No matter what your job title is or your responsibilities are, if you use a computer, you probably have to log in. If you’re like most modern workers who jump from task to task or even location to location, you log into more than one program more than once a day.
If you are a smart person who provides a lot of value to your company—I’ll assume you are—wrestling with multiple username/password combinations can be completely demoralizing.
Logging in many times a day can be the bane of your work existence if it interrupts your regular work schedule and causes frustration. Are you and your colleagues victims of log-in fatigue?
Here are the top five signs:
- You know all of your nieces’ and nephews’ birthdays.
- Your hand is constantly penned with number and letter reminders.
- Y0u 0veru5e c0mm0n pa55w0rd tr!ck5 in ema!l5 t0 c0-w0rker5.
- You’ve recently wasted at least 15 minutes coming up with a new username/password combination.
- You’re known to chant mnemonic devices whenever you log into a new program.
Adding enterprise social media to an organization’s already time-intensive routine of program log-in requirements can mean yet another helping of frustration on your employees’ plates, but it doesn’t have to be so. Let’s consider what could bring on log-in fatigue:
1. Separation of social and systems. If your company’s technology won’t allow new social media tools to be an integral part of your current systems, log-in fatigue can result. Asking people to shift from their current programs and tasks to log into a new program is a poor way to encourage adoption of social tools. It’s a similar case if you are not integrating social tools into your current intranet platform.
2. Lack of standardization. If your organization has not decided on a particular tool and instead has implemented a number of tools doing similar things that require multiple log-ins, your users are probably experiencing log-in fatigue—or will be soon.
3. Tool variety. When you want to avoid log-in fatigue, variety is not the spice of life (unless that spice has turned rancid). Having different business units within your organization choose different enterprise social media applications can lead to log-in fatigue. Say, for example, your sales force is using Chatter for micro-blogging, the internal communications team is using Yammer as its corporate internal platform, and other departments have other platforms. This sort of structure can make logging in and conversing inefficient and a source of annoyance.
4. Partial buy-in. Though baby steps can be useful in the process of implementing and adopting an enterprise social media strategy, you must have full support of management to avoid log-in fatigue—as well as a number of other weighty problems. If management is only partially on board, you are more than likely unable to incorporate social tools into your existing work processes. That means more log-in requirements and steps for employees.
Companies that embrace social media tools but ignore the threat of log-in fatigue stand to lose. Log-in fatigue can cause your people to simply stop using social tools. Even likelier than that risk, many potential users won’t adopt the new tools in the first place. If a tool exists, even if it’s great, people will stop using it because they don’t want to deal with one more username/password step.
If you already have an enterprise social media strategy in place, be sure that you are integrating these tools with existing platforms so that an additional log-in isn’t necessary. If your social tools aren’t consolidated and standardized throughout your organization, start consolidating and standardizing.
Andy Jankowski is the founder of Enterprise Strategies. A version of this article first appeared on the Enterprise Strategies blog.