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2013: The Year of Social HR

As we wrap up 2012 this week, instead of taking a look back at the year that was, let’s look forward to what trends 2013 is likely to usher in. Since social media is now a part of life, and work, we are starting to see innovative ways to use social media to gain feedback in a variety of areas. Human Resource departments have increased the use of social programs both to gain feedback from employees, offer and deliver rewards, and to help create corporate culture. Here are 4 ways you are bound to see Social HR in the year ahead.

1. Employees in charge: There is a trend in the workforce putting more power into the hands of employees. They have the power to choose their own devices, leverage their network, and become brand ambassadors for their employers. Also, as the economy further emerges from recession, more jobs become available, putting more power into the hands of job seekers, and ultimately, employees. Social networking is a part of everyday life, and often does not or cannot stop during the workday. Allowing employees to maintain social media and social networking in the workplace can foster some of your brands most compelling ambassadors.

2. Make corporate culture part of onboarding: Defining your corporate culture is to employees as they join your organization is key. Communicating values, expectations, and guidelines is crucial to setting expectations and creating an ideal corporate culture. The companies with the most innovative corporate cultures are often the ones who retain the most innovative talent for the longest time. Communicate to employees what, when, and how to share their corporate milestones, and help them on a path to brand ambassadorship.

3. Reinventing performance management: Since our society moves at the speed of the internet, and social media, so too should employee performance management. Everything from reviews to rewards can and should be done in real time. If an employee does an exceptional job on a project, or goes above and beyond their job description to better the organization, rewarding that employee should happen in real-time, as well as the recognition for their actions. These types of “spot rewards” can be given out as small flexible items, such as gift cards to widely appealing brands such as CVS/Pharmacy, Boston Market, or Burlington Coat Factory. The peer recognition that accompanies these rewards should be as immediate as the reward itself. Whether it is a quick team email, or a post on the company’s intranet, recognition both boosts the rewarded employees confidence and motivation but also indicates to peers what they can do to receive the same level of reward and recognition.

4. Unlock HR intelligence: “Big Data” was a big buzzword in 2012. However, this concept will continue to be widely used into 2013. Gathering large amounts of data through a constant feedback loop will help your HR department tailor company culture to the needs of employees, and help maximize employee benefits, rewards, and wellness programs. The speed and consistency of social media messaging can be a great tool to gain feedback and raw usable data directly from employees.

by Rachel Merkin

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