Internal Micro-blogging Strategies for HR Department

If you have been following the news over the past few weeks, you would have seen the controversy around major job cuts across the public services sector.  It is undoubtedly a very difficult time for those affected by the announcements.  Not only were they presented with emotional distress and financial insecurity, they also face the challenge of competing with thousands of others looking for a new job.

The reason I reference this situation is that in this blog post I will be looking into an internal micro-blogging strategy for a Human Resources Department.  I am drawing on the fact that with massive job cuts, there will be an influx of new job seekers out there in the market.  Soon, if not already, HR departments are likely to be overwhelmed with either processing the number of new applicants or the number of redundancies.

Image courtesy of jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

First of all, let’s look at the role of a Human Resources Department.  According to Amit Bhagria, “The Department is responsible for hiring members of staff; this will involve attracting employees, keeping them in their positions and ensuring that they perform to expectation.  There may be additional roles for an industry specific HR department, but the general function should be more or less the same.

Image courtesy of smarnad / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In my previous posts I wrote about the Benefits and Risks of Implementing Enterprise 2.0 and ROI on Enterprise 2.0.  Once management has come on board with Implementing Enterprise 2.0, the next step is to discuss strategy.

Micro-blogging is a combination of blogging and instant messaging that allows users to create a short message that is posted on their profile.  The texts are capped at 140 characters to allow a short and simple message broadcast.

Strategy #1: Run a pilot

Identify a small group to try out the new approach as a pilot.  It is best to include a mix of participants with varying views on the new micro-blogging platform.  This enables us to capture useful feedback and alter the approach if necessary.

My suggestion is to run the pilot with the staff training and development group.  Micro-blogging can be used for communication on training opportunities, requests and feedback.  Attendees can also communicate with each other using a #training_hastag.

There are free micro-blogging tools out that can be used without requiring additional cost to the budget, apart from staff time.  The more popular ones are Yammer, SocialCast and SocialText.   All offer a free version that can be used as a trial before any financial commitment is made to the organisation’s budget.

Strategy #2:  Integrate with communication plan

The new micro-blogging tool should be integrated into the communication plan in order to drive participation.  It is unlikely that staff will take the time to learn and use the new tool if it is not required for their work.

There are a few ways this can be applied to the HR department context.

a)      Communication of new positions available to staff

b)      Communication of staff development opportunities to staff

c)       Communication of corporate activities

d)       Communication of regular information such as organisation or team newsletter

Being a recipient of high volume of emails daily, I would  like to see the transition of emails such as notifications, updates and newsletters into the blogging or micro-blogging platform.  That would certainly save a lot of time going through and deleting these type of emails.

The diagram below shows how micro-blogging can be used to fill the gaps between instant messaging (IM) and emails.

Source: http://www.socialtext.com/offers/images/Microblogging_whitepaper.pdf

Strategy #3:  Share success stories

Positive feedback on micro-blogging should be circulated to the rest of the organisation to help others see the benefits.  Staff can learn from each other on how to use micro-blogging tool to increase personal productivity and team efficiency.  As a reference point, SocialText provides a list of user Case Studies.

In the HR department context, we could share stories of an internal staff member who successfully recruited a new position that was advertised through the micro-blogging platform.  Another success story can be the amount of time saved by transitioning communication (e.g.: notifications, updates) into micro-blogging platform.

Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you are interested in other blogging strategies, check out my team members’ contribution on:

a)      Internal Blogging Strategy

b)      External Blogging Strategy

c)       External Micro-blogging Strategy

References:

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/full-list-of-queensland-public-service-redundancies/story-e6freon6-1226471881372

http://www.younghrmanager.com/roles-and-functions-of-the-human-resource-department

http://www.geeks.com/techtips/2009/what-is-microblogging.htm

http://gigaom.com/collaboration/implementing-a-successful-corporate-microblogging-strategy/

http://www.socialtext.com/offers/images/Microblogging_whitepaper.pdf

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About Karen E
An Enterprise 2.0 enthusiast with a passion for food. Besides reading interesting articles on Enterprise 2.0, I love to bake and try out new eateries in town. Follow me on Twitter.

11 Responses to Internal Micro-blogging Strategies for HR Department

  1. I like the idea of piloting with a training area in HR so they could communicate training opportunities etc. It’d be great if they also used microblogging to encourage further learning outcomes, maybe as a continuing dicussions against the course hashtage for any participants keen to further their understanding.

  2. Pingback: Blogging strategy for an HR department | Amanda Belton

  3. Hi Karen.
    Indeed tThe initial benefit from microblogging will be reduction of email’s traffic as you said. Another convenient point of microblogging is that we can summarize an article in 2-3 phrases and still add to link to the full article, so if the readers want to explore the subject they have that choice.

    As per HR department they can tweet a new role available for example, and provide the link to submissions and more details. That’s one convenient alternative for blogging.

  4. Fredrik says:

    Hi Karen! Micro-blogging is a great informal way of internal communication. By micro-blogging internally the employees can easily follow each other and see what fellow employees are doing right now. Such updates speak directly to you and can encourage a conversation as well. IBM collaboration suit offers micro-blogging and could be a potential platform for an organisation. Take a look at this video that gives an overview of the current features: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rw6GedZLpfI

  5. Pingback: 5 Key Microblogging Strategies for Finance Corporation « LET'S Enterprise 2.0

  6. EDIE CHENG says:

    Heya Karen :-)

    I have been thinking about the different nature of numerous social media platforms and found the figure you provided is very interesting. I highly agree with the point you outlined: Microblogging can fit in the gap between traditional email and instant messanger since we don’t use to treat email as an real-time communication tool (even it can be) like IM, while IM is somehow taken place between 2 persons or more, and Microblog combines different features from both email (but more synchronous) and IM (but we don’t need to reply immediately).

    No wonder it is suitable for distributing concise information and enjoys the instant feedback at the same time :-)

    Thanks for sharing :-)

  7. arifiabdul says:

    Hi Karen

    It is great that you mention the importance of success stories. Organizations are still sceptical about the use of Social Networks and one of the most important tools to convince other is ‘success stories’.
    One more thing might be worth mentioning is incorporate micro-blogging strategy in HR strategy so it will be easier to locate whatever resources it might need.

    Cheers
    Abdul
    http://arifiabdul.wordpress.com/

  8. Hi Karen,

    Great post. Your strategies that you have developed show that you have a really good understanding of the topic. They all make perfect sense and if properly actioned, would certainly improve the chances of microblogging being implemented for the purposes you suggested. I like strategy #2 to incorporate microblogging into the day-to-day activities of the staff to ensure it’s usage.

    Microblogging would certainly improve the efficiency of staff in the workplace for a number of reasons:
    1. You’re not typing long-winded emails
    2. You’re not reading long-winded emails
    3. And like you said above, you don’t spend half your day deleting pointless emails you wish you’d never received in the first place.

    And I love the idea of sharing success stories. So many people seem to forget to pass on things that are working well, they only seem to want to complain about things that aren’t.

    Keep up the good work.

  9. Hi Karen,

    Very informative post you have here. I like how you want to see micro blogging replace the hordes of emails employees receive everyday. What are your thoughts on the same kind of issues being replicated on micro blogging. Ie where employees spend a large amount of time checking these tools to ensure they have read all the updates.

    Make sure to check out and leave a comment on my post from this week where I looked at using microblogging for success http://www.blakethornton.id.au/american-airlines-using-microblogging-for-success/

    Always enjoy your posts,
    Blake

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