Authorising the use of social networks in-company would seem to increase job satisfaction and motivation among staff. However, if such networks are really to help rally the workforce, the company needs to take a consistent approach based on a definite overall strategy.
Fostering the use of social networks in-company is likely to be a substantial factor for employee motivation and commitment, suggests GoingSocial, a recently-published study carried out among over 3,800 managers and company employees worldwide by consultants KPMG. According to the report, only 41% of staff working in a company which blocks access to social networks feel contented at work, as opposed to 63% of individuals working in companies where open policies are in operation. Apparently there are also benefits for the company itself. Some 80% of those that permit access see advantages in doing so. The most frequently cited benefits are easier knowledge-sharing (88.8%), greater job satisfaction (86.9%), cultivating better relationships (84.8%), productivity gains (81.9%) and enhancement of the company’s public profile (79.3%). In fact, the report points out, allowing your employees to use these communication tools is also a good way of turning them into your brand advocates.
Companies need to get closely involved in social network use
Obviously companies will need to ensure their staff are familiar with these tools. KPMG thus reports that 57% of those individuals polled who had received specific training stated that they would be prepared to convey positive messages about their companies. “Giving access to these tools can in fact motivate the employee at work,” stresses AnthonyPoncier, Consulting Director in Management and Enterprise 2.0 atLecko, and author of Les réseaux sociaux d’entreprise*. However, he points out, such company benefits stem “first and foremost from internal company networks that have a real impact on relationships between people in the organisation, the interpersonal links – that’s what really strengthens their commitment.” As far as company use of social networks is concerned, the KPMG study reveals that 70% of the companies polled are now active on social media, those based in emerging markets being the most avid users.
Companies in emerging markets are keenest
Companies surveyed in China, India and Brazil are – on average – 20 to 30 percentage points more likely to use social media than their counterparts in the ‘mature’ markets of for example UK, Australia, Germany or Canada. In part, this may be attributable to the emerging markets’ lower dependence on ‘legacy systems’, plus the rapidly declining cost of internet access and devices in the developing world. Some companies favour messaging services on social platforms for their internal communication rather than using traditional services. The adoption gap isn’t only to do with the technology, however. According to Anthony Poncier, the wariness that is quite common in France, for example, is largely due to the “Catholic culture we are still steeped in, with its strong sense of hierarchy” which can lead to self-censorship among staff, who tend to think that some other people have more right to speak up.