effective modern enterprises are increasingly adapting a more social mindset. Social enterprises, which are combining an emphasis on both individuals and the workforce, are commonly outperforming the competition. But what exactly is a social enterprise? Deloitte defines a successful social enterprise as ethical and authentic, with a focus on diversity and fairness. Shifting towards social is the way to go, and this is the exact challenge enterprise business leaders are now facing.

The challenge lies in defining ‘social’ to fit your organisation before looking at how to deliver the transformation. Learning and development (L&D) plays a key role in effecting cultural transformation – and innovation in cloud-based L&D delivery is helping enterprises drive change consistently across borders. 

As the key tenets of any social enterprise are that it must be ethical and authentic, addressing diversity and fairness, a good starting point might be to assess how well employees feel the organisation is doing on these points.

Refocus net promoter score exercise internally
Net promoter scores (NPS), usually used to establish customer satisfaction, are also a good way of assessing employee views on the enterprise. Customer-focused NPS are elicited from questions such as: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this company, product or service to others?” Customers who rate it highly, at nine or 10, are those who are likely to promote the company, product or service to other people. Similarly, employees who rate the organisation highly will be those who actively promote their employer.

It is a good idea to follow up employee NPS questions by providing an opportunity for more detailed feedback. If an employee gave the company a middle or low score when asked if it was a great place to work, what were the reasons for this? Just as importantly, ask employees who rated the enterprise as a nine or 10, “what in particular do you value about working here?” It is important to repeat the exercise to get real insight. Act on the feedback, make changes to address issues where possible, and measure again to see whether employees uprate their NPS scores and how their qualitative feedback has changed.

Communication across borders
Key to a successful social enterprise is to keep all lines of communication open. The NPS process is a good channel of communication, but it is important to supplement this with a focus on good communications at and between all levels of the enterprise’s hierarchy. This is particularly important for enterprises operating out of multiple geographies. In this case, employees need a high level of skill to communicate effectively with each other, customers and partners across language and cultural barriers – and leaders need to communicate with multiple staff in a way that comes across as honest and authentic.

Employees at enterprises that are managing their service delivery and internal collaboration from cloud-based Microsoft platforms will be receptive to social, cloud-based learning delivery for communications skills development. This way, enterprises can support employees as they take ownership of developing their own verbal and non-verbal language and communication skills, driving the collaborative and communicative culture that needs to be at the heart of the truly successful social enterprise.

Armin Hopp is founder and president of Speexx

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