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    5 Tips for Integrating Social Collaboration into Your HR Department

    When it comes to the workplace, there is no better place for social collaboration. The ability to share and discuss in a real-time platform makes collaboration and everyday communication easier and more effective.

    While everyone in the office will benefit from social integration, the process should start in your HR department. While HR software has evolved immensely over the years, social platforms allow the entire office to work as one in the most efficient way. From onboarding new Millennial employees, to collecting important paperwork, your human resources department has the most to gain from social.

    The Onboard Process

    While many HR professionals have moved to the world of social media to find the right candidates, it’s the onboarding process that has much to gain from social opportunities. Experts here at SocialText.com have previously discussed opportunity within the onboarding process, suggesting, “Social tools can be used to streamline the processes associated with bringing on a new hire and provide a better overall experience.” So, how can you integrate the process in your business?

    • Adapt to learning styles: Not every new hire will move at the same pace or adapt as quickly as one another. Thus, using a social onboarding process allows them to take time outside of work to go through the process instead of using all in-house materials only available within the office.
    • Include everyone: New employees may often feel lost in a sea of new faces and duties. When utilizing social onboarding you can include everyone within the company.

    Sharing Documentation

    Your HR department is responsible for more paperwork than they’d like to be. From standard business insurance forms to emergency contact info and scheduling, the process of manually filling out forms and keeping them in up to date is inefficient, costing you time and money. A social program may allow employees to view, hand-in and edit important information themselves.

    • Record keeping: Even with as little as 50 employees, it can be time consuming to update records as changes happen; a social program can improve that process. For example, employees can update spousal and address changes themselves from within your social program. This takes work out of your HR department’s hands and lets employees take charge of this important information themselves.

    Internal Social Networks

    While standard business practices have much to gain from social collaboration, your culture can benefit even more so. Your employees utilize a variety of social networks outside of work to stay in touch with friends and family, so why not bring a similar platform into the office.

    Utilizing social within the office not only improves collaboration but allows your employees to connect with one another on a level that is familiar to them. There are a number of ways you can do this.

    • Popular networks: Networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to have private groups, and this is a great place to gather your employees. Here you can share company photos and encourage conversation.
    • In-office documents: Real-time editing and sharing makes your office move most efficiently throughout the day; no documents lost to inbox overload, etc.

    While our personal lives are getting more social with each new network, so is the business world. With younger employees joining the workforce in large numbers, it’s important that finding the most efficient and effective way to engage them while maintaining standard business practices; social collaboration within your HR department is a smart way to achieve that all important balance.

    Jessica Sanders, a guest contributor to the Socialtext blog, is an avid small business writer. As the marketing copyeditor of www.ResourceNation.com, she touches on a range of topics such as business management. Find Resource Nation on Facebook, too!

    Watch Firing Line with Bill Kutik: The Social Enterprise and HR Featuring Charles Jones of Bedford Funding

    Join us on Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 10am PT/1pm ET for a must listen to Charles Jones, Founding Partner of Bedford Funding (owners of Socialtext, Peoplefluent and Aquire) share his insights on the latest episode of Firing Line with Bill Kutik.

    The Firing Line is the first video series created exclusively around HR Technology trends and issues. The upcoming 30-minute show – The Social Enterprise and HRwill also feature Jim Lundy, leading Social Media Analyst and Founder of Aragon Research.

    The discussion will include:

    • How will social media technologies change HR?
    • How can enterprise business take full advantage of social media to achieve demonstrable ROI?
    • What effect will Generation X and Generation Y have on the adoption curve of social media within the enterprise?
    • How does social media directly affect the recruiting process?
    • How does the proliferation of mobile devices intersect with managed social strategies?

    Join us to watch three leading HR thought leaders discuss these and many other issues critical to every HR leadership team.

    Register here.

    Social Onboarding Today, Happy Employees for Years to Come

    Last week, PeopleFluent and Socialtext joined forces to present a webinar, From Warm-up to Winner’s Podium: Social Onboarding Goes for the Gold, revealing the evolution of onboarding and its journey from administrative necessity to a strategic tool for long-term talent acquisition and retention.

