Several weeks ago I wrote here about using blogs to communicate in your company (see Internal Blogs: Are You Willing To Be Exposed?).
We are working with a client that is putting the concept of employee blogs into action in a new way. I thought I might share the plan here and see if anyone has any insight or thoughts about how it might be more successful – or why it might fail.
My friend and fellow-consultant Scott Thomas likes to ask this question to companies, “How many orientations do you have for new employees?” Of course, the answer is usually one, but the reality is that there are actually two – one when the employee sits in the Human Resources orientation/training and one when they hit the floor and begin talking to other employees. You know the conversation, “Let me tell you what really happens here….” What if you could capture that information? What if you could have your entire team become involved in educating a new employee?
We are planning to create a new “new employee blog” on the company intranet. The blog will only be available to people internally at the company. One of the new employees in the current new-hire class has volunteered to blog about their experience as a new employee. She will keep a journal of the struggles that she faces each day. We have asked her to write about the difference between what was taught in training and what is reality in the office. She will also ask questions and seek advice as a new employee. Other employees have volunteered to comment on the blog – answering questions and giving real-time advice about how “things really work.” Their comments will be entered anonymously to ensure complete transparency and truth.
We expect the insight to be invaluable. However, there are some risks. We also expect the information to shine a spotlight on the deficiencies in the hiring and training process. We will “monitor” the comments but the client has committed to “showing the good, the bad and the ugly.” They truly want to learn from the experience.
Think of the possibilities. Think of what you could learn about your company if you were willing to do what Microsoft does and allow employees to openly blog about problems and issues. What could you learn by doing this same exercise in your company?
I promise to let you know how the experiment goes over the next several months. If you have ideas for improving the process, just hit comment and let me know.