Can you really use social media to develop your workforce? The uptick in HR departments using social platforms to interact with their employees suggests you can. Here are some of the key ways in which social technology could actually help, rather than hinder, your brand.
Social media isn't just for playing
The success of LinkedIn is proof positive that social media platforms have a powerful role to play in the business world. The fact of the matter is that social media has become an entrenched part of the way in which people connect with each other, on both a business and a personal level. It's like the telephone used to be, or the mobile phone, or the computer. Once the province of a single segment of the population, social media is now used by everyone for everything. Your brand probably already uses it to talk with its consumers. So why aren't you using it to talk to your workforce?
Social media is a great way to spread knowledge
Social media has been used to spread knowledge in some very interesting ways: for example, during the Arab Spring social media sites managed to bring news of what was really going on to the outside world. While your own use of social media is likely to be a lot less newsworthy, the fact remains that your employees already use the technology to share knowledge amongst themselves. Leverage that habit to disseminate brand information. Your workforce will take to the new method if internal communication like ducks to water.
Social media can teach your workforce how to speak your language
Every successful brand has a language - a way that it speaks to its consumers. In an ideal world, every one of our employees would naturally use the right words, and the right tone, in each dealing he or she has with a customer. In reality, the bigger the business the less likely your employees are to even know what your brand language is. But if you're connecting directly with them through an internal social media platform, you can lead by example. Engage your internal audience just as you do your external one, and you'll find your workers are much better equipped to talk the company talk.
Social media can be used to train
Social networking is the ideal vehicle for informal training. Encourage your employees to create networks with authority figures within your company, and to absorb knowledge from them through their engagement. Senior figures can use the same method to identify likely candidates for future projects, roles and promotions.
Social media can be used to strengthen links between HR and employees
A friendly HR department, contactable on the internal social media stream at any hour of the day, is a department likely to be trusted. Trust makes your workforce happy, and happy workers tend to produce better results. Again, the HR department can monitor the overall satisfaction of the workforce through the same channels, making it easier to spot dissatisfaction or poor performance before it becomes a real issue. Learn more here.