Leveraging Social Media for Employee Communications
Empower your People with a Channel for Engagement and Communications
Have you ever thought about using Facebook or Twitter for internal communication at work? It may seem far-fetched, and if you aren’t currently using social media to communicate with employees, you may be wondering how it can help. In fact, there is a growing software category for business called internal social media (ISM) that can help you take employee engagement and communication to a new level, especially with a tech- and social media-savvy workforce.
Many companies already utilize newsletters and town hall-style meetings to communicate with employees. Both of these avenues are excellent for sharing company news and highlighting successes of departments and teams. However there’s a noticeable gap in communication within these avenues: not all employees have an equal chance to communicate with the company or with each other.
The free exchange of employee ideas, support and interest are key elements to engagement and collaboration. Whether you decide to go with an existing ISM platform or to create your own internal communication forum, it’s important to leverage it in a productive way. Here are some tips to ensure your ISM receives a productive and engaged response from employees.
Be Purposeful in your Intent:
Using ISM successfully means that employees will engage with you and each other. This makes it ideal for collaboration and allowing employees to help each other find answers. However, because of the expectation of quick response times, it may not be the best platform for sharing information that will drive questions with overly complex or personal responses.
Knowing how you want employees to engage and what level of responsiveness you and your team can maintain is important to the longevity of the platform’s success and the level of trust your employees build in the communication shared there.
Keep it Flexible:
You may find that your employees’ response to ISM is different than what you anticipated it would be. While your initial strategy is important to the launch of your ISM, it may need to be changed, and that’s okay too. The surest path to success and engagement is to keep the ISM employee-focused. As your company adjusts to the new communication channel, you may have a better understanding of how it can be leveraged in years to come.
Be Prepared for Feedback:
Just like the disaster preparedness or social media compliance strategies your company likely has in place, you’ll need a strategy for responding to frustrated employees in a positive and productive way. The end goal may be to take the conversation “offline,” but how you respond publicly is equally important. We recommend responding with a follow-up message letting them know what your next steps are in resolving their concern. This is important for two reasons; it addresses the disgruntled employee more quickly than the full resolution will and it shows other employees that you’re committed to addressing their concerns head-on.
Social media can be powerful communication tools that help empower your employees to collaborate – unleashing the potential for more creativity and innovation, strengthening your company culture, improving responsiveness, and removing regional communication barriers. With that in mind, it’s important to ensure that you maintain a focused strategy for launching and maintaining this key resource.
How are you leveraging social media with your employees?