Today’s post is courtesy of Joshua Ro with People Consulting Group in Seoul, Korea. People Consulting Group places senior executives in manufacturing, information technology, consumer products, banking and finance, telecommunications, logistics and distribution, professional services, entertainment, and fashion. Joshua serves as a member of the NPAworldwide Board of Directors.
Ever since social media was introduced, it has taken off like a wildfire spreading on the dry forest. There is no doubt that social media has become an important tool for many industries, including recruitment, and many believe it hasn’t even unlocked its fullest potential yet. Many employees at work these days are quite exposed to social media opportunities from desktop to mobile handsets. And, many companies are also encouraging company activists to use social media not only for a marketing tool, but also for employee engagement purposes.
A few months ago, I attended a national HR seminar and there a concept was introduced to build better employee engagement. The first step is to identify who are the activists in your company. Employee activists, according to the definition, are those “who make their engagement visible, defend their employers from criticism, and acts as advocates, online and off.”
According to the presentation, the social media activities employees are doing at work are as follows: 75% post messages, pictures or videos about the employer, 53% have shared praises or positive comments online about employer, 33% have shared criticism or negative comments online about their employer, 27% posted something about their employers in social media they regret.
No doubt that through these social media activities and from activists in the company, as companies encourage their employees to use social media to share news and information about their work or employer, it can improve employee engagement with other employees in the company.
The big question is how to turn inactive employees to activists. First, there should be a strong trust relationship established between the employer and employees. Then the employer can provide social media tools and encourage inactive employees to use under specific guidelines. Start focusing on internal issues (because you don’t want your employees to spend all day doing personal social media activities) and effectively disseminate company values and goals with frequent communication, and prepare an online monitoring tool to flag negative behaviors or violation of guidelines.
Companies with successful track records are more and more identifying company activists and enlisting their support to influence and build stronger employee engagement activities. Until the next trend hits our industry, this is something to think about.