The ‘no-training’ myth in Social Media

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‘Why should we need training for our new collaboration platform, nobody had training for Facebook and everybody is using it’. It might be a recognizable phrase if you introduce social media solutions in organisations. However the peculair thing is that the same people who claim that you don’t need any training for a collaboration platform […]

‘Why should we need training for our new collaboration platform, nobody had training for Facebook and everybody is using it’. It might be a recognizable phrase if you introduce social media solutions in organisations. However the peculair thing is that the same people who claim that you don’t need any training for a collaboration platform will claim that everybody needs a training for the new SAP ERP that just has been implemented.

The fallacy

If you introduce a new way of working, which is very likely when you introduce social media in an organization, you have to do something to make sure people adopt the new way of working. This can be training, this can be something else, however it is not very likely that people will start changing themselves to fit in the new way of working (some will, however most people have already hardly enough time in getting things done in their current job, let alone being a personal change agent). No training for internal social media is a fallacy, often made based on time and budget constraints or simple ignorance.

Your platform is not Facebook

Facebook is not identical to your collaboration platform. And even in case of Facebook people did quite some self education, people ‘wasted’ quite some time on getting to know Facebook. However learning how to Facebook is done in your own time, your surplus of minutes each day, a huge amount of minutes have been spend in learning how to Facebook and when people know how to Facebook it doesn’t mean necessarily that they know how to use Facebook effectively.

Enterprises often don’t have a surplus of minutes

Within enterprises there is isn’t an nearly endless surplus of minutes (as in time and money) that people have to figure out how some things work. Within enterprises often it is required to have efficient processes. It is the well known project triangle: good, quick, cheap, you can pick two. If you don’t do training your implementation can be cheap and good, though it won’t be quick, or it will be quick and cheap, but not any good.

Figure it out is not a social media strategy, people need some kind of guidance when you implement a new collaboration platform. Even if you are using Facebook as an intranet platform (which is an option), you might want to educate people on what to do and what not to do. You cannot expect people to know what they should do if the only thing they get is a platform without any explanation.

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