Developing a Learning Culture

eLearning: Internal Forums are the New Watercooler

How to Benefit From an Internal Company Forum

If your internal corporate communication has landed on Twitter or Facebook, it’s time for your company to consider a private location for employee chitchat—an internal company forum. Social creatures will gravitate toward social outlets, and if you don’t have an internal one, they’ll gravitate elsewhere. The following examples illustrate ways others have benefited from an internal social network.

Social Selling and Marketing vs. Internal Corporate Communication

SocialMediaToday says that even dull companies can rock by using Internet social media to facilitate business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) interactions such as marketing, selling and brand awareness. Facebook and Twitter, however, are improper venues for airing internal company laundry. It’s too easy to let proprietary and confidential information accidentally slip during a public conversation. If it’s going to slip out, wouldn’t it be better if it slipped out on an internal company forum?

Using the Internal Company Forum to “Keep ‘em Close”

With employees spread over large geographical areas and employees working wherever their laptops, tablets and smartphones reach, the physical watercooler[MJP1]  has died. CNN reports that social networking replaces the watercooler. Employees have a difficult time working as a team when they don’t feel like they belong to a team, and an internal corporate communication venue can foster a sense of belonging. Forum managers can set up virtual book clubs; lounges to discuss, give and receive help on training videos; private areas to collaborate on eLearning projects; and off-topic, social watercoolers on the forum.

Solidify the Brand With an Internal Company Forum

In a Forbes article, Helen Loh, vice president, digital marketing at Schwab says, “Sharing ideas and networking across the company [via Schweb, their internal company network] facilitates better interactions with our clients. It’s a way of connecting the front line with the back line.” It “demonstrates how everyone is living the brand.”