How social can help your business communicate better

How social can help your business communicate better

According to Hays & CIPD, the most important future trend if HR are to build strategic credibility is biting the social media bullet.

According to their study, ‘The DNA of an ideal HR Director’, ‘skills related to understanding and progressing social media opportunities for both the business and the HR function are predicted to rapidly increase in importance’.

So, what are the benefits to HR, and why do some people still think all this online talent management and social stuff is so scary?

There is no doubt that social media has changed the way that we expect to interact with others, both in the professional and private sphere. The prospect of applying the principals of social media interaction to communication within the workplace can seem daunting.

Because an increasing number of companies are active on social, people are used to quick answers to queries and complaints, without following traditional process. They are also used to being able to voice their opinion. This is obviously an area that HR needs to be aware of. Interactions on social sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook mean that employees’ professional and private ‘personalities’ often overlap.

With employees so used to communicating instantly, why not apply this level of fluidity and constant communication to your talent management structure? Embracing social media and speaking to employees in a way they expect and are comfortable with ensures transparency, and interaction that is on-going.

The other great thing about the instant and on-going communication is that it can greatly improve employee engagement levels.

Staff can benefit from continual recognition of their effort from both managers and peers. They can also instantly let others know if they have any problems or ideas as regards the goals and targets they set.

Social interaction means that your employees can become ambassadors for you brand, and for what it is like to work for your company. It is common sense to put rules and a social media policy in place, as you would with any other company communication, but it doesn’t have to be heavy-handed. Employees are going to communicate through these channels anyway, so why not show you support what is already a part of their day-to-day lives, and use it to benefit you organisation.

Online performance management, and embracing social as a part of that, enables a functional open door policy, without taking up nearly as much time.

Social interaction removes barriers, and encourages everyone to get involved and engaged. It can also lead to improved productivity and connectivity, and ensure sustainable employee engagement throughout the year. Staff can instantly share their knowledge, ideas and map a clear path to goal completion.

After all, HR is all about the human connection, and being social is a big part of that, whether that is in person or online. It encourages people to connect more often and to feel they, and their work is appreciated.

With people feeling increasingly comfortable communicating in this way, it is time for HR to bite the social bullet and get involved.

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