Here is what we know; people are using social networking sites, meaning your employees are on those sites regularly. What's a company to do? Well many staffing companies are using social networking as a means of recruiting - I guess it is more than many, most are, but are you using it to communicate with your employees? What about HR at corporations, are you using social networking as a means to communicate? And how does that effect retention?
First some statistics: The Wall Street Journal published an article today on the use of social networking. The article stated, "65% of all U.S. adults now use social-networking sites, up from 61% a year ago and just 5% in 2005." It further went on to say, "on a typical day, 43% of U.S. adults said they visit sites like Facebook and Twitter, up from 38% a year ago."
Here are some things to consider. At Staffing Industry Analysts, we have a daily huddle. The purpose of the daily huddle is to get people together to see if they need any help, report any statistics and tell others what they are working on. Recently, we introduced an internal social networking tool called Yammer. We implemented it because Yammer is free. If you deploy it on the inside of your firewall it costs money, but we are doing it in the cloud as an experiment. One of my co-workers said to me the other day, "Hinda, I think Yammer is better than our daily huddle. More people participate and we are able to communicate different things"; I thought, the comment was interesting.
But here is what we are communicating on Yammer, different than we are communicating in the daily huddle, and why I believe it will help with retention. I said recently on Yammer that I had read our monthly Pulse report. I expressed what I had learned in the Pulse report and that I thought the guy who produces it, did a great job. I would not have said any of that in the huddle.
On Yammer, we are providing up to date statistics on conference attendance and cheering each other on for sales wins that occur. While some of this might be discussed in the huddle, it is quickly out of date and the huddle doesn't allow for others to voice their support. Someone mentioned they needed an additional panelist for one of their panels at one of the conferences. It alerted everyone, and now that person could get assistance.
All of this makes for a more collaborative environment. Creates an ability to communicate real time with one another and cheer and support the team. Ultimately, people feel part of the team, better communicated with cheered and supported. So the next time you are concerned that someone on your staff is visiting their Facebook site, think about how implementing a social networking site in your organization might help the team, rather than reduce productivity.