Bloggers, Social Media experts and HR professionals alike constantly discuss the importance of Social Media and how it ties into the present and future of Human Resources. It has given voice to the voiceless, opinions to the indifferent and confidence to those that oftentimes felt irrelevant. Social Media, in its many forms, has definitely been and will continue to be a game changer for employee and employers.
Who isn’t making it to the Social Media #SoMe mountaintop and witnessing all of it’s glory? Those practitioners that refuse to adapt. Those old-school thinking leaders that believe there’s only one way to communicate and only one way of learning. Those leaders that feel as if we should keep doing things the way they have been done for 35 years. I mean, really?!? Who needs that Facespace, +Google, Mybook and Twit stuff anyway? #keepupwiththetimes
In my humble opinion #IMHO, I believe that #HR practitioners should not only keep up with how the world, industries and work-forces are changing through Social Media, but use it to keep their fingers on the pulse of their company’s employees. With 500 million worldwide twitter users, 1 billion worldwide Facebook users, 200 million worldwide LinkedIn users, etc., etc., (all according to Wikipedia) chances are that you have employees utilizing this new information superhighway…and they’re probably talking about you for not being on board!
Do you know what’s happening?
I know that people are trying to escape your company because I see their networking efforts and resumes online…all while you’re passing out surveys about #retention and trying to rate engagement. I’ll tell you a secret, they’re not gonna turn it in and if they do, they’ve lied on it.
Nothing beats the #unfiltered rants that employees post on Facebook around 5:30 pm every day at quittin’ time. While it’s iffy what specific action can be taken based on a frustration-filled status update, it’s still good to know:
- What mumblings and grumblings are coming from employees
- That some of your managers are ticking people off on a consistent basis
- That employees have strong opinions about processes and policies that have been implemented
If we don’t know how to navigate the channels that our employees are using, what messages are in the channels and who is being reached in each, how can we ensure that our policies and messages are reaching our intended audience?
Paper doesn’t update itself
There is so much information and so much knowledge to be gained by venturing out and discovering new media. Card catalogs and those old leather bound volumes in our offices (while they do look cool on the shelf) will not keep us equipped to reach the new age employee. We must meet our #workforce where they are, at the point of their needs and at their level of understanding. As laws change and as new information is gained on relevant topics, those that need it (HR practitioners) must be seeking it out and connecting with those that are in the know for deeper insight and for practical application.
Just imagine how valuable and effective HR practitioners would be if we were consistently able to combine and use for the power of good:
- the latest technology, networks and resources
- forward thought processes and best practices
- the ability to relate to and reach our employees AND
- all of those years of experience
Companies could no longer deny or question our value to their organizations.
Managing and advising in vacuums and bubbles will not yield the results we desire and need. Working while fearing the elements of the outside world and Social Media are a sure way of being left behind in any industry, especially in Human Resources. Old and traditional methods of communication and learning will yield old and traditional results. Employees are becoming more technologically savvy and know how to get more and more information, oftentimes running straight to the stuff that we’re reading. So be sure to get to it first!