Over half of employers are using social media for internal comms

You can either be shocked at how few or amazed by how many employers are now using social media to build a community among their employees. It’ll no doubt depend on how much or how little you use social media in your private life. A new survey from Towers Watson has revealed that globally, just over 50% of bosses are connecting to the workforce through a variety of social media tools including instant messaging.

However, there seems to be little consensus on what the best tools are and there’s a sense that employers are still feeling their way down a dark corridor. Only 30% to 40%, according to how you read the data, saw most of the tools as being highly effective while just 40% could say with confidence that it was cost effective.  However, these are still high enough percentages and suggest the trend is upward. It’s hard to believe that companies will be able to put the social media genie back in the bottle now that it’s out.

Kathryn Yates and Towers Watson explained:

As today’s workforce evolves, we know from our research that the growing number of remote workers are looking for clear communication, to be treated with integrity, and want coaching and support from afar. For employers to effectively engage and retain remote workers, they will need to connect them with their leaders, managers and colleagues. We think social media tools can be a real help in making this connection

Instant messaging and streaming video were seen as most effective by those who use those tools while out of the 53% that use social networks – only 29% could state that it was effective. Interestingly both leadership and employee blogs were used by half of those surveyed with about a third saying they made an impact.

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Workplace flexibility and addressing the talent gap key to business success

It won’t come as a surprise to know that the commitment and talent of a company’s workforce are critical to its future success – but how is this achieved? That’s a question that Deloitte’s has attempted to address in its latest Human Capital Trends report.

“Many companies are facing game-changing dynamics within the areas of technology, globalization, demographics and regulation. It is critical for executives to address these issues head-on and strategically, rather than waiting for a crisis moment to trigger a response that does not fit into the long-term growth of the company,” says Barbara Adachi at Deloitte Consulting.

So how can business leaders better align their organisations and attract/keep the best talent?  Deloitte has some punchy suggestions:

  • Embrace the emerging concept of the open talent economy – a collaborative, technology-driven, rapid-cycle way of doing business
  • Creating an elastic workplace – Leading organizations are taking a fresh look at workplace flexibility through the lens of business strategy as the issue evolves into an opportunity that impacts all employees
  • Innovating the talent brand – In order to effectively retain and attract the best talent, companies should focus on their talent brand by building leading talent practices and communicating them in innovative ways
  • Finding the silver lining in the talent gap – The nature of retirement along with the changing ability of a generation to retire early is shifting the demographics of the workforce again. The combination of an aging workforce remaining actively employed, even when facing retirement age to an influx of talent from Generation Y, means that organizations need to determine the best way to continue to get value from older workers without holding younger workers back.
  • Debunking the Superman myth – Given the ever-changing pressures on businesses today, including adopting new technologies, entering an emerging market country or adapting to new regulatory environments, companies need a bench of leaders who can operate across different environments and adapt to the unexpected
  • The performance management puzzle – To effectively motivate employees, some leading organizations are considering new performance management tools with social media characteristics that incorporate peer, customer and other stakeholder feedback
  • Thinking like an economist – HR and talent leaders should adopt an economist’s mindset and expand their use of economic data to make fact-based decisions, which not only increases their alignment with the other business leaders in their organization, but also helps put people in the right positions to unlock their most valuable talents

To download a copy of Leading Indicators visit http://www.deloitte.com/us/hctrends2013