Posted by: healingtheworkplace | March 24, 2013

Social Media Gives Employees a Voice

The other day I came across a newly published research report focusing on social media and employee voice. This may sound like something from an academic journal but in fact I found it on the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) website.

The CIPD is the largest human resources organization in Europe and has branded itself as “the world’s largest chartered human resource and development professional body…setting global standards for HR and supporting the development of HR professionals.”

The CIPD is known for its research and its latest report – Social Media and Employee Voice: The Current Landscape– was published this month.

The report is available on the CIPD website.

The CIPD’s latest report starts out by stating that most attempts at giving employees a greater voice remain limited to the annual employee engagement survey.

The problem with this approach is that it is static, retroactive, and one sided. Most surveys are prepared on behalf of management and the results are not made available to employees until weeks or months after the survey ends.

Because of this time lapse employers miss out on “real time” feedback from employees.

One possible solution to this dilemma is to use social media to give employees a more active voice but this idea has been slow to “take off” resulting in missed opportunities for enhanced communication, trust, and collaboration in the workplace.

Despite copious amounts of research highlighting the benefits of giving employees a voice, management, especially in large organizations, has yet to take this matter seriously.

Instead of looking at the benefits of using social media — benefits such as allowing for new forms of collaboration and decision-making–there has been far too much focus placed on the risks of letting employees use social media at work.

The report argues that rather than waste time developing policies and procedures in an attempt to prevent employees from speaking up, organizations would be better off looking for creative ways to use new technology to give employees a voice.

The use of social media is on the rise in all areas of our lives and there is little organizations can do to stop the rise of social media from infiltrating the workplace.

I’ll share more from this report in a future blog post!


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