Today, society is driven by the need for immediacy, from making reservations to obtaining desired information.
Our companies, as micro-societies, must understand how to meet these expectations for our employees. Employees are a vital resource of any organization and are often the public face of the company. They are responsible for interacting daily with a variety of stakeholders including customers, senior managers and vendors, to ensure the day-to-day running of the business. Effective communication is essential for creating an environment where employees and customers are satisfied. In this article, you will learn how to move your employees to the next level by leveraging social media.
Figuring out how to use social media to achieve employee engagement goals is a lot like DIY projects you obtain from your favorite smartphone apps and websites. The directions aren’t always helpful. It takes common sense, a willingness to take risks, and patience to work it out.
Social Media has Changed the World
People connect via social media in an instant and expect this immediacy across all of their experiences. Simplicity and openness are essential to meaningful employee engagement in this new world of fast-paced, short-burst connections.
Build it into your Strategy
- If your goal is leadership engagement and your CEO and leadership team don’t have a relationship or a voice with your employees, podcasting or posting feeds Twitter isn’t magically going to make that happen.
- It takes a good plan, multiple tactics, and time to begin reaching identified goals.
- Choose a specific aspect of employee engagement to begin your journey.
Know Your Audience
- Do your employees work multiple shifts that are not consistently predictable? The opportunities for communication and engagement are easier with some employees than others.
- True Story – a colleague of mine created video clips to share the CEOs message with the organization only to find out the front line staff didn’t have speakers on their desktops to hear the message.
Social Media Does Not Exist in a Vacuum
- What are the strengths on your team when it comes to social media? Do you need to hire or train users to be the owner of specific platforms?
- To be an expert, you also need to use to the technology.
- Stay relevant with a core committee that understand the goals of the organization and can provide feedback on social media trends.
- Attend workshops, conduct routine research, and ask for help if you need it!
What are Others Doing and What are my Options?
|Electronic Collaboration Tools||Employees sharing information with one another. They can choose what to read versus having it pushed to them.|
|Mobile Apps||Create an app that works on smart devices –team members, regardless of geographic location, department or role, can instantly recognize colleagues who have gone above and beyond based on your recognition program.
|Podcasting||Publish regular podcasts from leadership regarding relevant industry and company topics.|
|Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat,
and Vine (as examples)
|This landscape is constantly growing and adapting to new consumers. Recognize your demographic and realize you likely won’t implement all of these in your environment.|
|The premiere landing spot for professionals, it has become a standard for blogs, profiles, communities, and jobs.|
Things to Keep in Mind as You Build Your Program
It’s not Particularly Complicated
- You don’t need a customized, complicated solution to provide employees a way to meaningfully engage in bi-direction conversation.
- You don’t have to be a master of all forms of social media. Ensure you have the bandwidth to dedicate to keeping each chosen format up to date and relevant.
Keep it Real
- Social media is not a replacement for quality relationships, it is about building sustainable relationships. It does not replace face to face conversations.
- Monitor and respond to questions and comments quickly. The concerns can be converted into positive experiences and the accolades are excellent to share with a broader audience.
Go Where the People Are
- What methods of social media are your employees most comfortable using? If it’s Twitter, use it.
- Engage core members of your employees who are social media ‘experts’ to teach you how to use these technologies.
- Meet multi-generational needs by using the formats employees like to use – for example, Facebook is not the preferred platform for millennials.
- Choose graphics and titles that resonate with the form of media you are using; this is a prime space where one size does not fit all.
Strategize and Measure
- Successful integration of your social media plan needs to be clearly defined, have a solid supported plan, multiple swim lanes, and time to be successfully implemented.
- Include success metrics in your plan. In some settings, social media is still viewed as a way for employees to ‘steal’ company time.
- Opening social media to employees is an opportunity to gain a loyal following and bring awareness to an aspect of your business into which your customers may not otherwise have exposure.
The ultimate proof of the success of an employee engagement exercise is that it needs to be embraced by the employees. They need to feel that the culture has changed/improved because they have played a part in the process.
It’s time to move your organization to the next level by leveraging the method best suited to your employees!