How will you harness the secret online lives of your managers?

If you are interested in developing people and helping them to be the best they can be, I believe it’s worth spending some time with this article and the links in it.

A couple of weeks ago a new report was released by our friends at Good Practice. It’s called the Secret Online Lives of UK Managers and presents findings on data gathered from 504 UK managers. The report explores the role the internet and social media play in the lives of today’s managers and how they use these to solve business challenges. But what does this information mean to Learning and Development?

In a webinar hosted by the Learning and Skills group, Peter Casebow from Good Practice summarised the findings of the report and what they mean to L&D in four bullet points.

1. Managers are going to use Google; Maybe we should prepare them for it better

How can we support our managers make better use of Google? We can all Google information, but how do we go about finding and filtering the correct, credible, up to date, reliable information? If our managers are using Google, maybe we should be supporting them in developing skills to be better at this. There are techniques that can help. You might find this self-paced course on power searching and advanced power searching useful when it comes to learning and helping others to learn these skills. You’ll find it here:

2. Don’t get hung up on aesthetics at the expense of user testing

User testing is vital. Far too often organisations race a product, a platform, a piece of technology or whatever out the door without piloting it first. Those that do risk opening up the floodgates to problems causing more work than a little. In some cases, I’ve seen this time being squeezed out in favour of tinkering and tidying up the user interface. In other cases I’ve seen others just ignoring this step altogether, a decision which in my opinion has the potential to be catastrophic. Not only does testing provide you with insight on issues that may not have otherwise been spotted, there’s reputation to think about too. Those that have been involved in the testing have respect and value the opportunity to shape things for the better. They also play a big part in helping win the masses over when it comes to the bigger roll-out. The masses have respect for the fact that you’ve involved their peers in getting things right rather than rushing something at them because you were too eager. Failing to test, is failing to plan and in this day and age is usually inexcusable.

3. Help managers to discover relevant external communities

There are a whole host of external communities that will be of benefit to your managers. I’m a fond fan of the DPG Community that has supported me through my CIPD qualifications and beyond. It has helped me to solve so many challenges in my professional journey so far. As Digital Learning Specialist for DPG, it’s now where you’ll usually find me. Those on this free community have access to a personal learning network and industry information at their fingertips. But it doesn’t just exist for HR and L&D professionals. There are many managers on there as those responsible for managing people find content of use to them too. Everyone I recommend it to is never disappointed with what they find. Take a look. It’s here:

4. We’ve not got internal social tech right yet

Even those that are using internal social media such as Yammer, Slack or Jive still haven’t got this right when you look at the results of this report. At best in the case of the most popular platform, Yammer, just 8{1233e94166f8edeaacf786ed755fa3dd155dc2f1375bb5e849cb3b6cf20a3b4d} are using it more than once a month with a disappointing 10{1233e94166f8edeaacf786ed755fa3dd155dc2f1375bb5e849cb3b6cf20a3b4d} using it less than once a month. Internal social networks are a great way of keeping knowledge and conversations flowing in organisations and have been proven to increase productivity and innovation. Introducing a platform like this in your organisation takes effort and thought. It’s not just a case of setting it up and turning it on. If you want to find out more about this, I highly recommend putting half an hour to one side to learn about Creating a Community of Practice using the 5P Framework from Mike Collins.

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