Navigating Social Collaboration in Highly Regulated Industries

Social Collaboration

Can financial planners and investment professionals be social at work?

That’s a question that the financial services field has been asking for years — as well as the title of the recent webinar sponsored by Redbooth.

Featured speaker Joanna Belbey had a straightforward answer: Yes, they can. And they should.

In the webinar, Joanna shared success stories of companies that had invested in social collaboration platforms:

Increased revenue: A large hospitality company used a collaboration platform to centralize internal knowledge and documentation. Employees who felt more empowered and had better access to information. The company experienced a 12% increase in sales revenue year over year as a result.

Increased innovation: A financial company overcame their “bunker” mentality by moving employees on to a collaboration platform. The transition triggered a rapid culture change that enabled measurable increases in innovation.

Improved visibility: A global services company implemented a collaboration platform that enabled the CEO to gain increased visibility into the workings of the business. This gave him the ability to identify themes and lessons across the company, ultimately resulting in more focus and clearer direction.

But deploying a social collaboration platform in a highly regulated industry is a process that requires planning and input from a variety of stakeholders. It’s important to fully understand internal company needs, internal policy guidelines, and external regulatory guidelines.

Planning for Implementation

In the webinar, Joanna shared a slide with 9 different logos on it, representing 9 different regulatory groups, industries, and agencies in the US and around the world — “and that’s just a few.”

In other words, there’s a lot of regulation to understand. But that should never deter a company from moving forward. It just means that their process should be thorough.

Joanna emphasized the value of creating a working group, including stakeholders from Legal, HR, and other departments within a company or firm.

It’s very important to enable everyone to share their questions and concerns, she said: “Be patient and let everyone’s voice be heard.”

At the same time, she pointed out, it’s important not to get paralyzed in the “what’s-the-worst-case-scenario” stage. While it’s valuable to identify the worst-case scenarios, it’s equally essential to look at them in a calm and reasonable way, evaluate the specific risks involved, and identify reasonable steps that can mitigate the risk.

From a thoughtful process, a thoughtful, detailed implementation plan can emerge, including training, policy, and best practices. As a social media and compliance specialist at Actiance, Joanna can work with companies to facilitate this process as well.

In any event, detailed, well-thought-out processes and practices can be beneficial down the line.

“This is a gray area,” Joanna said, “and regulators will appreciate your thoughtful, pragmatic approach.”

Watch the Webinar and Get Answers to Audience Questions

At the end of Joanna’s presentation, audience members had lots of questions:

  • How long does it take for a working group to go through the process of preparing for the deployment of a social collaboration platform or engaging on social media process in a methodical way?
  • Is there a way for small firms to get started with this process?
  • Can using collaboration tools actually make you more compliant?
  • How can an internal champion drive change management around the adoption of a new platform or new policies?

You can hear Joanna’s answers to all of these questions, along with the 7 risks of electronic communication and recommendations for deployment customized to a firm’s risk tolerance and culture, by viewing the recorded webinar.

Plus: Find out how to leverage early gains to get traction — and why the age of executives might not predict the success of a collaboration platform deployment or social media engagement (but the age of their children might!).

You can start watching the recorded webinar immediately! Access it here >>