    As social software has become more commonly adopted throughout enterprises, companies are beginning to leverage these technologies to help new employees in ways that provide learning, mentorship, and peer engagement. As prospective hires become employees, its the first 45 days of employment that are the most critical – when almost a quarter of staff turnover happens.

    That’s why the evolution of Onboarding to Social Onboarding is so key.  Social tools can be used to streamline the processes associated with bringing on a new hire and provide a better overall experience. It’s an experience that promises very tangible business benefits in the form of reduced training time, quicker time to productivity, lower employee churn and higher levels of engagement all of which  significantly contribute to strengthening the company culture.

    Social onboarding is the process in which new employees acquire the knowledge, skills, and behaviors to become effective organizational members. Historically, this has included the necessary administrative steps such as filling out forms, selecting benefits and getting access to new hire information, as well as getting an introduction to the company and its unique culture.  Having new hires adapt to their new role and engage with co-workers quicker provides companies’ with a greater chance to hold onto their new employees. Not to mention, there is also is a direct correlation to higher levels of innovation and creativity with clearly communicated business objectives and an engaged workforce.

    “Now, new hires can come to one place to easily find information to help them be successful in their days on the job,” says Kate Rash, manager of learning and development with Getty Images. Additionally, a formal onboarding process increases the likelihood of a new hire staying with the company after three years by 58%.

    Socializing your onboarding process with a flexible, dynamic platform that helps to guide new employees through the process is key.  What we’ve learned from our clients such as Getty Images, Acumen Fund, Accolo and many others is that it must be:

    • Visually appealing: Leverage traditional marketing methods such as advertising to call attention to areas that you want to get noticed, or even provide a “call to action” that steers employees in the right direction
    • Engage early: Ask for feedback, institute a new employee survey to gauge effectiveness, ensure you have a team available to engage in conversations and use a tool like Socialtext 360 which makes it easy for new hires to connect with like-minded employees or internal thought-leaders sharing interests in or outside of work.
    • Findable: Provide quick access to necessary documentation, benefits and other work related needs.   Incorporating a search function as well as tagging capabilities will also improve information findability greatly.
    • Interactive:  Activity streams such as Signals are a great way to introduce new hires to the company culture.  By seeing the conversations taking place, they will learn trending topics, most active people, and learn through social interactions and collaborate with ease and comfort, regardless of location.

    To see the webinar slides, check them out here.

    Implementing an effective social onboarding process that maps against a new hire’s first 30, 60, 90 days and integrates into the flow of their work has great benefits for new hires, productivity, and the company as a whole. With major shifts on the horizon to US workforce demographics and the ubiquity of Social interactions, it is more critical than ever to apply Social Onboarding techniques to take your enterprise into the future.

    To view the recorded webinar and learn how your enterprise can benefit from Gold Medal Social Onboarding, register here.

    Free Webinar July 26 – Social Onboarding Goes for the Gold

    We’re excited to announce our upcoming webinar with sister company Peoplefluent, Social Onboarding Goes for the Gold.  Introducing new hires into the company and helping them get up to speed on benefits, company processes and relevant information is one of the most important things that can ensure their success and growth.

    Today’s new hires have higher expectations and are accustomed to having information, people and resources at their fingertips. Gone are the days of employee binders, static directories, and lengthy orientations. Getting them trained and actively engaged is key to not only their success but to your business bottom line.  In today’s world where content lives and dies in a manner of weeks, its more important than ever to provide a platform that can not only serve as a central repository to key new hire information, but can also be dynamic and engaging. This is where leveraging a social collaboration platform such as Socialtext can help.

    Register for our webinar today and learn best practices as well as  new ideas for how to socially supercharge your onboarding and Go for the gold.

    About This Blog

    Weblog on gaining business results from social software.

    On this blog, Socialtext staffers and customers explore how companies can gain the most business value from their use of enterprise social software, including microblogging, social networking, filtered activity streams, widget-based dashboards, blogs and wikis.

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