While companies come to terms with employee usage of social media and HR departments start working on “regulating” social media usage and come up with “policies” – I think they are missing one key point – leveraging social tools to make HR work itself a social activity.
In a certain way, HR is ripe for social disruption. It impacts external perception (employer branding) and internal employee engagement unlike any other part of the organization save the CEO
Let’s start with policies themselves. Using a social tool which leverages crowdsourcing ideas from employees can help HR in co-creating processes and policies – and raising acceptability when they are finally rolled out. Dell’s EmployeeStorm is a great example by which employees give ideas on everything in the company.
Recruitment – Since its an external facing part of HR the Recruiting teams have been quick to leverage social media to “Broadcast” vacancies and several applications. However the next level would be actively creating and nurturing communities of practice shaped around skills where hiring managers can gauge level of skills of people and also develop them (Disclaimer: I work with BraveNewTalent, a platform that helps organizations do that)
Learning: Social technology can make learning more of a continuous process than the 2-3 day event it currently is. These tools can also be used by trainers to add more to the classroom and create a community of learners who can continue to share experiences and be a support group as they implement learnings in their workplace. Marcia Conner’s book “The New Social Learning” shows how various firms are using tools to augment employee training.
Recognition : Companies like Rypple, Globoforce have started the concept of social peer recognition and it can be a powerful factor to increase employee engagement.
Knowledge Sharing: Forget the idea of databases acting as “repositories” of knowledge, internal social networks can capture employees work activity as social intranets connect deeper into business applications – and team members can follow what others are doing on their activity streams. Newer tools like Opzi and MindQuilt can also emerge as a enterprise version of Quora, the popular Q&A site.
It’s time for innovative HR groups in progressive organizations to leverage the power of social!