Let’s Be Social at Work
No, I’m not talking about hosting an ice cream or pizza get together in the breakroom. Even though an ice cream sundae with strawberries, chocolate and whip cream does sound good. Excuse me, I digress. Nor am I talking about a dance in the company’s cafeteria.
“Social at work” is about providing employees with social media tools to enhance collaboration (particularly across silos and geographies), decision-making, transparency, participation in initiatives and innovation.
Recently, FedEx, along with our agency partner Ketchum, launched the 2012 Social Business Benchmark Study. This study updates and expands upon research findings first released in 2010.
The study found that 85 percent of the companies who use social media to engage employees reported that employee participation in their organization’s social business efforts increased over the past 12 months.
For FedEx, the use of social media platforms internally helps improve workforce engagement by:
- Improving productivity
- Lessening use of email
- Making it easier for employees to find subject matter experts, and
- Making it easier to disseminate information to hourly employees
It also enables us to produce more effective and efficient communications across the enterprise and at local levels. And if that’s not an eye-opener, how about this?
At SAS, which participated in this study and which was the top-ranking company on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For in two of the last three years, company officials said that using social platforms internally supports their “company’s belief that its employees are ‘not just workers,’ but they create global communities that lead to outstanding employee retention.”
Organizations that are best-in-class at using social medial tools internally are gaining competitive advantage by greater collaboration and knowledge sharing among employees, with a common outcome of stronger innovation. These successful social business organizations also must trust and empower employees while allowing increased transparency.