The digital workplace is a social place, where teamwork and enterprise collaboration are essential elements of success. 

To understand how businesses are adapting to everything from changes in company culture and leadership issues to new opportunities for the HR team, CMSWire writers dug into a number of significant social business topics.

A Sample of Popular Posts

There were many trends that we spotted during 2015. Here they are, and why they are worth another look when it comes to getting the social element to your business working for you rather than against company interests.

1) Human Resources saw some key changes this year. Lori Alcala dug into them with Five Hot HR Tech Trends for 2015. Tweet to Lori Alcala.

Although the survey shows that performance management ranks high regardless of company size, the results show significant differences in the objectives of small, mid-sized and large companies. For large companies, learning, compensation, workforce planning and HR analytics are at the top of the list. Mid-sized companies are focusing on wellness, Core HR/HRIS, leadership development and HR analytics.

2) No, it isn’t obscure creatures in the Amazon: it’s the corporate intranet that’s endangered. That’s what Rich Wood argued in Endangered Species: The Corporate Intranet. Tweet to Rich Wood.

The question facing intranets should be how internal collaboration and communication tools are going to evolve in the world of social, cloud and mobile -- and whether there’s any place left for the traditional intranet down the line. We shouldn’t be asking if enterprise social will replace the intranet, but rather how long the whole idea of a browser-based intranet portal really has left in the face of mobile apps and form factors (of which social is only one example).

3) Good work often takes good collaboration. David Coleman looked more deeply at strategies for getting a team on board with this approach with 10 Collaboration Trends for 2015. Tweet to David Coleman.

Companies of all sizes have adopted collaboration tools, but many still struggle to find tools that meet all of their needs. The following trends come in part from data and conclusions from a recent survey of over 500 practitioners. Vendors should pay attention as some of the findings show areas for improvement.

4) Everything is churning along just fine: until your intranet goes down. If you know the feeling, then check out the piece from Dom Nicastro on Discussion Point: Why Do Intranets Fail? Tweet to Dom Nicastro.

Intranets need just a clean simple design. We believe that less is more. We're really kind of bringing in several other elements from the web that users see every day whether on Facebook or Twitter. Iconography is huge. People identify with icons. Icons for your notifications, bookmarks, user profiles and anything really. We used a lot of iconography around there.

5) They’ve been together for a while, making googly eyes at each other and hinting at something more serious. And then it finally happened. Carrie Basham Young describes, When Your Intranet and Enterprise Social Network Get Married. Tweet to Carrie Basham Young.

As we prepare to toast this joyous integration, remember that the Intranet and the ESN are strong, independent entities with many individual merits. As in any marriage, each partner must remain unique with its own purpose. By tying the knot, however, the Intranet and the ESN will complement each other’s strengths (and minimize their weaknesses), improving the overall employee communication experience.

6) Social collaboration tools are supposed to improve your ability to connect with others. Not always. Stowe Boyd posits What's Wrong with Social Collaboration Tools? Everything. Tweet to Stowe Boyd.

It’s fairly well-known that businesses face a systemic issue with adoption of social collaboration tools. These tools (also called enterprise social networks, or social business) share some common design motifs, like activity streams, project or group workspaces, file sharing, user profiles, and various communication mechanisms such as direct messages, @mentions and so on. But what isn’t generally acknowledged is that business productivity was much higher in the years preceding the emergence of Web 2.0 social collaboration tools.

7) Similar to the previous piece, there’s a lot of concern about how effective enterprise collaboration can be. David Coleman explored this with Pitfalls of Enterprise Collaboration (and the Solutions). Tweet to David Coleman.

Although research claims collaboration works better if teams are all together, there is also the 50 yard rule -- anyone over 50 yards from you will collaborate with you in the same way as they would in a distributed office. Architects are working to create more collaborative physical spaces in organizations to maximize casual serendipitous interactions. Yet most organizations have not worked out how to collaborate face-to-face, let alone distributed collaboration.

8) Cisco isn’t content to leave its long-time collaboration leader WebEx alone. The company has a lot in store, as Scott M. Fulton discovered with Cisco Rebrands 'Squared,' Wants to Spark Your Collaborative Energies. Tweet to Scott M. Fulton.

Cisco developed a collaboration tool as “Project Squared” under the WebEx domain. For all intents and purposes, it looked like a new centralized meeting and collaboration center for WebEx. Today it is being rebranded as Cisco Spark. “In the longer term, we want to do some simplification of branding,” Ross Daniels, Cisco’s senior director of marketing, told CMSWire.

9) Launching Yammer wasn’t enough for Adam Pisoni. He’s still on the reinvention path, according to David Roe in Yammer Co-Founder Wants to Change Your Work - Again. Tweet to David Roe.

This time, he's trying to instigate an entire ideological shift in the way enterprises approach work. In February, he left Microsoft to devote more attention to a number of things, including a project called Responsive.org.

10) It’s the struggle so often for employers: how to keep the workforce happy. Noreen Seebacher explored this with Do You Know the Secret to Happy Employees? Tweet to Noreen Seebacher.

At a time when the most common recipe for workplace success includes nothing more than collaboration tools, a foosball table and a bring-your-pets to the office policy, it's a question worth considering — at least if you hope to keep talented people.

11) A team is far more effective when everyone is on the same page. John Schneider has some tips for you with How to Get Your Employees to Connect and Collaborate. Tweet to John Schneider.

The modern workforce now expects the same experiences in the office as they get in their personal lives, which creates a daunting task for even the most nimble organization. Those that fail will experience subpar employee engagement — something that can have grave consequences on a company's ability to innovate and execute.

12) We’ve seen a lot of the ups and downsides to social collaboration. However, Tom Petrocelli goes more deeply into Where Social Collaboration is Heading. Tweet to Tom Petrocelli.

The modern workforce now expects the same experiences in the office as they get in their personal lives, which creates a daunting task for even the most nimble organization. Those that fail will experience subpar employee engagement — something that can have grave consequences on a company's ability to innovate and execute.

13) There’s plenty of discussion about the parameters for a digital work environment. Oscar Berg confront if, however, Are We Asking the Right Questions of the Digital Workplace? Tweet to Oscar Berg.

Questions like "where do intranets fit with ESN platforms" serve as yet one more reminder of how deeply stuck we are in technology-centric thinking. The conversation needs to turn to what digital services do people need to get their work done, and how do we design these tools to fit people's work styles and working conditions.

14) What is the right role for a company intranet and other platforms? James Dellow goes deeper into this issue with Where Intranets and Enterprise Social Networks Fit in Your Business. Tweet to James Dellow

The only thing that's true is that Intranets need to solve an actual problem. Many organizations wanted an Intranet to replicate a little of the Internet inside their organization. Very few asked why they needed one.

15) Perhaps you’ve just had it with a company intranet and want something incredibly powerful. Laurence Hart proposes this with Forget Intranets, Give Me an ESN. Tweet to Laurence Hart.

The only thing that's true is that Intranets need to solve an actual problem. Many organizations wanted an Intranet to replicate a little of the Internet inside their organization. Very few asked why they needed one.