Nick Matthews: Can social media be used effectively for employee benefits?

The workforce is evolving, expecting more and more from employers, and increasingly working outside of a traditional office environment.

Social media tools such as Yammer can increase the visibility and participation in HR programmes and benefits initiatives. At the heart of this is allowing all staff to fully engage in dialogue and understand what is in it for them. By doing this in a organisation-wide forum, employers can increase take-up across a range of employee schemes.

Social platforms create an open, transparent place for employees to provide feedback on benefits programmes themselves. Hearing this direct feedback from staff is invaluable because it speeds up improvement cycles and ensures initiatives are really adding value to employees. Social platforms allow official policy to sit alongside community discussion.

Social media is also changing how recognition programmes are implemented. The impact of having a senior leader praise an employee or team should not be underestimated. Having a mix of formalised recognition options alongside these personal touches is a powerful mix.

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HR departments can also use social media within their own teams to ensure the successful planning and delivery of programmes. Teams are now using social collaboration platforms to brainstorm ideas, plan campaigns and engage openly with stakeholders to gather feedback before they are broadcast to the wider business. Enabling employee-to-employee communication can create a sense of corporate belonging.

Nick Matthews is principal, customer engagement for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Yammer