Many companies leverage their social media for transformation initiatives to engage with their customers and the general public. However, often times companies forget about the power of also leveraging these tools internally. While social media can invoke the fear of potentially providing a medium for public outcry and negativity, it can be leveraged to communicate with and support employees through company transformation. Social media tools can also facilitate change by providing an influential platform for employees to voice opinions and ideas, providing management with opportunities to hear real feedback and, when needed, address issues, questions and concerns.
Here are some opportunities to tap into the social media toolbox during periods of company change:
With employees in various locations or time zones, there are options to provide required training simultaneously without the obstacles of location or time. Utilizing social media for training ensures all employees are receiving identical content direct from the source – leadership. Online conferencing connects employees with real time training sessions that include forums for Q&A and group discussion, producing an engaging learning environment. Training sessions can also be pre-recorded and distributed to employees via email or intranet; these videos can be then be logged within a virtual library and viewed at the users’ convenience.
- Set up a Live Meeting, WebEx or GoToMeeting session instead of an in person training session. This ensures offsite resources are able to participate and allows you to record the session for future use.
- Leverage YouTube or Vimeo to record trainers presenting class content and then direct students to the video content.
Social media provides opportunities for continuous management /mentorship versus stagnant one directional feedback. Ideas and innovation can come from all directions within an organization. Open format technologies allow for employees to build off each others’ ideas, creating combined solutions while also offering a view for management to see what’s working and identify what isn’t. By providing a platform for employee engagement and voice, leadership gains transparency into opportunities to grow. This is a perfect occasion for upward feedback as well as a medium to engage downward in the organization.
- Providing company Micro Blogs with comment sections allows employees to provide their feedback on content while engaging with each other in thought provoking discussion.
- Creating company forums, such as Yammer, lets employees introduce their own topics based on current happenings in their work world. This encourages documented team problem solving and brainstorming.
Organizational Alignment and Culture
Internal branding is equally important as outside marketing efforts. Helping employees to understand their company’s values and culture enables them to own the vision set by leadership as well as drive it to reality. Management can leverage technologies to integrate and sustain messaging around company goals, purpose and vision. This allows continued conversations company-wide, encouraging sustainability of new organizational norms and building collaborative culture through idea generation while developing internal branding and networking.
- A company Facebook page gives employees the opportunity to show their company pride as well as advertise within their own social network.
- Providing a Twitter handle can help employees connect to current company trends and provides immediate distribution of exciting company news.
- Encouraging employees to join LinkedIn and connect with their co-workers assists in additional networking and company unity.
By finding the balance and blend of these tools you can bring ownership into the picture while increasing engagement, which can lead to long-term success of implemented organizational changes. Leveraging social media technology channels creates a diverse and appealing environment for employees. Investing in these platforms during the change management planning process encourages sustainable adoption of new processes and promotes employee engagement.