As HR transforms its service to employees, social media can improve HR efficiency, quality, and value. An HR organization that uses blogs, wikis, and other collaborative technologies can help to attract and retain talent, improve the efficiency of HR service delivery, empower managers to manage teams effectively, and facilitate leadership that drives innovation and organizational agility. However, delivering on social media’s promised value involves many challenges. First among these is HR’s awareness of the opportunity to lead a cultural revolution in the organization. Technology gives us tools to send information back and forth — but social media is a discipline that leaders can use to connect an organization through collaboration, innovation, and learning.
Social media and the HR delivery model
Social media has the power to revolutionize HR service delivery. Many traditional HR portals let employees view payslips and update personal information. Managers can review employee profiles, pay history, and open recruiting requisitions. More mature first-generation portals let employees enroll in benefits programs, review open positions, and manage training requirements. Managers can conduct yearly performance reviews and approve year-end compensation. Although some managers and employees are using first-generation portals to conduct HR self-service, adoption remains a challenge. Forrester predicts that mobile technology will “…reinvent the notion of employee self-service.”1 However, increasing the effectiveness of employer-to-employee service will take time due to investment costs and an uncertain ROI.
There is an opportunity to solve this dilemma. Social media goes beyond one-way communication — beyond the static information a traditional HR portal uses to supercharge an HR service delivery model. The flexibility to personalize information, the ease of ordering online, and the ability to connect with friends and family should be considered integral parts of an HR service delivery strategy as associates from executive leadership through entry level have come to expect — and demand — this type of interaction.
Social media, wikis, widgets, blogs, tagging, rich media, and mashups are commonly associated with personal use, but can be applied to the workplace. They all encourage collaboration and increase productivity, process, and innovation by unleashing creativity across the organization. These tools can help HR deliver consistent, timely, and personalized service, driven by online chat and wiki-based FAQs that can support queries across the globe. Social media helps establish an employee brand and culture that attracts Gen Y and multigenerational talent -- an environment where user experience is based on commercial user experience and media rich personalization. Generation Y employees (those born between 1982 and 2000) use these tools every day to communicate, socialize, and work. As evidenced by the explosion of social media, the younger workforce tends to be more accustomed to collaborative social technologies. They view them as a workplace necessity, not a luxury. Because these new workforce members bring tech-savvy skills, global and flexible orientations, and the ability to think in innovative ways, attracting and retaining them will create significant competitive advantage in the coming years.
Social media encourages employees to create communities of practice and drive innovation. Delivered through an HR portal, social media can deliver company communications and HR policies-- ideally harmonized across divisions-- and provide consistency across the organization. Online FAQs support the HR service center by reducing inquiries and staffing needs, which contributes to the HR ROI. In short, social media has the power to bring together the collective talents, knowledge and experiences of employees, around the world, fueling innovation and organizational transformation. Read more about Social Media.