By: Gigaom
Socialcast building better businesses with simple social tools
A simple emoticon can tell you wonders about the emotional state of your company. Socialcast experimented with such a test in a Japanese factory asking employees to rate their work day with a happy, average, or sad face. The simple question gleaned enormous insight.

Socialcast's Timothy Young at GigaOM's Net:Work 2011A simple emoticon can tell you wonders about the emotional state of your company, Socialcast and About.me founder Timothy Young revealed Thursday at GigaOM’s Net:Work conference. Socialcast experimented with a simple emoticon test in a Japanese factory, at the end of the workday asking each employee in an email to click on a happy, average or sad face, gauging how satisfied they were with the day’s work experience.

It’s a simple test, Young said, but it was also one that all employees could easily participate in. The resulting data points could be used to not only rate an individual employee’s satisfaction with his or her job, but also to help promote cohesion between team members and identify if certain groups or employees, such as graphic designers or salespeople, were becoming disenfranchised.

VMWare recently acquired Socialcast, making Young VP of Social Enterprise. Despite the sophistication of its virtualization software implementations, Young said it has kept Socialcast true to its principles of providing simple business solutions can cut through the normally high level of complexity at an enterprise.

“We’re not really building software here,” Young said. “We’re helping people to unleash their power internally, become heroes and become more affective at their jobs. If we can provide really simple tools — not complex tools inside the workplace that they have to spend a lot of time training on and learning, trying to figure out how they drive value for their own jobs — if we give them really simple tools, they can use them to flourish.”

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Photo by Pinar Ozger.

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