Employees join unions because they believe there is a lack of respectful communication between them and their employer. Sometimes there is a lack of community in the workplace, making it easy for an outside union to come in and represent employees. Unions are using social media to remain union-free and to build a community with their members and prospective targets; you need to as well.
This is where social media can be a powerful tool to help you remain union-free. The purpose of social media is to build communities and facilitate camaraderie. When done correctly, social media can enhance your employee communications, help you retain top talent, reduce costs, promote innovation and facilitate the sharing of institutional knowledge, all while improving internal communications and keeping your employees happy–two necessary elements for union avoidance.
Here are tips on using the two most powerful social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter.
A private Facebook group is a great way to use social media to improve employee communications. By making groups private, only individuals you invite to the group can see what you and your employees post. A private group is a great way to:
One concern is that some employees might be hesitant to share their Facebook profile with you because they do not want to blur the line between their personal and professional lives. You need to make it clear that the purpose of this program is not to gain access to the personal lives of employees, but to facilitate communication. Consider adopting a policy where information found on an employee’s Facebook wall will not be used in HR decisions.
Did you know that Twitter’s origins were actually rooted in internal corporate communication? Designed for fast, short updates, Twitter grew to be so much more than that. Now, Twitter is a public forum, and you cannot create a private area, but Twitter can still be an effective tool for employee communication, as it allows for private direct messaging between individuals. This function can allow you to quickly address internal issues privately. For this to work, you need to respond to all messages and issues, even if it is something you do not want to hear. If you only respond selectively, using Twitter in this way will be entirely ineffective and might actually hinder your mission to remain union-free.
Don’t fear using social media to create a sense of community among your employees and to remain union-free. Remember that some will participate, and some will not, and you must have other means of reaching those who don’t care for it. This can include video, websites, even dedicated eLearning programs, all of which can convey your union-free philosophy and the reasons for it.
Finally, remember the “social” part of social media – this is a two-way conversation between the company and it’s employees. In fact, it can turn into much more than that when employees start conversing with each other. Knowing that, you must maintain your social media presence with regular posts, respond in a timely way to comments and questions, and make sure those in charge of administration of these outlets are well versed in the policies and procedures you have in place. Make those policies known to all participants, and never let employees use abusive language or attack one another on any social platform.
Want to improve your social media presence for employee communications to remain union-free? The Union Proof team can help guide you on the best ways to get started! Want to see how we do it? Sign up for our Insider Network by clicking here. When you join, you can also take part in our private Facebook group and get cutting-edge tips on how to create your union proof workforce.
Twitter for HR. Seems like something we should have already conquered, but the truth is, knowing exactly which 280 characters will attract the best talent to our organizations is a tall order.
Today’s job seeker can afford to be highly selective. Those with exceptional skills are often looking for a new position while continuing in their current one. With risk low, job candidates can take the time to research any company they’re considering thoroughly – and yes, that includes following the Company on social media.
More than70% of employers now use social media as a research resource to find out more information about job candidates, and at least 62% of millennials visit company social media sites to look for job openings. Twitter, in particular, can be useful when disseminating information and generating awareness about open positions. However, at the same time, it can also be challenging to use Twitter for HR the right way.
These Twitter for HR tips will ensure you use social media in a way that helps build your brand and establish your Company as an employer of choice:
The most straightforward way you can use Twitter for HR is to tweet job openings. Create a unique hashtag (e.g., #companyhiring), then make sure you include it with all job openings. Use relevant global hashtags that will draw in job seekers who aren’t already familiar with your company. Include #JobListing, #JobOpening or hashtags about your geographic area or industry. Hashtags about your jobs will help attract people who are using Twitter to look for open positions.
#HireFriday is a popular Twitter feed that job seekers often follow. Tweet on Fridays with the hashtag #HireFriday to help your open positions get more exposure at the end of each week.
To truly have a reputation as an employer of choice, always maintain your company’s voice and tone. Include Tweets that reflect the company’s vision, mission, and values. (In fact, those make great tweets all by themselves!) Make sure that your Twitter account helps to solidify your brand image–not detract from it. When in doubt, reflect on the company’s stated values.
