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Consultant’s blog: Should employers be looking more to social media for employee engagement?

Opinion piece by one of Insync’s Research Project Managers

A recent study from the UK indicates that nearly three quarters of entry level staff and three fifths of junior managers hold social media accounts for their personal use.

However anecdotal evidence both in the UK and Australia indicates that the majority of employers do not use social media to engage their employees.

Employee engagement is instead secured through intranets, newsletters and email correspondence. This indicates a massive communications disconnect.

If employee engagement is the state where employees think and feel positive things about their organisation then it makes sense to communicate with these same staff through channels they already use. Organisations spend huge amounts of money and effort focussing on external customer engagement through social networking, but do not apply this to employee engagement. This is ironic since the same UK study indicated that two fifths of staff would be happy to engage with their line manager via facebook and a fifth would tweet the head of their department or their CEO.

So why don’t organisations engage with their workforce via social media? It would appear that most companies have policies in place which prevent staff from using social networking sites during their working day. Presumably this is to stop errant employees being distracted from their job. It is human nature that if people are bored they will find distractions in any situation, so isn’t it about time that employers reversed this policy, and recognised a way to engage with employees is right in front of us.

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