Technology shouldn’t just be aimed at the products and offerings companies put on the market for their customers. In addition to serving as tools for getting the job done, technology also presents employers with exciting options for engaging staff members in new ways. In particular, social networks have the potential to transform the workplace, build positive co-worker dynamics, and drive better business returns.
Social Media as a Corporate Tool
Forbes magazine noted that in this day and age, social media can make or break an organization’s reputation. Often, people think of this connection in terms of online consumer feedback and customer engagement platforms. However, a recent study by Weber Shandwick entitled “Employees Rising: Seizing the Opportunity in Employee Activism” indicated that social media has an important role within the work environment, and its use can lead to a number of positive outcomes for enterprises. Similarly, Business 2 Community contributor Angela Everett suggested that social platforms could prove valuable for internal communications within a company.
In short, this sort of technology offers remarkable opportunities for employers to shape their employee culture and foster higher employee engagement levels. Here’s 6 ways social intranets drive employee engagement:
- Collaboration and visibility. Everett described how Nokia implemented an internal social media network to engage employees. By allowing workers to post ideas and comment about their projects, employees throughout the organization were able to work together, seek and give advice, as well as have a sense of what others were working on. This sort of environment can inspire creativity while providing convenient, rapid ways for team members to communicate with each other.
- Advocacy. The Shandwick study revealed that social media activity helped encourage “employee activism,” where workers drew positive attention to their employers and defended their companies from criticism, Forbes explained. One-third of the study’s participants praised or posted positive comments about their employers online.
- Storytelling. On a similar note, Forbes mentioned that social media networks are excellent platforms for brand storytelling. Many employers encourage their workers to share company information and news to engage with the public and keep patrons informed of the latest happenings.
- Sales improvements. When employers encourage their workers to be active on social platforms, those employees are more likely to help increase sales, the study found, according to Forbes. Engaging employees in this manner can help bolster profits.
- Employee feedback. Social systems are excellent tools for managers to collect information about workers’ performance – and their opinions and ideas. Everett suggested that employers use voting mechanisms or other features to solicit feedback from workers. This method can be used to identify what projects, workplace policies, etc., are most important to team members.
- Motivational work environment. Social platforms are excellent resources for encouraging peer-to-peer recognition. This can foster a pleasant co-worker atmosphere marked by mutual trust and acknowledgement. In addition, companies can praise high-performing employees for their contributions, positively reinforcing good behavior and motivating team members to give full energy to their projects.
Overall, any technological initiative should speak to the enterprise’s culture and values. Companies should seek the right solution that can be tailored to a company’s unique workforce, activities, business goals and organizational structure. By focusing on their employees and offering them robust, exciting tools to engage with their colleagues or the public, businesses can create a workforce that is full of talented people who are also great brand ambassadors.