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Overcoming objections

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With any change comes reluctance: integrating a new tool into the work routine of your employees won't always be a stroll in the park. 

Indeed, it's likely not clear why you're programming these changes. These objections are simplyi natural: why change after all?

If you're responsible for the deployment of Talkspirit—a group leader, facilitator, or project ambassador—here are some of the most common objections you'll encounter before, during, or after deployment: 

  • I don't have time. (I have enough to do already.)
  • It was better before.
  • I dare not contribute.
  • No one goes to work anymore.
  • There are going to be abuses, which will require moderation.
  • Great, yet another tool to master.
  • I already have what it takes (Whatsapp, Slack, Teams, and the likes).
  • No one will use it.
  • They won't make it.
  • There's already way too much information.
  • There are too many notifications, and too much noise and distraction.
Learn how to overcome objections

#1. I don't have time. (I'm already busy.) 

This objection often stems from a misunderstanding of what a collaborative platform is. 

Often associated with mainstream social networks, some may think (or have experienced in the past) a social network synonymous with chatter or content of no real value in the workplace. 

Talkspirit shouldn't be an "add-on" but rather a replacement for other practices. The aim is to make them more efficient.

In response to this objection, we invite you to:

#2. It was better before 

Nostalgia is a classic discourse in a change process.

Listening, understanding, giving meaning, guiding with the implementation of new practices: these are the best practices.

Again, we invite you to:

  • Explain the individual benefits of the approach and how they can solve or help your interlocutor in the problems he/she faces.

In most cases, it's: 

  • to access the information, 
  • to spend less time in meetings, 
  • to facilitate remote working, 
  • to communicate more easily with colleagues, 
  • to be less overwhelmed by unnecessary or unwanted emails... 

Use a network of ambassadors to reach out to everyone. You can then ensure that the system is well understood and encourage users to take their first steps.

#3. I dare not contribute

A collaborative platform changes everyone's relationship with information. We move from private information, shared through an "email" box, confidential by nature, to information shared on a collaborative platform which then becomes more visible—sometimes to hundreds or thousands of people. 

Beyond the inequalities specific to each individual in the mastery of online expression, most often written, there are many factors that can really hamper participation. 

Paradoxically, companies willingly identify all the abuses that could take place on a platform of this nature, but the number-one risk is in fact that nothing happens. Employees censor themselves too much, and don't dare share or contribute.

To stimulate participation, here are some best practices:

  • Give legitimacy to the platform by making your approach official. Your members will know that the invitation to the service is an official one.
  • Creating a security framework that allows participation. Invite the sponsor of the process, if possible the head of the organization, to present the project, set out his or her vision and expectations for sharing and participation on the platform. In organizations where expression was often limited to managers, this security is all the more necessary to allow expression in the eyes of all.
  • Positioning the collaborative tool in relation to existing toolsIdentify the purpose of the tool, its specificities and its differences from other tools. Highlight the use cases for which the tool is specifically legitimate.
  • Ensure that each group deployed on the platform is well described / presented. Group managers must be made aware of the quality of content and exchanges within their group.
  • Encourage managers to join the scheme, and be exemplary in their use (in other words, regular contributors themselves).
  • Make the collaborative platform a place where goodwill is expressed and participation is encouraged and valuedMake the collaborative platform a place where kindness is expressed and participation is encouraged and valued, especially in groups open to large audiences. If necessary, provide coaching to people who do not respect these principles.
  • Rely on a community of ambassadors to organize individual interviews with 15 to 20 people eachwithin 6 months of the launch. This ensures that no one is left out and - at the very least - that you have taken the pulse and taken the time to reassure everyone.
  • Have patience!

The participation of all will require more time in organizations with a strong hierarchy. Participation also depends very much on the nature of the groups. In an information dissemination group, it is natural to have few transmitters. 

Finally, participation can take simple forms such as a "like" or comment. As the saying goes, "the most important thing is to participate."

#4. No one goes to work anymore

This objection is most often due to a misunderstanding of what a collaborative platform is. 

More often than not, your speaker makes a quick shortcut between his or her perception of a social network like Facebook and what a collaborative platform is in a professional context. 

While it is not forbidden to develop spaces on your platform for entertainment or for interests that are not work-related (the Runners group, for example), your collaborative platform must above all serve the missions of your teams and the entire organization. 

Correctly deployed, the initial groups will focus on real issues of dissemination and circulation of information that support your projects. Your platform will quickly take on a professional colour that will make your detractor forget his comparisons with other media.

#5. there will be abuses, and these this will require moderation

Here again, this is often confused with "general public" social networks which are, by nature, wide open. Anyone anywhere can say and do whatever they please (within the limits of the user conditions). They can post with their own but more likely with a fictitious identity. 

On a enterprise social network, not only is everyone identified, but participation is limited to groups that have been opened (and that the organization will initialise to start). 

This risk of abuse is extremely limited and very few situations require removal of content or moderation. 

As we've stated: the risk of non-participation is much greater than the reverse. :)

#6. One more tool

Of course, the collaborative platform brings one more solution to an already cluttered work environment, sometimes saturated with tools. 

With business tools, team tools, corporate tools, personal tools, document sharing tools, communication tools, email, and more, the collaborative platform will immediately appear to many as a support that overlaps with existing ones. The collaborative platform will therefore immediately appear to many as a support that is superimposed on existing ones.

