HR Issues – Encourage social media in the workplace

Often times, social media use in the work place has a negative stigma around it. Imagine sitting at your desk and looking over at a co-worker only to find them on their smart phone. The immediate assumption is that they are being unproductive, probably surfing the web and looking at their personal social network accounts. But what if this was not the case? What if your co-worker was tuning into a webinar, completing a company survey or engaging in an online discussion about current industry issues? Organisations have an opportunity to shift the stigma around social platforms in the workplace from one of distraction to one of opportunity and learning.

Social media is becoming increasingly prevalent across organisations. Hootsuite claims that properly using social media within an organisation can result in higher employee retention, increased exposure for your brand message and a higher potential revenue across the whole organisation. Specifically in the human resources field, social media has great potential to transform learning and development tactics, internal organisation communication and employee management.

When it comes to learning and development, the CIPD argues that for digital learning to be effective, it must be “relevant to employees, supported by the social context, of high quality and possesses features such as interactivity, ability to practise, feedback, and reflection.” It is also important that the online learning method is not seen by the organisation as a second-rate option, but instead as an investment into development that has increased benefits because of the incorporation of technology. The use of gamification can make training more engaging and accessible at the most convenient time for employees.

Social media provides an easily accessible, broad channel for office communication. It can be used to communicate corporate news both internally and to the public. Training can be provided to all organisation members about how to properly manage their own accounts so that organisations can leverage their people’s social media presence to benefit the image of the company in the public’s eyes.

Finally, social media can be used to manage employees. Social media provides a way for organisations to collect data about employees and their performance. Once collected it can be used to determine best practises for information consumption, information perception, employee behaviour and employee well-being. Wim Focquet, HR and Talent Manager at the IE Business School says, “Using human analytics and behavioural measurement we can fine-tune the ‘how’ we communicate and improve the outcome of our collective performance even more. Applying the right technologies helps organisations to grow in a fundamentally different way, from hiring, on-boarding, and sharing knowledge to succession planning. There are a number of innovative techniques that will fundamentally change tomorrow’s workplace.”

Not only is social media prevalent now, but it is the future. According to Smart Insights, the number of social media users in 2018 is 3.196 billion, up 13% year-on-year. Among those users, 52% prefer using mobile devices. To gain even more perspective, 76% of Facebook’s 2.061 billion users access the media platform daily. Average visits per day continue to increase when zoning in on younger generations. Understanding and channelling the power of social media is the key to future success.

Social media has the capability to transform employee mind sets to be more learning prone because it provides resources at the touch of their fingers. Instead of trying to ban smartphone use in your workplace, first consider how social platforms can be used to enhance training and development, communication and employee engagement in your organisation.

To ensure your organisation has a learning mind-set Navigator has just launched its new manager training programme that can support any development you decide to do via social media. Please contact or visit our events page for further information about our training events, including our upcoming Masterclass on Workplace Mediation Skills on 13th June 2018.

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