Internal Micro-blogging Strategies for HR Department
September 16, 2012 11 Comments
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you are interested in other blogging strategies, check out my team members’ contribution on: