Woman checking social media


You'd love to include social media in your employee communication program, but the obstacles can seem insurmountable. Many communicators are stymied by leaders who think that social media's value doesn't outweigh the risks, and by employees who aren't interested in participating.

How, then, to get started? Here are three ideas we heard that make social media relevant to the company and meaningful to employees:

Idea   Why we like it
1. Feedback jam
A telecommunications company held a 48-hour intranet discussion board, or jam, to get employee input on company values. More than 1,000 employees contributed 4,600 comments, which a task force used to define behaviors that support the values.
The jam helped leaders see what employees think about values, and let employees play a role in shaping how they'll support the values.
2. Information sharing
The marketing function of a global financial services company built an online network that improves the way the company markets its services—by helping members share knowledge, solve problems and build a community.
Employees can get answers to questions, or seek help to solve problems from colleagues around the world. That leads to productivity improvements for the company, since marketing people can work more effectively.
3. Social network
A global discount retailer created an extranet that lets employees access schedules, pay and benefits information and participate in a social network. More than 80% of employees use the site, and 90% return every 10 days.
Employees feel connected to colleagues, while accessing information they need. That increases job satisfaction, which decreases turnover.