Using social media to engage your workforce

In a business world of increased expectations, globalization and the growing influence of social media and networking, companies must find new ways to engage their workforce to solve their most pressing issues. Using social media for business provides multiple outlets not only to attract attention to your key messages, but also to create an environment of collaboration focused on improving business.

EY research has found that 80% of enterprise change transformation programs fail. A common characteristic of this failure is the lack of effective engagement of businesses with their employees. Social media and collaboration technologies are essential tools to shape effective strategies and are currently being underutilized.

Incorporating multimedia into broad communications is no longer a niceto-have feature but an expectation of your readers.

In many cases, this may mean exploring technologies and platforms already available within the business, but perhaps not yet applied broadly to teams and departments such that they could use them as part of their work activities. To help achieve business change, organizations must actively interact with their workforce using similar social technologies to accelerate design and development and increase adoption of new ideas driving business performance improvement.

By 2025, Millennials, or Generation Y, will make up the majority of the workforce. This generation is expected to have different behaviors, values and attitudes as a response to the technological and economic implications of the internet. They are history’s first “always connected” generation, and to engage them, employers will need to rethink communication strategies accordingly.

This new generation is not the only driver for social media-powered transformation strategy. The rapid advancement of technology and changing modes of communication affect all businesses regardless of workforce demographic, preparing it for the future.

When social media emerged in the mid-1990s, many corporate organizations shunned its use, seeing the risks it posed to brand reputation, information security and communication management. Today, most are recognizing the increasing number of benefits derived from the use of social media in marketing, advertising, internal and external corporate communications and overall brand awareness. The belief is the benefits outweigh the potential risks. Social media and networking can open channels for dialogue, rapidly integrate employees into the company culture and quickly create a sense of community.

In today’s fast-paced, globalized, multimedia workplace, engaging employees in transformation programs through traditional methods will no longer suffice. As the working population becomes ever more engaged with social media, companies must keep pace or lose a valuable opportunity to gain insight, innovation and feedback. As EY research and case studies have shown, the use of social media in change programs can play a vital role, not only in realizing the promise of major change initiatives, but also in creating a more engaged and productive workforce.

The complete article was written by:

  • Charlie Goldwasser
    Principal Advisory Services, People & Organizational Change EY, United States
  • Melissa L. Edwards
    Senior Manager Advisory Services, People & Organizational Change EY, United States

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