Firms ‘missing out by not embracing social media’, says survey

Firms 'failing to embrace social media' for internal comms, says survey

December 4, 2013

Companies are missing out by not encouraging employees to use social media at work, a new survey has claimed.

Research by the CIPD revealed only one in four employees use social tools in the workplace. This rises to three in four people who use social in their personal lives.

The report – entitled ‘Social technology, social business?’ – saw more than 2,000 workers quizzed over their use of social media.

And almost half of those employees who use social media for work on a daily basis have already seen real benefits for their organisations.

Jonny Gifford, research adviser at the CIPD, said: “Social media’s potential for improving employee voice and employee engagement has not yet been realised, and employers could be missing a real trick there.

“Although technology alone will never be capable of transforming an organisation’s culture, inhibiting channels of communication will only serve to create the kind of closed cultures that have proven to be so toxic in many organisations in recent years.”

With the rise of Yammer and other enterprise social networks, business is certainly waking up to the power of social.

However the expectations of Generation Y are certainly having an impact too.

The CIPD research – unveiled at the organisation’s Social Media in HR conference this week – confirmed 42 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds quizzed used social for work.

Such a dramatic increase in the overall figure suggests social is not going away – and employers are in danger of being left behind unless they factor social into their thinking.

Jonny added: “For the moment, the claims made by social media advocates who predicted widespread transformation of our workplaces and working lives appear exaggerated, but the impact of social media in the workplace is likely to grow as more people interact with it.

“When you look at the number of young people already using social media, it does look set to become a bigger part of how we work in the future.”

Other findings from the survey include:

• 50 per cent of those who use social media for work purposes believes it helps them collaborate with people outside their organisation
• 53 per cent says it provides them meaningful connections with new people
• 20 per cent says it gives them the opportunity to discuss aspects of their work they would not otherwise discuss
• 31 per cent are convinced it helps them be more responsive to customers.

Read the full report here…