With the rise of digital transformation and the visual culture, business environments are evolving to adopt social media as well as advanced technology to improve workplace collaboration. Based on research and findings, the role of the executive assistant will be reshaped to weave in new skill sets that will be needed to succeed in the office of the future.
Trend watchers predict an increase in mobile and smart offices which allow businesses to operate in plug-and-play environments, from a cafe, home or any virtual location. This leads to a shift in the mindsets as well as culture to operate in the office revolution.
Apart from technical skill sets, the soft skills that will prominently grow over the years is emotional intelligence and virtual collaboration. With enterprise social networks infiltrating the business models, thus changing the communications landscape, executive assistants will not only need to acquire the tools and resources for their own development in this area but also learn how to train their teams.
Where to start? These resources will frame up a foundation to build from and grow the knowledge bank!
1) Find out more about Enterprise Social Networks (ESN)
Collectively gather information about ESN and how the technology is seamlessly being incorporated into everyday business operations. As outlined in the “Benefits of Maximizing Digital Media” the presentation by Connie Bensen, “Creating Culture for Making Business Social” is a great resource to learn how business social is framed up in their organization. And this guided tour addresses the major platforms and how they are being used by leading organizations.
2) Ramp up on the networking sites, language and lingo used in Social Media
There’s a number of buzzwords and soundbytes being used across the globe as well as new ones being formed each day. In the recent blog post, “How the Internet of Things Will Transform Industries” refers to some of the latest buzzwords and here’s a few sites to get familiar with the most used across the networks:
- LinkedIn Professional Community Guidelines
- List of social networking websites
- Top 100 words and phrases in the social media dictionary
- Twitter 101 An essential intro to the platform
3) Learn industry best practices
In June 2014, Jive is named the Leader in Enterprise Social platforms by Forrester. And Jive recently entered into a partnership with Cisco. The Productivity Leap presentation published by Jive, taps into a few best practices that can seamlessly be incorporated into daily operations.
4) Explore ways to incorporate social media
To help automate events, learn how to bring social into the event experience and jazz it up with ideas to cultivate collaboration. Here’s a few examples illustrated in the Playbook for Events by Cvent using the social network Foursquare:
- Check-in at the hotel lobby: Who wants to share a cab to the airport?
- Check-in at networking reception: Looking to chat with others who are upgrading their CRM.
- Check-in at the coffee shop: Building my #xyz itinerary – any recommendations?
For other ideas and tips, check-out the Cvent e-book bundle.
5) Lastly start to cultivate relationships
The traditional practices of building rapport and forming connections across teams will be modified to support the culture of flexibility in the new working environments. Part of the executive assistant’s role is to educate and train so they will also be looked upon to be champions of the culture change. Not everyone is receptive to news that maybe interpreted differently and can cause fear. Here’s a great article, via Forbes by Margie Warrell, with learnings and suggestions to engage, embolden and inspire as well as cultivate relationships through change.
Start small if social business is entirely new and a bit overwhelming. As the old adage states, “practice makes perfect”! And in closing it is always a good measure to anticipate the need of the office rather than operate under assumption so always be sure to explore and analyze before taking action!