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Workforce engagement through social media

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Rajeev Gonsalves - Sr. Director – Corporate Communications, Omega Healthcare Management Services Pvt. Ltd.

11-Feb-2020

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If an organization already engages with their employees through social media, or if it plans in the future, it is important to ensure that appropriate policies and systems are in place.

“When people are financially-invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally-invested, they want to contribute.” - Simon Sinek, a renowned ethnographer

 

A recent study by State of the Global Workplace states that nearly 85% of employees feel they are either not engaged at all or they are actively disengaged. With only a small percentage of employees confirming that they are actively engaged on the job each day, organizations globally are challenged with rapidly mounting rates of employee disengagement. Thwarted with issues of low productivity, high turnover rates and low morale, businesses feel this disengagement factor impinging their bottom lines too.

 

Thanks to technology, a constantly connected state of life, newer working styles like the gig and contractual employees, the HR department of every organization is under pressure to keep employees actively engaged.Newer avenues that would improve this situation are being sought after and the recent mantra has been “Social Media”.

 

According to the Global Digital Report 2019 there exists a total of 3.484 billion social media users globally. Studies state that nearly 82% of employees feel social media would help improve their workplace relationships, primarily because of the ability to connect outside of work and establish stronger ties.

 

When it comes to employee engagement, the fact that interactivity is as crucial as productivity is dawning upon organizations, along with the fact there is a probable correlation between the two. They have realized that social media is the harbinger of creative and intellectual interaction, enabling people to collaborate and network. While social media is being dynamically utilized to build an organization’s brand, thought leadership and customer engagement, it is now being harnessed for employee engagement and communication.

 

It also offers employees an apposite platform to feel connected with the brand they are working for. Peter Drucker, a veteran in the field of management said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” On the same lines, to optimize the benefits from this medium, organizations are investing heavily on designing their engagement and communication strategies around social media.

 

Employee engagement on social media

 

Employee engagement initiatives have evolved over the years. Brand managers have taken employee engagement as core to their communication strategies primarily because employees are the best brand ambassadors for any organization, and establishing a brand-connect with them is crucial (and empirical to inward-out growth).

 

The evolution of employee engagement has dramatically altered the way individuals interact at the workplace or even outside the workplace. Social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram, among others, have not only altered the way we converse with the current employees, but have also opened numerous vistas for organizations, aiding their internal and external communications, recruitment, collaboration, organizational learning and much more.

 

Influencing and motivating employees

 

Social media offers a medium that the new generation of employees areaccustomed to and can facilitate more efficient communication. By being part of an employee’s day-to-day social media routine, it is possible to connect and engage with them outside their regular workplace too so they continue at a subconscious level some level of organic ‘brand’ dissemination.

 

When organizations share milestones and important developments on social media, it’s the current and prospective employees that geta sense of pride and motivation to be associated with a growing and popular brand, thus also helping the organization earn their trust and respect (at best), and eyeballs (at least).

 

Recognize employees’ active participation

 

A great way to start engaging employees on social media is to give them the recognition for their participation and for the initiatives they have undertaken.

 

Recognition is key to building a strong culture in an organization. Most often, organizations only look to kick-off initiatives and often overlook the need for bestowing recognition over the course of time. The most arduous part about recognition is doing it in real-time. This will intensify engagement and satisfaction at work, leading to enhanced performances. Social media also provides a great opportunity for sharing encomiums, especially in larger organizations, further helping the organization to engage and promote their brands.

 

Stories on the organization’s culture, work environment, events, gaming/fun sessionswith pertinent visuals often generate a lot of chatter on social media. This enthuses employees to work in a fun environment and perpetuate it as they connect more with their colleagues.

 

Conclusion

 

Thanks to technology, the global spend for internet advertising has been increasing. According to recent reports from Zenith Media Advertising,it has increased from a 12% in 2008 to 44% in 2018. Of this, Social media advertising is expected to see 20% spurt in ad spend boost in 2019 to account for 13% of all global spend, pushing conventional print media to the second spot. Clearly a business presence on social media can no longer be ignored or avoided.

 

The benefits of embracing social media is multi-pronged.While being extensively used for marketing and brand promotion, its benefits in employee engagement can no longer be disregarded.  It serves as a radar for the organization to know what their current and potential employees are saying about them. It serves as a window to the outside world giving them an insight on the organization’s work culture – a factor important for both existing and potential employees.

 

If an organization already engages with their employees through social media, or if it plans in the future, it is important to ensure that appropriate policies and systems are in place. Enabling social media for employee engagement will bring in a noticeable traction to the organization’s social fabric, fostering greater engagement and organically improving the organization culture.