Dear Employee, Are you tired of receiving the same boilerplate emails from HR?
Looking to spice up your HR Department and find a new way to connect with employees and boost engagement? Try using social media!
Your HR Team might already be using social media for recruiting, but let us tell you a bit about what HR social media accounts could look like for other processes and how to best leverage Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to spread your HR messages and connect with your employees.
One of the many benefits of using Facebook for business is the ability to create closed and secret groups. People who are not invited into these groups are not only unable to access the group, but they can't even see that it exists. An HR Department group would be a great hub for employees to connect with each other and share in a less formal way than sending company-wide emails. Facebook's groups make it easy to share pictures and videos from last week's company lunch and even share files like that holiday party dinner menu spreadsheet that everyone needs to fill out! Moreover, the messaging feature could be another avenue for employees with concerns to contact the HR Department and would make them feel like the communication lines are always open, from wherever they are.
The main drawback to an HR Facebook account is that some employees like to create a distinct boundary between their work and home lives. Not everyone wants their HR Department connecting with them on Facebook and getting to know what they did last Saturday or sharing their pictures from high school. This would be best served for a close-knit company that already has a very open community and is not afraid to connect outside of the 9 to 5.
Twitter is a great medium to transmit short, to the point messages. An HR Twitter account would be perfect for straightforward announcements. A simple 140 character message is just right for broadcasting new hires, company updates and new policies. Similar to Facebook, Twitter has a private option where only people who you accept can follow you and see your content, but unlike Facebook they will be able to see that your account exists. If you want your HR Twitter to broadcast more personal and confidential information, you could ensure that you only allow employees to follow you.
Where a Facebook group facilitates more group conversation and file sharing, Twitter excels in relaying direct information outwards, with less two-way conversation in mind. Twitter does have replies and a direct message function, but limiting each reply/message to 140 characters or less makes it difficult to foster great conversation. Compared to Facebook's 1.44 billion users, Twitter's 302 million seems shallow; it's likely that less people in your company are on Twitter than Facebook, so be sure that your people are out there before you start your HR Twitter account.
Sometimes a picture says more than 140 characters. If you're a company that likes has a lot of cool events, parties and photo worthy moments, this is the social media platform for your Human Resources Department. Instagram is the best way to keep everyone up to date on the latest activity with just the click of a button. Instagram is great for photo-sharing and the filters can make anyone look like a pro. Want to share the photos from the holiday party or keep the employees up to date on the office renovations? Then sign up your HR Department for Instagram.
The downside is, Instagram is a picture sharing medium only, users can comment and like, but it is not a great place for lengthy explanation and discussion. Just like Twitter, you can create a private account that only lets accepted followers like employees and stakeholders see what you're sharing.
LinkedIn also offers both open and private groups. For the purposes of spreading internal company information, a private group would be best. The most attractive benefit of LinkedIn is that your employees are likely already on it and they won't have personal or private information on there that they wouldn't want their professional network to see. Your employees won't have to worry about the group seeing those pictures from their high school days. Another benefit is that while people are on LinkedIn checking your updates, they might stumble upon a new networking connection.
One of the drawbacks of LinkedIn is that its professional nature takes away from some of the fun added by the other social networks. The benefit to trying Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is a unique communication method to bolster employee engagement. LinkedIn can carry some of the same boring and tired aura that email does.
These are just a couple uses of the 4 main social media networks that your Human Resources Department can use to bolster their communication and make meaningful connections to boost employee engagement. Are you using any of these already?