Social networks like the one at HP allow employees to connect instantly
Does anyone at your company share your passion for bird-watching? Who is the resident math genius in your branch office? Is there an employee in the building who can help you program your shiny new iPhone? And did you ever wonder what that senior vice president for HR looked like?
If you work at computer giant Hewlett Packard, you could find the answers to these questions by logging on to its internal social network me@HP.
It goes by the buzzword “knowledge management,” but this growing corporate site looks to the casual observer like a page ripped from Facebook or Myspace. Pictures of smiling men and women appear next to profiles eagerly listing their passions for roller skating, barbecues and parakeets.
More than 2,000 HP employees have joined the site, connecting online to share their interests, network and communicate, says Stan Garfield, the company’s worldwide knowledge management leader for Consulting & Integration.
The HP site, and others like it, begin with the assumption that all organizations contain vast reservoirs of talent nestled in cubicles around the globe. Social networks, through their use of meta tags, profiles and easy-to-use search allow employees to tap into this talent pool with a few strokes on the keypad.