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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: Social media undervalued as employee comms tool


Most employers are failing to take advantage of social media as a means of improving their internal communications despite high levels of staff interest in them doing so.

According to a survey conducted among 1,500 employees by recruitment process outsourcing provider hyphen, a mere 17.4% said that they were aware of any attempt by their employer to use social networking tools as a means of communicating with them.
But a huge 42.3% said that they would be happy to converse directly with their line manager or team leader via Facebook, while a fifth would be comfortable tweeting their head of department or chief executive.
Zain Wadee, hyphen’s managing director, said that while a lot of organisations were focusing their social media efforts on external audiences such as customers, all too few were using the channel for internal communication, building an employer brand or advocacy purposes.
But if they intended to do so, she warned that it was important to understand when the medium was appropriate as an employee communications tool or not.
“Sensitive issues should be taken offline through correct HR channels and data privacy always observed,” Wadee said. “However, used well, social media can be a highly effective internal engagement tool. Instead of an extension of the intranet for department updates, social media can be used to foster idea generation and knowledge-sharing across an organisation’s departments and levels.”
In order to develop an effective internal communications-based social media strategy, however, she advised getting a clear understanding of how any change would impact business processes and staff behaviour as well as encouraging entry-level employees and junior managers to become “key advocates”.
This was because just under seven out of 10 of the former and just over three out of five of the latter already employed social networks for personal use and so were used to engaging with others via this route.

One Response

  1. great post

    This underlines the fact that social media has become a tool that is no longer stricly for social networking but a tool used for communication and interaction within the professional world as well. People are now using sites such as Linkedin to headhunt and recruit employees, and Twitter is now a popular method of communication between customers and businesses. There is no reason why social media cannot be used as a method of communcation wihtin an organisation as it is cost effective, can be made secure and is familiar by the overwhelming majority of people nowadays. 


    David Evans, commercial director at accessplanit, specialist in learning management system and learning management software.

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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

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