Social Media is a force to reckon with. It’s high time you think beyond head-in-the-sand measures to deal with it
First we were surprised at how we even used to breathe without this wonder called Google, then we were amazed at why no one had thought of Facebook before and soon we were happy (and sometimes angry) living as birds, whether on Twitter or on a game.
They came, they conquered and they prevail. Social media is in and all pervasive, that’s a no-brainer. Social media is increasingly a part of company culture now. Your employees have moved away from congregating and conversing in smoking zones or elevators to Internet and Social pipelines.
Your employees are no more just resources, they are well connected, well informed, conscious, self-driven, discussion-prone, ‘always-on’ workforce of knowledge professionals who just can’t be weaned away from social media by a strict policy. Employee engagement and employee communication can be enabled with ease and efficacy through social media.
A positive and pragmatic way of doing that is through new capabilities that some good HCM suites offer these days. You can build good collaboration and information dissemination and exchange frameworks within your organization, with all the usual reassurance of control, security, compliance etc.
You can drive employee engagement leveraging social media and create brand awareness, build your employer brand and reinforce it on a continuing basis. Social Media empowers employees by allowing them to express their opinion openly and on equal ground. This helps in breaking down the silos within the organization virtually facilitating information to flow seamlessly thereby building organization culture in a collaborative way.
Organizations can now communicate the values, mission, purpose of the organization in an ongoing manner. Employees can be kept informed instantaneously about customer order wins, organizational achievements, new products and offerings and even strategic changes in approaches, processes and lines of businesses.
Multiple variants of social media like a Yammer page, corporate LinkedIn or Facebook page, Twitter account or blogs can be utilized to keep employees in distributed offices aware of new initiatives and policies, reach out to clients and potential customers, know about prospects or even carryout crisis management.
Learning is a tremendous opportunity for making the most of social media. Various blogs and posts help employees in sharing diverse perspectives and act as a platform to learn from each other. Best practices and ideas can be exchanged easily across the organization than ever before breaking boundaries of functions, domains, departments and geographies. Many organizations are using secure versions of instant messaging, YouTube, Twitter, and virtual classrooms to collaborate and are reaping rich rewards from it.
Through effective social media monitoring and online reputation management, employers can also proactively initiate counter corporate communication and employee engagement measures for addressing bad noise in the social media that may adversely impact organization reputation. Care must be taken by organizations to avoid any improper use of information obtained from Social media sites which could be considered discriminatory since most individuals' race, gender, and possibly ethnicity can be discerned from information on these sites.
Have an open mind that a Yammer page or a Lync chat window can be an equally good substitute for a conference meeting. Plus it saves the time (multiply it by the number of people who get up from their desks for this) too. It would make sense for organizations to facilitate such means to leverage the wonders of iterative, collaborative, idea-prolific, brainstorm-friendly and intuitive technology working modes. Embrace social media and its innate strengths – to share, all across your enterprise mindset.
Increasingly Social Media is finding its way into HCM processes and areas be it Recruiting, Employee Communications, Learning and Development, Onboarding, Collaboration and Team Building. People are thirsty for information, always, no matter which country and industry we are talking about. If as an organization you cannot adapt yourself to a culture where information is not something to be guarded and shepherded but shared and leveraged positively, it’s time you see the writing on the wall.
It says – Change your glasses.