Opportunities and challenges for HR in a social world

By Madhur Ramani, Co-Founder, Stratum Consulting

Today’s woMadhur Ramani_Co-founder and Managing partner, Stratum Consultingrkforce prioritizes differently and there is a fair amount of expectation like -clear communication, significant degree of transparency and faster growth. As the profile of our workforce is changing rapidly, it is imperative for organizations to understand this need and adapt to that shift.

Significant change in employee behavior due to social media
Social media is making a visible impact on people’s behavior towards their organization. It has revolutionized the way people connect and share information. Experiences, impressions and expectations regarding jobs, organizations and management are constantly being shared on various social media platforms. Word of mouth becomes infinitely more powerful and amplified in the digital world. This has led to the growth of desires and ambitions in people to achieve success at a faster pace. People usually encash beneficial opportunities and switch jobs that promise a higher quality of life.

Since this decade has seen a paradigm shift in the expectations of people at workplaces as compared to earlier times, today’s workforce is far more driven, ambitious and assertive. They strive for an integration in achieving professional & personal goals. Also, they are impatient. Add to that the massive impact that social media is having on people’s aspirations when they see their peers and colleagues talk about their achievements online. What you are left with (as an employer) is increasingly shorter average tenures. In most of the organizations, the average tenure has gone down from 3-4 years a few years ago to around 2 years now.

Due to this drastic change in behavior, organizations today are facing a challenge to retain employees. Employers today need to focus on developing methods to get the best out of their employees during their tenure and give them a reason to stick around the organization for a longer time frame.

Leveraging social media as an asset
Organizations need to spend a lot more time and effort to engage with their employees to overcome these challenges.
The foremost step that an organization should take in this regard is to start leveraging social media as an asset. Organizations should integrate social technologies like Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs) with their businesses to constantly engage with their employees. This helps bridge the gap between management and its employees. It also allows employees to better understand and identify the goals of the organization and in turn deliver better results.

Organizations must also pay attention to stronger employer branding, both at external and internal level, as it plays an integral role in attracting and retaining employees.  Stronger employer branding can be created internally through an ESN and externally through other social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Until and unless, organizations do not spend more time and effort in employee engagement techniques using social media itself, it will continue to remain as a threat for employee retention.