I am passionate about something. I have high expectations. Unmet expectations can drive people crazy. So before I go crazy hear me out! I believe the HR community should go crazy about social media. Not just about Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. Something even more exciting - internal social media. This should be the most exciting innovation that HR has seen at least since author Dave Ulrich suggested HR could leave the Personnel bunker and take their seat at the executive board room table.
HR. Social. Let me clarify something. This is not the same as saying HR people should be the “social” like social butterflies or social club convenors any more than if you are a people person you should go into HR. No fluffy duck HR.
It is quite simple. HR should be about achieving business results through people. Just like the engineer in charge of a capital asset is constantly looking for better ways to get return on the capital employed, a HR practitioner should be similarly obsessed with how people can get their work done.
So enter the internal social network. There are at least three things HR should excite HR people about Social HR:
1. The Focus is on People
HR has been through phases from personnel to process to posters (or what we call EVP’s). Social HR has a definite focus. People. Sure some of the risk averse HR body buriers who don’t actually like people, think any internal social network will be taken over by skallywags and recalcitrants. Possibly this is because they deal with the 5% of the workforce who are knobs, dimwits and tricksters. Feel free to insert your own word.
Social HR steals back the agenda and hands to to the employees who are creative, enthusiastic and innovative. The focus of a great company should be the PEOPLE who can inspire others, solve problems and achieve great things. If you want to increase the performance of your organisation this is a tremendous opportunity. Shift your focus back to your best asset. Motivated and committed people. Focus on these people.
2. The Pace is at Internet speed
In my opinion the best work HR has done for business has been around people engagement. Discretionary effort is real. Capture this capacity and the people factory can increase productivity and improve quality by 20-40%.
If you give HR this challenge do not expect much of a result for a couple of years. Serious. The baseline survey. The action groups and initiatives. The follow up survey. So slow. Painstaking. Not good enough.
In Social HR you start “doing” immediately. In most cases we know the answers to engagement. Communicate. Recognize. Capture ideas and act on them. Give purpose and direction to work. Social HR is about daily action. So it is fast and gives tools that master tradespeople can use quickly to impact employee engagement.
So get on with it. If the survey said communicate more then communicate. If you need to align vision and values do not just make posters. Align your people. Social HR does this. Easily. Quickly. Naturally.
3. The Power of a Network
Many HR initiatives are brilliant. One on one coaches and mentors can create wonderful leaders. Performance systems can guide. Leadership workshops inspire.
These systems are limited. These systems are difficult to scale. Now harness the content of these approaches with the power of an active internal social network and zippo! Your initiatives can go viral. Values that once were whiteboarded in a room of the select can spread across your company. Behaviors that increase performance can be replicated. You can breed high performance activities with Social HR.
Internal social networks are culture change accelerators. Messages do not have to be cascaded. So 1990’s. PowerPoint pitches. Like a old fashioned memo.
So let’s all get crazy for improved business results. Led by HR. Using the power of social.
If this excites you, share the message and let me know how you are going!