Social media has become one of the dominating factors of this decade. According to studies conducted by Pew Research Center, 65% of all American adults interact on at least one social platform. Among those between the ages of 18 and 29, that number jumps to 90%.
We live in a social world and we don’t set that habit aside when we clock in for work. Nearly half of workers believe that social tools increase their productivity on the job.
But do they really?
Employees use social media for many reasons, including taking a mental break from work, networking with those outside their organization, consulting experts about job-related tasks, finding information they need to perform their jobs, and getting to know co-workers.
All of these scenarios can help workers do their jobs better, but the challenge is keeping employees engaged in their work and preventing the mental drift that can easily occur as you scroll mindlessly through a feed. Some HR software providers are seeking to address this problem by integrating social solutions into their software suite.
Social Media Goes to Work
Social engagement can take many different forms, and companies will have to consider carefully which platforms work best in the culture of their company. One solution is to provide an internal message board similar to Facebook where colleagues can interact with one another.
Here’s an example of this type of platform from Criterion HCM:
In this example, the social aspect appears in the employee self-service portal. Employees can check calendars, documents, action items, reports, and messages all in one place. Companies can set up unique communities and add members based on position or responsibilities, enabling close collaboration for projects, sales teams, individual locations, management teams, call centers, and other groups within the organization. One key benefit of this solution is that employees can interact with one another informally without being sucked into Facebook.
Social Incentives Make Work Engaging
In addition to social interaction platforms like Criterion’s, some companies also want to add a competitive flavor to employee engagement. Software solutions may incorporate goals, badges, and leaderboards that can be implemented on an individual basis or encourage competition among teams. For deeper interaction, comprehensive gamification platforms can integrate job performance with interaction while capitalizing on employees’ natural competitive spirit.
Demand for social interaction platforms at work is rising, a trend we noticed in our interaction with software vendors at SHRM 2016. The knee-jerk reaction of banning social media during work hours may not be effective for younger workers, especially those in high-demand fields where talent competition is fierce. As social media continues to shape our culture, we see many software vendors rising to the challenge with forward-thinking solutions designed to capitalize on the shift toward collaboration and interaction.
It’s a trend that isn’t going away. How will your business respond?