Posted in Human Resources Articles, Total Reads: 1256
, Published on 20 January 2014
Facebook alone has more than a billions users which is about a seventh of world population which essentially means that 1 in every 7th person in the world is using social internet. This is just one source of social media having a humongous presence, combine it with other social media tools and we would have nearly half of the world engaged in some kind of social media activity. If this is the massive reach and impact of social media, organizations should also leverage it to build a strong and robust enterprise. In this article I would like to focus on how and where business leaders and HR function of an organization can draw on social media for employee engagement.
Social media can be leveraged and benefit the organizations in the following important ways.
Image Courtesy: freedigitalphotos.net, phanlop88
1. Collaboration – It is a known phenomenon that the productivity of employees working in a collaborative environment is very high. Employees are more efficient and contribute significantly to the organizations. Social media in its various avatars such as blogs, discussion forums creates a perfect collaborative atmosphere. Employees can hold discussions, find solution to problems, create new ideas and share experiences with each other. They can even share intellectual resources with one another to facilitate problem solving.
2. Communication and Administration – Gone are the days of notice boards or sending emails to employees to send important communication to the employees. HR can communicate changes in the policies or organizations structure by a single update to everyone. HR operations can easily be administered regardless of the location of employees.
3. Employee Opinions – The social media serves as the voice of employee. It helps employees express their opinions on the various issues pertaining to the organization. Employees can share their experiences both good and bad. It facilitates a two way communication between the organization and employees. Discussion forums and blogs can be used to facilitate communication with the employees.
4. Recognition Programs – Social media can play an important role in the rewards & recognition programs of organizations, more specifically for non-monetary rewards. Publicly applauding and recognizing the work of person goes a great way in motivating him, thus social media with its massive public outreach presents a perfect ground for rewarding and motivating an employee.
5. Recruiting Ground – Social networks such as Linkedin have become scouting grounds for talent. Companies can scan the profiles of prospective employees, their networks and assess their past work. Companies can expedite their recruitment process by connecting with potential recruits through social networks.
6. Organization Branding – Branding is vital for all organizations. Organizations spend exorbitant amounts of money in branding themselves. However there is a huge network which organizations miss out. A greater impact can be made by the organization if it chooses to use its employees as brand ambassadors and leverage social media. Consider an organization having about 100 employees, let each employee is connected to 100 people socially. Thus the organization can instantaneously connect with 10000 without bearing extra costs. This is the untapped power of social media.
7. Engagement with Organization Leadership – Social media provides a perfect opportunity to the leaders of an organization to connect with employees. The Leadership can use social media to bring about transparency, openness, accountability and flatness in the organization. Leaders can use social media to communicate the vision of the organization, to engage with the employees and even advise them on various issues. It allows the leadership to communicate with the employees and understand their perspective about the organization.
8. Community Building – It is extremely important for organizations to build a strong community for itself so that the employees feel attached to the organizations. Companies can use social media to upload photographs, videos and other memoirs of its journey and let employees express their views on them. Even employees can upload their cherished memories with the organization and let others know about their journey. This will help in building a family kind of feeling and go a long way in building a strong and loyal organization community.
Organization the world over are recognizing this power of social media and making it an integral part of their culture. Blogs are a very popular way in which organizations use social media, in fact lots of organizations have their in house social networks to facilitate communication and networking between its people. CEO’s of Marriot and Sun Microsystems are examples of business leaders using social media to express themselves and connect with their people. Social media has given people the platform to express themselves and be heard thus contributing significantly in job satisfaction and commitment, two very important aspects for a strong organization.
This article has been authored by Smridhi Khanna from FORE School of Management
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