Twitter, Facebook, and sites such as Linkedin are fast becoming a support system for individuals and businesses. These types of social networks have linked the world together and offer businesses a unique opportunity to reach workers, customers, and other businesses.
Personnel Today, 201 0, reported the findings of a recent survey conducted by Melcrum; of 2,600 respondents, only 11 percent said they took advantage of social media for HR use. In another study conducted by the CK Group, it was found that social media has the capability of enhancing employee loyalty, as well as employee retention levels.
In further studies, examining the connection social media has on the HR department, the CK Group surveyed 87 HR professionals, along with 60 workers. The company wanted to determine how and when social media is being used at work. Preliminary findings show that only 10.7 percent of HR personnel utilize social networks, while 81.6 percent of workers said they use these networks during working hours.
Why the missed opportunity?
In a press release, the CK Group explained, "In today’s market the harsh reality is that top talent is hard to come by, and holding on to them is definitely not as easy as it used to be.” Creating and maintaining employee satisfaction is needed to address this issue. The statement added, “Why not use every tool available to help ensure” you hold on to valuable employees? “Social media can play a starring role in your employee retention strategy,"
CK Group offered social media strategies to help businesses harness the power these mediums offer:
1. Initiate clearly outlined guidelines for the use of social networking in the workplace
2. Allow employees to use social media at the workplace
3. Allow employees to freely convey their employment status
4. Don’t make employees have separate personal and business accounts and profiles
5. Allow free and open communications
6. The company should also initiate a workplace network for employees and management to be in regular contact
7. Employees should be encouraged to share ideas, suggestions, and even concerns, which can then be readily visible and addressed
8. Business leaders should use social networks and internal networks to establish the company’s culture, visions, and goals
Utilizing these guidelines is an excellent employee retention strategy. Employees will be able to establish workplace bonds, and they will feel that their input and efforts are appreciated. Along with this, top tier communications will ease hierarchical differences, allowing for a feeling of equality and satisfaction.
Obviously, social media networking needs to be monitored, but it’s important for the employees not to feel that they are being overly watched. Stringent monitoring may have ill-effects on the employee/employer relationship, and stifle helpful ideas and input, as well as employee motivation.