In this second article in our series on how social media can add benefit to those in the human resource industry, Charlotte Kemp highlights seven ways in which we can use social media to engage our employees.
by Charlotte Kemp
Charlotte Kemp is a speaker, trainer and author and a social media strategist who has worked with many HR professionals, as well as other industries, over the past few years. She has seen the benefit of using social media and coaches businesses on how to implements successful strategies. Charlotte can be contacted on 082 491 9252 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Many large businesses actively discourage their staff from using social media during working hours. This is due to a number of factors:
A real and perceived threat of a waste of time.
There being no value proposition to the employee being on a social media platform.
The company not having a social media goal or strategy in mind.
A concern about band width.
A concern about staff posting negative content.
Good reasons why to invest in social media There are seven ways in which we can use social media to engage our staff:
Effective employee communication Using internal channels and communication methods, management are able to communicate with staff quickly regardless of where they are located. This effectively means that all relevant employees and branches can receive the same information simultaneously, rather than outlying divisions and lower hierarchical departments perceiving that they are less important because their information filters down over a period of time.
Dealing with unsatisfactory posts Many big companies are concerned that staff might post negative comments about the company or industry on their social media. The issues to consider here are as follows:
If a staff member is not happy, they are likely to express that dissatisfaction anywhere, regardless of whether they are online or not. If there is a risk of damage to the brand, it is going to happen anyway. The only problem is that comments made offline can seldom be traced, recorded or in fact even known about by the company. So, damage is done without knowing what has happened.
When someone makes any comment about your company online, simple tools like Google Alerts and other media trackers can let you know that your company has been mentioned. You can then drill down to the relevant post, assuming it is public, and see what has been said. If the comment is positive, you can thank or acknowledge the person who has endorsed you. If the comment is negative and inaccurate, you can address the situation and present the correct facts. Where it is negative and accurate, well that brings us to the third point.
Often the things we are afraid of seeing online happen to be the things we know are the truth. Whether it is something negative about our company, or just a negative expression from a staff member, it is time to deal with the matter at hand and fix it. It has been said that the majority of scandals in modern politics are not about the original issues themselves, but about the cover ups. So when something is wrong, the best solution is to fix it rather than try to hide it or get it offline.
The Woolworth SA Facebook page is a good example of a company that now handles customer complaints online. Although there are lots of complaints, the staff handling them are unfailingly polite and responsive and there are still positive posts in between from satisfied customers.
Should a company choose to allow staff to post online, and have a proper strategy in place, they would be alerted immediately when one of their staff generate a negative or questionable comment. It is then the responsibility of management or HR to deal with the individual in question, address the issue that raised the negativity, as well as coach him or her to express their frustration in better ways. Then again, those communication channels should be available already. »