There has been a lot of talk by HR professionals about social media, technology, and real-time communities. But the time to master them is now. For those still looking for a reason, here’s an interesting statistic: "Today, 47% workers were born after 1980. By 2025, more than 75% of workers will be of “social media generation”. As per "We are Social" report comparing the use of social media channels in the months of January 2015 and 2016, 5 out of top 10 social platforms used in India are messengers or instant communication applications. If we were to run a poll and ask the question "Are you more active on WhatsApp than on Facebook?" 9/10 would surely say ‘yes’. So where is all of this leading to? How will it impact us as HR professionals? Can we pick up insights from such data? The answer is: YES, YES and YES.
Thanks to social media and its real-time updates, sending emails have become passé for a new generation of employees. The sooner companies realize this, the better. Organizations today need to experiment and explore platforms that will help them connect with their employees real-time. I am sure you too would be a part of some WhatsApp group, right? The reason such platforms are effective is because of three reasons:
- Interactivity: Real-time technology platforms enable immediate two-way interaction and make employee engagement easier. For employers, this platform serves as a great means to brainstorm ideas, share updates about the organization or use the medium to recognize employee efforts. Employees who are on-the-move or those working from home can use the platform to engage in conversations like they would in a conventional office setup.
- Transparency: The opportunity to interact with colleagues on a single channel in real-time gives employees the opportunity to receive instant feedback. There is increased clarity in exchange of ideas and this, in turn, leads to better productivity. While real-time technologies are still getting better by the day, the use of real-time technologies makes the employer-employee relationship more transparent.
- Ease of use: Unlike the use of other enterprise-wide software tools, using real-time platforms does not require employees to be trained in order to use them. Integration with multiple devices such as laptops, mobile phones, and tablets allows for seamless integration. Because of the simplicity and usability of such platforms, most employees are adept at managing these tools as part of their day-to-day work.
HR leaders need to accept this new reality and work towards building similar online communities within the organization - it could be internally built social platform or one that is outsourced, but the purpose and ease of use must be thought through. Companies can utilize the medium for a variety of engaging tasks including announcements, declaring financial results, employee surveys, organization announcements, key updates, changes in policies and so on. Employers who are able to leverage real-time communities will have the edge. They will be able to connect and encourage employees to be more social and more engaged. The day employers start communicating with their employees in language which is simple, transparent and most important real-time, that day you will see amazing results.
Do let us know your views on this topic. If you have any examples of how companies are using these social channels, do share it in the comment section.
This article is a part of the People Matters- Oracle Let's Talk Talent series. Click here to visit the Let's talk talent page to read more such articles.