5 big ways social HR is changing the way we do business

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We are entering a time of social HR, where companies are integrating social technologies into their employee life cycles, from recruitment, skills development and employee engagement to employee exit. Traditional HR is quickly adapting to manage employees in a time of more intense and advanced use of social media. Some key areas in social HR:

1. Gamification

Companies can embrace gamification by incorporating game mechanisms into non-gaming activities such as skills development and performance management. When introducing gamification, this can include gathering tokens, rewards or medals based on set rules within business processes. Gamifying business processes, brings an element of fun, reward and higher levels of employee engagement. Gartner predicts that 70% of Global 2000 businesses will be managing at least one “gamified” application or system by 2014.

2. Social recruitment

More recruiters and organizations are using social platforms to recruit potential candidates with higher levels of accuracy. Social platforms provide companies with insight into work history, endorsements by peers and personal branding. It reduces the recruitment cycle as recruiters can now also identify potential candidates before they are in the market for a new position. According to the Society for Human Resources (SHRM) the number of companies using social networking sites to hire showed a steady increase from 34% in 2008 to 56% in 2011. Organizations are using social media to engage new recruits in the pre-joining phase to create excitement about their new employment. Social media is also applied in induction and orientation to speed up learning and socialization into the new business culture.

3. Employee engagement

More organizations are using social media platforms to engage their employees at different levels of the organisation. This can range from company vision and strategy to corporate citizenship and social responsibility. Employees are engaged across platforms, which increase employee awareness of business focus and delivery. With an increase in employee engagement, employees are getting the opportunity to provide input to areas which they where previously excluded from. High levels of employee engagement reduce employee turnover and increases employee loyalty. The Corporate Leadership Council found that employees with lower engagement are four times more likely to leave their jobs than those who are highly engaged.

4. Performance management

Social performance feedback by peers and co-workers provide real-time and instant feedback on employee performance while endorsing their delivery on a daily basis. Linked with gamification, employees get visible rewards for good performance while collecting evidence for more frequent performance assessments. Social reinforcement of good performance provides encouragement for employees to deliver at expected performance levels, while getting the necessary recognition for their efforts in real-time. 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. Social performance feedback naturally incorporates aspects of 360-degree performance feedback without formalizing this in the organization.

5. Skills development

Learning and skills development is significantly enhanced by social technologies as employees can participate in remote and real-time sessions with peers and co-workers across geographical areas. Learning is further enriched by the implementation of gamification in learning interventions, which allows for the introduction of adult based learning principles such as “learning-through-doing”. Gamification also makes learning and development a more engaging process for participants. Knowledge sharing and peer learning via social platforms has become the norm as employees engage each other across social platforms. Skills development is now an inherent part of an employee’s day where constant learning is happening with world news, industry insights and a variety of information feeds.

Social media is enriching human resources from an administrative function to a highly engaging business partner that has a significant impact on effectiveness of an organization’s workforce and its ability deliver against key strategies. Combined with cloud computing and mobility, human resources is becoming an exciting and creative area that business can leverage to maximize their people capabilities.



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