Thinking about Social Employee Relationship Management

Many business leaders and HR professionals I meet and talk to take stances that are either on the lines of “Oh Orkut and Facebook is such a drain on my company resources and time ! I need to ban such stuff – or at least regulate it – so that we can do our jobs better”

Or (and this is a smaller number) some CEOs, COOs, HR professionals and many Marketing professionals – the ones who are more open-minded, say – “Hold on, here are some things that are changing at a fundamental level in the way we engage with the external world, and our employees are out there on Facebook, Linkedin, Orkut, Twitter – talking about their jobs, our products, answering questions from their friends and strangers. If we can’t ban this, how can we channelise it?”

Welcome to Social ERM

Yeah, I just coined the phrase Social ERM – and I take this off from the concept of Social CRM that Gaurav blogged about.

So what would Social Employee Relationship Management do?

  1. Listening – Monitoring of the social web to keep track of what your employees are saying on various platforms about their work/ industry/market/ customers/ organizations/ other employees. 
  2. Profiling – This step would involve trying to classify your employees in the following ways – 
    1. What kind of postings are they carrying out? 
    2. Do they respond to user queries? 
    3. Do they post about new stuff that is happening in the industry/ market ? 
    4. What is the influence they have built? 
    5. Who is their audience?
  3. Sharing and Connecting – This would look at building an online community within the firewall amongst the people you have profiled so that they can share and curate the content each of them create on different site
  4. Collaboration – The next step would be for these online innovators to create content jointly or ideate on what they can work together – or to reach out to each other when faced with a external query not in their area of expertise.
  5. Converting and Supporting – When one does steps 1 and 2 – one would also discover disgruntled employees – This step looks at how HR and Operations can respond to the source of that negativity so that the at least become neutral if not positive. However, I foresee companies still not being open enough to do this, but one does hope!
  6. Energising and Retaining – Clearly employees who engage in social media in the work arena are excited by other rewards and recognitions than employees who are not vocal about their work. HR and Operations needs to think new ways to energise and retain these employees – and giving them augmented roles with social media responsibilities

So CEOs, COOs, HR professionals – are you ready for Social Employee Relationship Management?

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