If you are using Google+, one of the first things to do is to create a circle composed entirely of your coworkers. When you make a post to Google+ you can decide if you want to share the post with an individual, a few individuals, a circle or the public. If you are making a post that is relevant to everyone at your company, then you should select the circle you created for your company. You can also create circles for different departments or teams within your organization like Sales, Accounting, Marketing, or NY Office.
Each Google+ account is associated with a Google Profile. You can edit your Google profile to share your name, a brief bio, employment, education and places you have lived. Sharing these details with your coworkers not only helps them to get to know you better, but it also allows them to see your areas of expertise.
For example, you might find out through Google+ that your colleague (we will call him "Bob" from Accounts Receivable) lived in Istanbul for two years. Google+ is a great way to build relationships across the organization by allowing employees to show more of who they are on a personal level.
Share news and information with your coworkers
With Google+ you can now share relevant news and information with your colleagues without overloading their inbox. When you come across a useful website, video, or post, just copy the link and post it to Google Plus. You can select the circle you want to share the post with, or if you have Google+ on your domain you can share it with everyone on that domain. You can also add your own comment that explains why you are sharing the resource.
Google+ is a great tool to put a colleague's name in lights, or perhaps even the entire team. Examples include a colleague closing a deal, earning a professional certificate or speaking at a national conference. It's also great to make it a habit of publicly recognizing team successes on Google+ like meeting quarterly objectives. This is an effective way to build camaraderie in a distributed workforce. If you see a coworker post a win, go ahead and respond to the post with a virtual "high five" or maybe a link to the famous Peanut Butter and Jelly Time video.
Share status updates
Using Google+ you can let your colleagues know what you are working on through status updates. You might be inspired to provide valuable content by sharing an article, video or another relevant piece of content. Stuck on a project? Consider posting a status update with a specific question.
Use hangout for impromptu meetings
Leveraging the Google+ Hangout you can stay in touch via a private chat room with your colleagues, business partners and others in your extended community. Use live video chat that puts you in the same room together - something very beneficial for a distributed workforce. Using the Google+ Hangout you'll want to coordinate plans, whether it's working on a project or meeting up for coffee.
Create engaging content for your Google+ community by uploading photos on your Google+ account. Leveraging the tool, you will be able to create dynamic photo albums to share with your colleagues. You can customize your preferences and create photo albums to share with only specific individuals within your group.
Build community by sharing photos of conferences, company events, or even your last vacation. Photos are not only a nice way to make the work environment more personable, but it's also a helpful way to onboard new employees. By directing new employees to photo albums on Google+ you will allow them to answer some of their own questions, like learning the names of people in other departments.
Build the network
Google+ is a free way to network within your organization. This invaluable social network can help you build out your own network within the larger organization. Enjoy Google+'s ease of use as you sync Google+ with your mail, calendar, docs and the rest of your Google presence. You will prevent email inbox clutter by using Google+ to improve collaboration and information sharing.
Additionally you will notice you will improve trust among employees through more personalized interactions in addition to being able to nurturing relationships among the team. Don't forget to enjoy video capabilities for meetings. You will find Google+ to be your preferred network as you leverage the tool to communicate with your immediate team and slice and dice your network at large.
Susan Cline is the Director of Training and Change Management at Google Apps Parter Ltech. She is also the author of several Google Apps courses on Lynda.com. Visit Susan at her website http://susancline.com/ or follow her on Twitter @GoogleAppsSusan.