Social Networking & its Impact on Human Capital Management in FMCG Sector

Posted in Human Resources Articles, Total Reads: 2739 , Published on 16 December 2012
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A social networking service is an online platform, or site that facilitates on the building of social networks or social relations among people who share common traits not constraining to interests, activities or backgrounds.

What all started to connect people with different motives and trivial reasons, social networking has moved leaps and bounds to the importance it holds today in one’s life. You have dedicated sites to connect professionally (LinkedIn), personally(Facebook and MySpace), micro-blogging social networking service(Twitter) , personal thoughts and view point  (Personalized Blogs) to name a few in the online world.

The intrusion of online networking into daily lives of employees and the number of hours spent on the same have paved a way for companies to effectively manage Human capital based on the online diasporas of the individual.

image:freedigitalphotos.net

Various components that encompass Human capital management at a FMCG and their linking to the social networking:

Workforce planning: Employers are using social media as an important tool for recruiting prospective candidates. Social networking allows organizations to build their employment brand and awareness which has become a quintessential for FMCG, since they deal with daily and common reach products in bulk. It also aids to expand their network, effectively manage and implement talent acquisition, and improve the effectiveness of their recruitment. Also a company can leverage on its workforce’s networking online to be ahead of its competitors. An apt example of the above said process could be “GODREJ LOUD” whereby the company floated its PPSO’s on the basis of the dreams of the candidates that were liked by the public on FaceBook.

Career Planning: It majorly deals with individual assessments of abilities, interests, career needs, and goals; organizational assessments of employee abilities and potential; evaluating career options and opportunities with the organization; and career counseling to set realistic goals and plan for their attainment. Since a lot of people are use to express themselves in a virtual world and with freedom, FMCG companies can study the gaps between what was perceived by the employee and the lack in fulfillment of expectations. Adding to the fact that people share groups related to their passions and hobbies on online platforms companies can leverage the fact and work towards employee engagement and come out with innovative ideas to map their culture better in alignment to their human asset.

Performance management: A lot goes into the daily working of an employee and keeping his/her motivation level intact. FMCG companies need to maintain this level on a productive note since they are involved in production and supply of daily needs and goods. A lack of motivation and performance owing to reasons back at an employee’s home place and thus not reviewing his performance taking this account might further dip that level. As social networking sites have become a daily diary for most of us, a company can include a part of taking a look on his/her activities online. Also companies can have close informal groups to share activities and other stuffs within the company to engage employees and have performance reviews.

Learning Management: Since the technology is continuously moving towards online support enabled tools, it becomes utmost important to keep your employees abreast of all the developments specifically in FMCG sector where the competition and potential is huge. Over here we can have informal groups and continuous and flexible mode of learning over the social networking sites where the company can float tools and effective tutorials based learning. Also the company can solicit feedback through questionnaires and Google docs on the current learning process and future needs of the employees in terms of learning.

Succession Planning: Good succession planning is a process within a system of robust Talent Management, and when implemented effectively, it ensures long-term sustainable and profitable company growth. Over here a social networking can work in a symbiotic manner, both for the company and employees. A FMCG company can track networking of people working in similar roles and critically analyze them through feedbacks and informal modes for various competencies and move them up in their career. From the perspective of an employee as well, if he wants to move up the ladder he can effectively understand the role more effectively through the company group and informal interaction with the person he is going to replace.

Compensation Management: Across the global culture, it is not accepted to talk about your compensation on any online or offline forums but the very same online networking sites can be used for providing intangible benefits to the teams in a FMCG company. An example here could be to have various informal competitions across the actual and virtual teams based on the hobbies and passions of the workforce and then providing them with free coupons, passes etc.

Extended enterprise: The term “walk the talk” and “guerilla warfare” can as well be implemented through social networking platforms. Examples being of solving employee queries online, providing them disguised counseling and to keep a track of the office gossips (both official and unofficial)

Although the world is transcending to being virtual and internet penetration is expected to intrude largely in the growing powers of the world (BRICS countries) it does not rule out the fact that an effective human capital management cannot rely heavily on the facts and figures on the online platforms, reasons being the lack of authenticity, disguised persona and lack of maintenance to name a few. Companies also need to respect the laws of the land in terms of intruding one’s privacy and the level to which it should be looked and breached upon with respecting the cultural sensitivities that do impede the extend of personal information that an individual shares on online platforms.

This article has been authored by Vandana Somani and Ayush Gupta from MDI Gurgaon.


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