It seems the case study model of blogging is valued by my readers and therefore I am inviting you to reflect and share perspective on the next issue of social media adoption for internal communication.
Over the last few weeks I have had three separate conversations with leading communicators from global and Indian organizations on challenges in influencing social media adoption for internal communication. Not surprisingly, the questions were uncannily similar.
Take the case of Shruti who is tasked with internal communications for a well-established IT services provider in India with a workforce of close to a lakh employees. Here is a transcript of our conversation.
Shruti: “We introduced an internal business and social networking site for our employees hoping to get participation and they just don’t seem to show up. What do we do?”
Me: “What were the objectives of starting your site?”
Shruti: “We thought about the demographics of our workforce and designed a platform to engage the community. There are both geo specific sites and global ones for them to choose. I have thankfully a smaller audience of 2500 employees to work with. This set of employee belongs to one division that I support. The objective is to connect employees in an efficient manner, allow interaction with HR and also share organizational updates. However they don’t seem interested. How can it be?”
Me: “Do you know why your employees aren’t participating?”
Shruti: “Most of our employees belong to Gen Y and as you know prefer social networking and lesser face-to-face meetings. Taking this into consideration, we created the site but it’s not being leveraged by them to the fullest. This is especially true for our division as we have access to other external sites like Facebook and Twitter. Whereas people in other verticals don’t and for them their social networking site has been successful. Our employees find time to go to Facebook but don’t think it valuable to connect on our internal system. Did we do something wrong?”
Social media in India has come a long way in the last five years and it’s no secret that the new media communication has transformed the way people communicate within organizations. As companies realize the need for enhancing everyday communications and constantly innovate to deploy new employee engagement tools, social media is becoming a preferred medium for sharing knowledge and experiences hence, building long-term relationships. In India, with a tracked number of close to 80 million people online, social media is undoubtedly growing in leaps and bounds.
It is estimated that India will touch 45 million social media users by 2012. Also Indians today, according to Nielsen’s social media usage report spend more time on networking sites instead of personal e-mail. Other sign of the growing influence of social media in India is Facebook’s recent takeover from Orkut as the most popular social networking site.
With the country boasting of the world’s youngest workforce, corporate India is seeking young blood to drive their organizations forward. According to a recent survey conducted by the leading financial daily, The Economic Times along with the global market research firm, Synovate, 73% of the people polled; felt their company could perform better if they had younger leaders.
Back to the case.
- 1. How can we get employees to embrace social media for internal purposes?
- 2. What can internal communicators do differently to ensure the organization’s investment is maximized?
- 3. How can Shruti revisit her approach to improving engagement using the site?
I invite you to reflect on Shruti’s dilemma and share perspectives to get our valued internal communicators on the same page with adopting social media internally. Post your comment here.