To respond to this objection, we invite you to: 

  • Explain how the enterprise social network is not intended to be an addition to but rather a replacement for existing tools in the company. This will simplify employees' lives. 
  • Make sure you don't duplicate tools for the same use case. For each group you deploy on your social network, ensure that it simplifies an existing one and if necessary replaces and streamlines several existing tools. 

#7. I already have what it takes (Whatsapp, Slack, Teams, ...)

It's obvious that the person you're talking to hasn't yet heard of Talkspirit or of setting up a collaborative work platform. 

Nature abhors a vacuum, and each person - in the absence of an organization that imposes or proposes relevant tools - organizes his or her work in his or her own way, in conjunction with his or her team, to meet his or her needs. 

Sometimes by using free solutions within the scope of consumer services, without worrying about their hosting, security, and respect for personal data (what is known as "Shadow IT"). 

It is one thing to have everything you need or to think you have everything you need. Contributing to and participating in a collective project using the tools chosen and deployed by the organization to "network" and thus develop "collective intelligence" is another. 

To respond effectively to this type of objection, you'll want to target use cases for your collaborative platform that are not already addressed by other solutions. If these solutions exist, you will need to clarify or impose the one chosen to avoid creating confusion and leave it up to the user to decide what is best for them. 

This is a unique opportunity for you to clarify which tools are recommended by the organization and which are not. A unique opportunity to put an end to Shadow IT. 

There are often multiple initiatives deployed in the organization. We recommend that you start your project if possible on use cases or themes where there are real needs that are not yet equipped. 

Five percent of your workforce already uses email? Start with the 95% who have nothing. The more use cases you deploy, the more value you'll add to the content and the relationships made possible on the network, the more you'll unite and eventually bring other project or initiative leaders to chimein.

#8. No one will use it.

Unlike a personal tool (which the user can choose alone) or a team tool (usually chosen by a certain team consensus), the deployment of a collaborative platform and its success requires a number of rules and therefore decisions at the organizational level. 

In the past, everyone has been able to experiment with a collaborative tool that was launched with no instructions other than "if people use it, then we'll know we need it." 

Many people went on their own initiative by starting a group and invested energy in getting others on board, ... a lot of effort was invested by enthusiasts.

Unfortunately, failure was almost always the result when it was missing: 

  • a vision to present and position the platform, 
  • the support and exemplarity of managers, 
  • a reflection on the use cases, 
  • setting up groups that are useful to everyone.

It's essential that the implementation and use of this collaborative tool be supervised to ensure its success.

After the initial enthusiasm, the wind often died down. The platform turned into a graveyard of uninteresting groups, and many enthusiasts were lost in the battle. 

Let's be clear: the deployment of a collaborative platform requires governance, a framework, and decisions that the organization must take upstream if it wants to put all the chances on its side. 

These are the conditions necessary to succeed in this long and difficult transformation of working methods within an organization rich in talent and personalities with multiple backgrounds, diverse skills and expertise, with very different uses and digital maturity.

An enterprise social network is deployed in a top-down approach and then group by group. The enterprise social networks that work best are never random.

For a successful launch, we invite you to read the articles in the Launch a project section of  enterprise social network.

#9. They won't make it

Billions of users now regularly use mobile applications and social networks, so why should it be any different with a collaborative tool? Don't presume that your employees won't be able to do it.

Surely the best way to overcome this objection is to put the solution in the hands of those who would supposedly be in difficulty and to rely on their opinion.

As time goes by, we have to recognize that technology tends to fade away and become "transparent:" web services are nowadays increasingly simple, ergonomic, and easy to use, without any instructions. 

Be confident that everyone will be able to grasp it and work on a division of your groups and content that will provide useful information to your users from the start, right from the home page (the news feed).

#10. It's hard to find your way around; there's too much information.

A collaborative tool can quickly host a very large amount of content. 

Each user of the collaborative platform can also join and be invited to a number of groups delivering a wealth of information on their news feed. 

To avoid the feeling of being spammed, here are some tips and best practices: 

  • Check with the person you are talking to that they are a member of groups that are of interest to them. By "unfollowing" or leaving a group, you'll have less content in your news feed.
  • Check that groups produce a reasonable amount of information. Also, limit the number of integrations within groups. Choose groups dedicated to a connector or integration if that's likely to produce a large number of news items.
  • Make surethat the groups are correctly defined and favor a a narrow division. If you want to cover topics A, B, and C with the same amount of content or news for the same audience, but you're not sure that your audience is interested in all three topics, split them into three groups. From the user's point of view, whether your platform hosts 10, 100, or 1,000 groups, your members will only access the content of the groups they belong to and whose activities they have decided to follow on their news feed. You might as well give them access only to the information that concerns them. 

#11. There are too many notifications, and too much noise and distraction.

A collaborative platform gives everyone a great deal of freedom to share, including features that can result in browser, mobile, and email notifications. 

You can intervene in three ways: 

  • Educate on the use of notification-generating features,
  • Help the user to set up their notifications correctly,
  • Encourage the user to set the "right to disconnect" options (outside certain time slots and/or at weekends).

In the first case, don't hesitate to intervene and coach on a reasoned use of the following functionalities: individual or group @ mentions, assignments, messages defined as important, personal publications, personal chats.

In the second case, explain to your users how to act on their notifications and, if need be, how to set up a "mute" mode on the chat, unfollow a group, or stop receiving notifications for a limited period or on a recurring basis.

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