Social Media and Employee Engagement


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My coworker and I presented a session at the Society for Human Resource Managers (SHRM) Regional Conference a few weeks ago. The topic: Leveraging Social Media to Engage Employees. The thrust of our talk was that a company can engage employees throughout the employee life cycle. In order to do this, you need to understand how they consume social media and create a strategic plan based on that knowledge.

Our topic was based on feedback from human resource professionals wanting to know how to incorporate these tools into their already full internal communications day and how to encourage employee adoption and minimize CEO pushback. In all honesty, I cannot say that we converted anyone in the audience from skeptics to believers.

Key findings from the 2010 Social Media Survey conducted across internal communications practitioners globally may explain why.

  • The profession is divided. Forty eight percent (48%) believe the business case for social media is “very clear” or “clear,” while 46% say it is “very unclear” or “unclear.”
  • Clear signal that training is needed. More than 2/3 or all global internal communicators rate their team’s social media expertise as “very low” or “low” on average and 22% believe their team lacks the skills to make social media happen.
  • Social media responsibility remains unclear. The profession is still largely undecided as to who and which departments should be responsible for its deployment with almost half (46%) unclear about the role they play.
  • The majority of the companies surveyed are slow to make the cultural shift. Fifty five percent (55%) remain unconvinced are are undecided about how their organization’s culture could benefit from the use of social media.
  • The majority of leaders (68.8%) prefer email and electronic newsletters to communicate to staff and employees.

One glimmer of hope is that a fair number of leaders blog regularly (24.3%), one third participate in closed company forums and Q&A sessions with employees and nearly 10% tweet updates on Twitter.

We made the case in our HR Branding: A Field Guide that having a strong internal brand helps companies recruit and retain the best, create long-term loyalty and empower your people as brand ambassadors.

Hmmmm. Sounds similar to my opening statement: Social media can engage people throughout the employee life cycle.

Perhaps if companies start looking at social media as an extension of their brand, then HR would gladly join hands with marketing and work to extend their brand message both internally and externally.

Source: Melcurm Social Media Survery 2010 – Detailed Findings, Press Release 26 May 2010.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Nicolette Beard
As a former publisher and editor, I'm passionate about the written word. I craft content to help drive the autonomous customer experience (CX) revolution. My goal is to show call center leaders how to reduce the increasing complexity of the customer journey.


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