With the rapid evolution of existing communication channels and the constant emergence of new ones, today’s employees are more connected, informed, and in control than ever before, representing new and complex challenges for your Human Resources department.
With digital communication methods becoming the norm among employees of all ages (not just the often talked about ‘millennial’ generation), how to engage, motivate and inform your workforce to strive for greater productivity is an organisational-wide mission.
Social media is fundamentally changing the way employees interact with each other, and also how they interact with employee systems, such as payroll, performance evaluations, training, and more.
It’s a double-edged sword for human resource teams. On the one hand, digital communication’s ‘always-on’ nature provides HR teams with unprecedented opportunities to deliver tailored messages and services directly to employees. On the other, it puts the power firmly in the employees’ hands, making it much more difficult for human resource teams to shape and control the conversation.
Until recently, human resources followed an established formula: find talent, hire, on-board, and ensure employees get paid. While this formula adapted as traditional processes evolved, and new digital ones arrived, our approach to human resources largely stayed the same.
Then came along social media, and something very interesting happened.
Social media, unlike any other channel the world has known, is fuelling transformation in many areas, including how we manage employees. The rise of social media has caused existing hierarchies between human resources departments and employees to dissolve. The frequency of interactions between the two has increased, as employees have come to expect resolution of their HR issues and questions in near real time – across a rapidly expanding number of touchpoints.
Employees are talking directly with each other through social networks. These conversations, which are happening with or without the organisation, can have a significant impact on employee performance in your business. The new winning formula then, to engage, motivate and inform your workforce to strive for greater productivity, puts the employee, not the organisation, at centre stage.
How does digital communication transform how we manage employees?
People are talking. At any given point in the life of your company, employees have more ways to communicate than ever before. What they’re talking about matters, especially if it’s not entirely true. HR or your management teams can’t control these messages, but encouraging communication and conversation empowers the employee, which is how it should be.
HR can participate. Getting HR and management engaged in conversations creates opportunities that ultimately benefit the organisation. Not only can erroneous content be corrected, or questions answered, these dialogues nurture a climate of belonging, improving morale, information flow, encouragement, and motivation, and directly impacting the bottom line.
Values are experienced. We all have seen how organisational values are handed down from management and HR, but living out those values are often hit or miss. Values are important, as they can unify an organisation and help improve performance, but until employees experience those values, they are often mere rhetoric. Social media can be used as one way to help employees experience values.
HR transformation, at its core, represents a monumental shift in mind-set. It requires organisations to acknowledge the shortcomings of the traditional HR approach, abandon their organisation-first focus, re-evaluate priorities, and place employees at the centre of everything they do.
Figure out how to do this for your organisation, and you’ve got the winning formula.