Web 2.0 As a Recruiting/Retention ToolBy Elizabeth Millard | Posted 2008-10-16 Print
Finding real productivity with social networking activities like microblogging is a challenge, and likely to get even more difficult, as new technology enters the marketplace. But there are a few enterprise strategies for making the most of the collaborative social tools.
Use Microblogging as a Recruiting and Retention Tool
"Social networks have proved the ability to reduce employee churn rates, particularly among highly distributed workers," says Holbrook.
Improved collaboration from tools like wikis have already demonstrated a shorter time to market for products, he adds, through faster development and quicker customer feedback cycles.
That type of speedy pace is appealing to users of microblogging and other social networking technologies, since they tend to appreciate fast-track projects. Also, collaboration can keep some employees from feeling isolated if they're at branch offices or doing telework, notes Gartner analyst Scott Morrison.
"The trouble with people that telework at home is that they don't get the decompression of the water cooler chat," he says. "People that might be extremely productive and creative in the office may find themselves at sea when they work from home."
Encouraging employees to stay digitally connected through a microblogging tool can be useful for replicating that "what are you working on?" conversation that tends to permeate an office environment.
Create a Community Manager
For extensive implementations, where every employee is microblogging, companies may want to create a position that handles the information flow, notes Catherine Brown, director of business social networking at Dotster.
Although a community manager is best suited for handling customer-facing applications and making sure that feedback is routed properly, the manager can also watch over internal blogs, chatter, and directory updates to ensure that social networking tools are being used to their full potential.
"A community manager can be useful for an intranet," says Brown. "They're best with a customer-facing network, which boosts innovation from using customer suggestions more effectively, but they can apply those same skills to an internal effort."
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