10 ways for companies to be "cool" with social tools

Recently I had the chance to share some insights with local HR practitioners in Whistler about dipping their toes in the waters of social and technology tools to increase the level of engagement in their organizations.

The most important thing to remember before you read this list though is this.

If your organizational culture CURRENTLY does not reflect a respect for creativity, innovation, collaboration, feedback and the importance of “connection to team and fellow colleagues” then social TOOLS aren’t going to change that.

However, if you already believe that 3 heads are better than one, and that brilliance exists in your various departments, often at the frontline level, then social tools can help you in leaps and bounds get some traction by having REAL and REAL TIME conversations.

So here is my list of 10 ways to can dip your toes in social waters online; Pick one, try one… it’s the best place to start. The key is that you DO start.

1.Start CEO scheduled chat sessions (ie. msn chat) with employees live and “raw” 60-90 minutes every month- those who want to sign in can, voluntary!

  • No “scripting”, OK not to have the answer
  • Huge engagement/relationship builder
  • Can be an eye opener for the CEO
  • Ideas that come forward and are  implemented get $50 reward (just an idea)

2. Senior leader blog/ or company blog

  • Let the personal shine through- people will connect with you more and be more loyal when they see the “person” behind the role
  • Have fun with it (how about a battle of the bloggers internally between two senior leaders?)
  • Create an internal contest for an employee blogger who can interview senior leaders and no holds barred ask them questions
  • Link to your company intranet- encourage questions, comments and passing along of the posts

3. Create a Facebook fan page for your employer brand

  • Leverage current employees, past employees and you will reach future employees
  • ADD VALUE, don’t just sell. Talk about the stuff that goes on in your employee culture day to day- when you have an open position post it, but don’t take up valuable wall space SELLING the merits of your company. People will connect with the stories and your content and will decide for themselves if you are their next employer choice.
  • Encourage conversations between employees past, current and future on your wall
  • Create custom tabs ie. Work for us, Youtube and create a branded look for the culture you already have
  • Embed widgets in your Facebook page like email capture, application forms, anything you want!
  • Create contests to generate traffic- work on referral program to get current “fans” to suggest the page to friends!
  • Think of this: If you have 500 fans and 30 people click like or comment on ONE status update and THEY each have 500 friends… 15,000 people just saw that post you made- how’s THAT for a recruiting platform?
  • This is about BRAND EQUITY not selling- creating community and loyalty

4. Twitter and Facebook for Recruiting

  • Not just to check applicants but to draw in the applicants you want
  • Make it personal: Same applies in real life: What do you NOTICE

5. Use wikis for everything- and trust the wisdom of the crowd

6. Use Foursquare or any location based social media to have employees “check in” and get prizes for department Orientation, for Training or to encourage networking and team building: Offer prizes and incentives!

7. YOU TUBE Channel: Create STORIES to generate content- upload mini videos/submissions by your employees, bring your culture alive: contest for “Video blogger!”

8. Collaborate in the clouds: google docs, 37signals products (ie. Basecamp), Box.net oh. And add CHAT and SKYPE to your roster of tools allowed. Saves tons of time on meetings

9. Social Intranet: Think Facebook but internally for your company- only your employees can acecss it. http://var/www/vhosts/christinemcleod.ca/everydayleader.ca.thoughtfarmer.com

10. Second life for training, coaching, innovation, meetings

I know it seems overwhelming, but the first step is just start reading more about it. To save you time, I wanted to share a few resources with you that might get some questions formulating in your mind, some good discussion going at the senior leadership table… and potentially some small but easy to implement steps in the direction of more open communication using social tools !

Let me know what you think and feel free to add your own tips and links in the comment section!

Some resources I dug up and want to share with you

1. Blog post about social media in the workplace

2. Article in Fast company about Second Life

3. An example of a culture/recruiting Facebook Page- Hyatt Hotels

4. Best Buy video highlighting social media as a strategy internally for communication

5. Simple explanations on Commoncraft to explain complex things like social media, twitter, blogs etc… (good for presentations)

6. Connect Tweet- help your staff organize relevant tweets

7. Article on Location based apps for HR

8. You tube video – Second Life

1 Comment

  1. maxi cosi on October 25, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I usually don’t post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful …