The Benefits of Using Social Media for Communication Among Employees
Social media has made communication easier than ever. People no longer have to pick up the phone or write a letter; they can simply log in to a social media account and immediately connect with others. Over 500 million people use Facebook, and 250 million of them log in each day. This shows how popular social media is a vital form of communication, and businesses can take advantage of this medium for the same communication benefits among their employees.
Internal Communication Platforms
Businesses can use any of the already existing social media platforms for communication among employees, but many create their own internal communication forums. If businesses decide to use Facebook, or any other social media site, there is the risk that employees will become unproductive and distracted and waste time, which is why many opt to create their own communication systems with instant messaging as a minimum.
Shopify is one business that did this. It created an internal communication platform called "Unicorn" that allows employees to communicate with each other about projects and share success. Plus, it separates work communication from social communication, helping to increase productivity. The aspect that really made this internal communication platform successful is the cash incentives employees receive for participation — employees can monitor projects and be rewarded monetarily for offering their skills and services. If a business does not have the resources to create its own internal communication platform, there are many ready-made options available. Salesforce, for example, can act as a platform for collaboration, helping spark creative thinking and thought leadership across a company. It’s an ideal forum where individuals across all divisions of a company are able to collectively share and view what they find innovative, interesting and beneficial.
Benefits of an Internal Communication Platform
Businesses that implement an internal communication platform see many benefits, both in terms of profits and employee satisfaction. Internal communication platforms facilitate faster decision making, easier collaboration on projects and greater recognition for employees that do a good job. Take a closer look at these benefits.
- Faster Decision Making: Employees can quickly communicate problems without waiting for the next meeting to happen because they can instantly see who is online. This makes decision making faster, which can improve profits and productivity.
- Easier Collaboration on Projects: Many projects rely on work from several different individuals. Instead of trying to schedule meetings where everyone involved can participate, internal communication platforms allow employees to track and record all progress in one place where everyone can access it, helping expedite projects.
- Greater Recognition for Employees: Employee satisfaction is another aspect that can be boosted with internal communication systems. For instance, it is easier to give immediate feedback after a project has been reviewed. Additionally, updates about the quality of the work employees do can be highlighted to the entire organization.
“Since employees actively use social media in their personal lives, internal communication practitioners can use similar approaches to create dynamic conversations between employees at all levels of an organization,” notes Valarie Udeh, Director of Communications at BAE Systems and Queens MA in Communication alum, class of 2013. “Most companies now feature blogs on their intranet sites. This platform must offer more than generic leader messages. It must feature dynamic and consistent content that pulls employees into meaningful exchanges that inform, motivate, and often, inspire. It must be a place where employees want to go.”
Business is all about efficiency and productivity. Implementing the proper internal form of social media is paramount for a company to succeed and advance beyond their current point. Before putting social media to use for a business, goals for its effectiveness need to be determined.
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View our infographic on communication in the modern workplace to learn more about communication expectations among millennials and their managers.