Three steps to Social HR

The leftover dogma from the industrial revolution has to be removed from company culture in order to avoid an arduous path. The workforce is moving away from the repetitive motions of factory work. Norms developed to push people to their limit must be shed.

The modern workplace is all about sharing knowledge, social employee recognition, staff engagement, and interconnectedness. Embrace the ever-increasing hyper-connected social society in your workplace, and reap the rewards of an engaged innovative environment.

1. Use social enterprise software to interconnect and brainstorm with your staff

Communicate with your staff through Yammer, an internal enterprise social network. Yammer is a lot like Facebook’s wall, allowing communication with your entire staff. If one person has a problem in your company, they can ask on Yammer allowing anyone to answer.

Then, introduce social employee recognition. Many companies already have an employee recognition system in place, but most homegrown solutions are isolated. Our application, Recognize, provides a needed social element to employee recognition. When employees are recognized publicly, they’ll be more profitable. Regularly recognized employees are more dedicated to the organization as well as feel better about themselves.

Move away from your isolated intranet. Aragon Research predicts by the end of 2014, social intranets will replace conventional, information-driven intranets. Ones that connect with third party applications and allow real-time collaboration, allow for new ways companies can get the most from their staff.

Much like Yammer and Salesforce, choose tools that allow seamless integration with your technology workflow. In Recognize, we are working to completely integrate with Yammer, Google, and eventually Salesforce. Being integrated is key to surviving the modern enterprise technology landscape. One way to find apps that are connected is by looking in Yammer’s App Directory. The Business Tools section on Google Web Store is another way to find web apps.

2. Give more responsibility to your staff

Let your employees choose their job title. I love this idea ever since I heard it being practiced at Amazon. I even mentioned it in a previous post. It gives more ownership to the employees and suggests the employer trusts them. It may be a small gesture, but many small gestures add up. When employees feel they have more ownership, they’re more engaged.

Eliminate the 30 minute daily break. We are using our minds more than our bodies, and we need proper mental breaks. Strict rules like two 15-minute breaks implicitly assume the employer doesn’t fully trust their employees. Let your employees decide when they are ready for a break. Thus, your staff will more alert and able to handle challenging tasks.

Create an environment where everyone’s opinion counts. That’s why Yammer and social collaboration tools work so well. People can articulate and share their ideas on an equal playing field. We need to start applying this idea more in the real world. Build a “living wall” where employees physically write on a wall in your office. This act is empowering for employees. It is visible to everyone in the office, and allows everyone an equal opinion.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a recent trend in business. Not only do businesses save money when they allow their employees to bring their own monitor or device, it gives your staff more ownership over their lives at work.

3. Encourage more physical activity

When people do tasks together, they feel more connected. Introduce activities where the staff can collaborate in games, outdoor activity, or exercise.

Open an exercise room in your office. A room with a couple of ellipticals and a ping pong table will go a long way. Host daily exercise or yoga classes at the office. When people have exercised they are more relaxed and think more clearly.

Throw monthly parties celebrating employee achievements. Using employee recognition tools like Recognize can help with this. No matter what employee recognition platform your company uses, celebrating your staff with beverages and awards each month helps company culture and office positivity.

Throw bimonthly parties with TED-like talks from staff, and celebrate company projects.

Open up and embrace social

Using enterprise social web applications, providing more ownership to your employees, and fostering an environment of activity will lead to a better workplace for you and your staff. You’ll see more innovation and collaboration.

How is your company providing a social environment in your office? What are your concerns with an open culture?

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