July 9, 2012

HR Execs Key to Social Business Transformation

In an excellent post today called HR’s Critical Role In Social Business Transformation, Michael Brito talks about what should be more obvious: that HR, traditionally an under-powered seat on the executive management team, should be positioned as the obvious driver of the business value inherent in social platforms.

Brito asked a community of Innovative HR professionals how important HR was in the social business transformation process. He received several thoughtful responses, but the first and most direct came from Rob Garcia, VP of Product from UpMo:

Think about it: HR is, in essence, about people, relationships and employee/company goal alignment.  Social enables employees to build stronger relationships across the organization, collaborate more efficiently and stay engaged.  Perfect match, don’t you think?

In the article Christine McLeod, Founder of Impact99 HR Conference talks about “a new kind of workplace, where the organization isn’t just DOING more social, they ARE BEING more social- in the tools and processes they put in place they make it EASIER for people to access information, add value to each other, get to know each other beyond “what they do” to “who they are”.

And Elizabeth Lupfer, HR Manager at Verizon and founder of The Social Workplace added the following:

I’ve always believed the key to a social workplace is to bridge company needs with those of your employees, and HR is critical in understanding the needs of your employees so that social tools enable them to be productive, communicative, and engaged in their daily work life.

In an earlier post in this space on social platforms as keys to employee engagement (see Convo Drives Employee Engagement), the following logic was clear:

  • Social business platforms improve employee engagement
  • Employee engagement drives key performance metrics, such as retention, job satisfaction, productivity, commitment, and innovation

Organizations that look to HR as a strategic role that is accountable for these performance metrics are clearly then positioned to empower their HR personnel to take the lead on the initiatives – like social platforms – that can deliver that value.

As cited in the earlier post, HR execs get this. Fully 98% believe, according to one study, that social networking is an important tool for recruiting, retaining and managing employees.

Social business platform evaluation and selection is often driven by IT or some other operational department. Organizations interested in the transformative potential of moving to the open sharing communication model represented by the likes of Convo need to empower their HR execs to get engaged in the social business process.

Only then organizations will be able to achieve the ROI they want from enabling and engaging the workforce, the engine of innovation and productivity.

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