'Social Climbing' for HR professionals

'Social Climbing' for HR professionals

Social climbing has taken on new meaning for human resources managers as they arduously work to incorporate social media and other new, friendly ways of communication into their relationships into their corporate culture. Are you employing all of these five key strategies?

An increasing number of corporations around the world are either modifying or relying more on social processes these days. Its benefits go far beyond establishing and maintaining connections with employees, and it helps to make the workplace more dynamic and fun. Some employers have even found ways to integrate social aspects into their recruitment processes, in addition to relying on the old tried-and-true methods.

Phil Lotter of MemeBurn.com identifies five key areas where social HR is playing a key role.

1. Gamification
One method of boosting employee morale, writes Lotter, is by incorporating game-like elements into processes that generally do not have a gameplay aspect to them, such as performance management and skills development. Employees would collect points, tokens or tickets for performance, which would essentially add a level of fun to otherwise mundane daily tasks.

2. Social recruitment
Social media is all the rage these days, and HR managers are quickly beginning to jump on the bandwagon. They are using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to reach out to a wider audience of potential candidates for posted positions.

“Social platforms provide companies with insight into work history, endorsements by peers and personal branding,” says Lotter. “It reduces the recruitment cycle as recruiters can now also identify potential candidates before they are in the market for a new position.”

A study carried out by the Society for Human Resources backs this claim, as 56 per cent of employers used social media for recruitment purpose in 2011, up from 34 per cent in 2008.

3. Employee engagement
As the workplace environment evolves, so too do the methods of engaging employees. This, explains Lotter, is another area where social media usage plays an important role. Social media platforms enable employees to contribute in areas that they were previously unable to contribute to. This, in turn, increases their involvement in daily tasks and their loyalty to the organization while decreasing turnover rates.

4. Performance management
Productivity is sometimes an issue in many workplaces, but there ways to ensure and maintain that employees are working at desired levels. Instant feedback from managers and supervisors lets employees know that their work is appreciated, and if any changes need to made. In addition to this, several companies also offer their employees with rewards or incentives based on performance, which further boosts their morale.

“Social performance feedback also provides a more balanced view of employee performance as it provides the opportunity for all employee levels to contribute to performance input,” Lotter says. “Social performance feedback naturally incorporates aspects of 360-degree performance feedback without formalizing this in the organization.”

5. Skills development
When certain companies implement new processes into their workplace culture, the employees are often required to attend an interactive seminar to learn more about these new developments. The seminars are sometime conducted online in a relaxed, yet informative manner, and can be made more engaging by including hands-on examples. As Lotter notes, learning through doing is an effective means of educating employees, and it makes the learning process enjoyable.