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Communicate with Employees through Social Media

Original Source: Using Social Media to Improve Employee Engagement, Inside Voice

Last week, The Inside Voice focused on how to introduce social media to your employees. A few years ago, using social media to communicate with employees was new and unproven. Even today, in my conversations with HR teams, many still feel that social media is something that is used for consumers, and rarely for internal communications.

Recently, Talent Management did an article that disputes this mindset. It shows that social media is becoming an increasingly important tool that HR departments use to keep employees engaged. This is based on a recent Employee Engagement Survey completed by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and Buck Consultants.

The results surprised me. The number one communication method that companies in the survey used to engage employees and increase productivity was social media, with 79% of the respondents using this tactic. Other, more traditional internal communications were less popular on the survey rankings: email (75%), intranet (72%), face-to-face meetings (50%), website (36%), and employee newsletters (28%).

Blogs are the social media of choice for companies, with 47% of companies currently using blogs. Which social media are companies planning to use in the future? Discussion boards (33%), Wikis (31%), Yammer (29%) and podcasts (28%) top the list.

What are some ways your company can leverage social media to communicate with employees? Here are some ideas to get you started:

–          Internal blogs. A regular blog posting from the president or management team providing insight into new product launches, sales trends, and new market opportunities can help employees feel more a part of the company, and help them understand how their role affects  the company. This communication is not a PR piece, but provides an appropriate level of information can be especially valuable in times when sales are down, or when there may be bad news on the forefront.

–          Wikis and Yammer. Both of these are great tools to boost productivity, especially for project teams.  Wikis allow multiple employees to make changes on one master document, so employees don’t spend time looking for the most recent version of a document – they make changes online that go live immediately. Yammer allows project teams to touch base internally in a Twitter-like communication, just to the people that need to receive the updates, or who have the answers to pressing project question.

–          Podcasts. Training and education are the perfect opportunities to use podcasting. Simply record the training program, and employees can listen online, or download longer programs to their MP3 player so they can listen at their convenience. This is a great medium for product training, sales tips, new benefit introductions, and topics that people may want to hear multiple times.

Original Source: Using Social Media to Improve Employee Engagement, Inside Voice

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