Why care about an online community
Dear like-minded community aficionados (whoever you are).
Some time back,I wrote my first blog on Running an Online Community and now I like to pick up the baton and continue down the same track / topic and share my findings on why it is important for us, and for you, to run an online community.
I have been looking for compelling arguments on the web and as well at my own experiences over the years as a community leader and found a set of valid arguments, of which, I will go into three of these a bit more details and let a few more stand as additional arguments worth remembering
There are probably a lot of other good reasons, that I have not mention here, either for reasons of space or because I probably haven’t thought of them. Should that be the case, I’d love to hear from you, as I will be collecting.
Let’s look at the first argument for having an online community and for me also one of the most important ones:
Information and Knowledge Sharing
Online communities are a pool of diverse knowledge. Different people bring different ideas, viewpoints, and resources to the table, making these communities relevant for learning, development, and problem-solving.
Sharing knowledge encourages creative thinking and innovation by providing employees with different perspectives and new ideas that they may not have considered before.
If employees share information, they can avoid duplicating efforts and save time. If one employee has already encountered a particular issue and another employee encounters the same issue later, information sharing can help provide a quick solution.
Encouraging information and knowledge sharing helps employees feel more engaged and promotes a culture of collaboration and teamwork.
Let’s look at the second argument, which is also challenged by the virtual world in which we live and work.
Networking and building connections
Networking allows employees to share their knowledge and skills with each other. This can lead to personal growth, professional development, and overall enhancement of the company’s talent pool.
Building connections helps to improve relationships between team members, departments, and different levels of management, which can strengthen the overall company.
Building connections can facilitate faster problem-solving. Employees can tap into the expertise and advice of their colleagues when faced with challenges.
And the third and final argument, which I will elaborate on is:
Support and Guidance
Online communities often act as support groups, where members can seek advice, guidance, and help. The community can provide emotional support, technical help, and tips based on members’ experiences. This sense of belonging and understanding makes online communities highly relevant, especially in today’s digital age.
Support and Guidance in a company are essential for the following reasons.
They help employees improve their skills, increase their knowledge, and reach their career goals. This continuous learning and development leads to better job performance.
Adequate support and guidance from management can help cultivate a positive work environment, where employees feel valued and motivated, leading to improved morale and productivity.
Regular support and guidance increase job satisfaction, as employees feel that their contributions are recognized and that their personal growth is important to the company. This in turn leads to higher retention rates.
You can say that many of the arguments overlap in the 3 categories above, however still worth knowing in each their own form.
I believe that they are instrumental to why our SAP Presales Hubs (Hubs = Communities) have become so successful over the years, by having a place where presales colleagues (and other colleagues) from different parts of the world, can search for answers, find inspiration and get help in an everyday life. Especially in our current world, where there is so much information to be aware off, so many things you need to know about. Our Hubs are not only a technical platform using SAP Build Work Zone, but just as much a living human community, where you can reach out to a colleague for help and guidance.
If these three arguments are not enough, then I can also briefly mention that online communities can also help with market insight, and thereby reducing sales cycles, they can help with brand authority
and build a strong reputation through employee trust, transparency, collaboration, and teamwork.
If there’s anything I’ve forgotten, I’d love to hear from you.