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Social Business, Human Resources and Employee Engagement

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Social Business is a term that is on every marketer and CEO’s mind lately. Every discussion about business inevitably turns into one about social media and its role and impact on business. However, how many of us have considered our employees and how social media has affected and changed their day-to-day lives and behaviour. The current working generation is mostly made up of those who grew up with technology, internet. This is the generation that created and embraced social media. From an HR perspective have we ever stopped to think how this impacts organisational development? . . .

Social Business is a term that is on every marketer and CEO’s mind lately. Every discussion about business inevitably turns into one about social media and its role and impact on business. However, how many of us have considered our employees and how social media has affected and changed their day-to-day lives and behaviour. The current working generation is mostly made up of those who grew up with technology, internet. This is the generation that created and embraced social media. From an HR perspective have we ever stopped to think how this impacts organisational development?

Human Resources is the most powerful department in any organisation. They are the change managers who facilitate and foster good employee relations. Their ability to shape and influence the nature of business and the employee engagement is the key to a successful business. With companies considering or on their way to becoming social businesses, it is important to manage this cultural change within the organisation. Social Business isn’t just about external factors; it’s also about internal factors such as software, tools, processes and also human resources. What companies and business owners need to understand is that your companies cannot become social without considering employee behaviour. So where does Social HR fit into the employee lifecycle?

Fig 1:  Social HR and the Employee Lifecycle, http://www.thesocialworkplace.com/infographic-putting-social-hr-in-its-place-the-employee-lifecycle/

The figure above depicts a typical employee lifecycle in an organisation. It is important here to understand that social HR is not just about policies with regard to social media activities, but about making HR by itself social. This means that social HR plays a part at every stage of the employee lifecycle.  Employee behaviour and buy in will affect the entire organizational lifecycle. It is only if your employees believe in your vision, your customer will. Therefore, HR is the critical piece of the puzzle that can bring it all together.

Social HR gives companies the opportunity to create brand ambassadors from within the organisation right from initial stage.

So how can you ensure that employee behaviour reflects positively on your organisation? HR and social media play a big role in this. One of the key mistakes that employers make is banning social media sites within the company. Instead of looking at social media as the enemy, you need to look at it as a platform that can be leverage to increase not just customer engagement but also employee engagement.  This can only be done by infusing “social” in every stage of the employee lifecycle. At the early stages of attraction and recruitment, use the social networks and the social nature of human beings to put the word out about your organisation. Make sure you clearly communicate your corporate vision and culture at the attraction stage. Ensure you get your current employees involved in the recruitment process, ask them to use word of mouth of their social networks and recommend potential hires.

Creating knowledge management platforms where new recruits are able to gain knowledge and experience through other in the organisations, this helps them to fit into the company and their role better.  It is important here to understand that being a social workplace is not just about social media. It is about understanding the underlying culture of change of sharing, engaging and influencing. This cultural needs to be infused into the organisational culture not just through tools and software, but also into the HR process and the entire employee lifecycle. When Michael Britopian, posted a question on an HR forum on Facebook, on the importance of HR in a social business transformation, founder of Enterprise Strategies Andy Jankowski said:

It’s imperative. Without HR support social business can only go so far or last so long. In order for social business transformation to take hold people have to change the way they are currently working. There needs to be a motivation for this change to occur. Namely, HR and Talent Management processes need to promote and reward this new way of working. Without HR’s support people will revert back to what is comfortable and what has been rewarded in the past. Being social is human nature. Unfortunately, not being social is too. Here’s an off the cuff example: Would your HR organization support and encourage or turn a blind eye to this type of enterprise social initiative?

This summarises very neatly the importance of being social in not just business but HR in particular. So if your business is aspiring to become a social business, make note that HR department are the drivers of change management.

Sources : –

  1. http://www.britopian.com/2012/07/08/hrs-critical-role-in-social-business-transformation/
  2. http://www.socialbusinessnews.com/is-it-finally-time-for-social-hr/
  3. http://www.forbes.com/sites/rawnshah/2010/11/10/the-rising-challenge-of-social-business-to-hr-departments/
  4. http://www.thesocialworkplace.com/2012/03/27/putting-social-hr-in-its-place-the-employee-lifecycle/
  5. http://www.socialbusinessnews.com/the-connection-between-employment-brand-and-employee-engagement-infographic/

About Logan Nathan

Social Media Business Consultant | Social.Local.Mobile Marketing-Strategist| Speaker | Trainer

Based in Sydney, Australia, Logan has been an avid & passionate social media user since the advent of Facebook.  As the Social Media Business Consultant with over 30 years experience in corporate, SME business, together with running his own organisation for the past seven years. Logan is focused on guiding organisations through the four stages of social media for business – Education, Strategy, Implementation and On-going Management. If your business needs expert assistance on creating a custom Social Media and Search Engine Optimisation Strategy, contact us via logan@logannathan.com. Logan is also an expert on LinkedIn and is running a series of workshops over the next few months. To Register: – http://www.ictsocialbusiness.com.au/social_media_education/social-media-training-workshop/Getting-leads-from-LinkedIn Stay tuned for more developments from Logan’s company.