Actively avoid questionable activity on Twitter. Having a cautionary mindset means you should avoid engaging in anything political or religious (including following public figures, liking or retweeting polarizing posts, and posting anything controversial yourself). Keep Tweets strictly about your company to ensure you don’t alienate outstanding job candidates.
With the proliferation of technology today, HR professionals have a bounty of resources at their fingertips that can help them recruit and reach the best candidates for open positions. One of them is Twitter. By understanding how to use the platform and what pitfalls you can avoid, you can ensure that using Twitter for HR will help you do your job more effectively and efficiently and that you reach just the right audience.
With all of the online options available to job seekers today, human resources departments have to be strategic when posting available positions. Recruiters often think to look for candidates on employment sites, their own company websites and even local community job boards, and up to 70% of recruiters are now utilizing social media. So why should you use social media for recruiting? Social media offers three clear benefits that job posting websites do not.
Unlike many job posting sites, the cost for social media can be very minimal. Campaigns can be set up per impression or per click (also known as Pay-Per-Click advertising). Facebook and LinkedIn offer date-bound options so you can end the campaign at a particular day and time. Both platforms also allow advertisers to set a total budget the platforms algorithms distribute the campaign funds over the lifetime of the campaign. This works well if you have a small team that cannot monitor the campaign every day.
Social media also offers the benefit of creating specific, targeted audiences. Facebook and LinkedIn both allow advertisers to create custom audiences based on a wide variety of demographics, from identifying people near your chosen location to current job titles, education, and salary. This provides the opportunity for recruiters to zero in on the most qualified talent for the position. A word of caution here, though: the ultra-specific audience targeting available through these social media sites may limit the number and type of candidates you see. Remember to broaden your scope as needed to ensure you consider a well-rounded applicant pool.
The final reason social media should be used as part of every human resources recruitment strategy is the ability to easily track conversions and see measurable results. Knowing how well your advertising worked is important to help justify the dollars that are spent on recruitment efforts. On social media, you can view your campaign’s performance and evaluate how many people have seen your ad, interacted with your ad, and even clicked over to the job description or application page. There are a variety of parameters you can choose from for tracking conversions. Your definition of “conversion” can be set as a website click through, interacting with your ad, or even just as simply as how many people saw the ad. So, your conversion can be customized based on how your department wants to analyze results and define success.
Are your leaders utilizing social media as well? Social media can be a powerful internal tool, that improves engagement and brings outstanding candidates to your door. Make sure your leaders are trained in the soft skills and people skills that create an environment where employees thrive and unions aren’t necessary.
Remember too that your recruitment efforts can be influenced by your overall employer brand online. When you take the time to produce video about what it’s like to work for your company, post regularly about your positive employee relations, or dig in to your LinkedIn Company and LinkedIn Career pages, it speaks volumes about the pride people feel in working there. When you’re ready to launch your social media recruiting strategy, be sure to consider all the factors, including where your ideal client spends time on line, and which platforms appeal to the ideal candidate for your available positions.
Social media is no longer optional if you want to engage your employees and build your employer brand. Mobile devices are a primary source of information and communication for most Americans, and platforms like Facebook and Twitter are central to the mobile lifestyle. In short, if you aren’t on social media and you don’t have great social media video, your message isn’t being heard – and that inhibits your ability to attract top talent and retain your most highly-qualified workers.
While it is possible to connect with employees through text-based posts and long-form content, research shows that the most effective way to capture the attention of your audience is through images. When those images are delivered in the form of short, creative videos, you can count on a positive response. One study demonstrated that four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it – and that preference extends to receiving all sorts of information, including your employer branding messages.
Perhaps the most important reason to communicate through social media video is the retention factor. Your employees are 65 percent more likely to remember your content after three days when it is presented in a visual format versus a text-based format. That means more time to consider your message and share it with colleagues, extending your reach dramatically.
Consider the benefits of a strong social media presence. Creative, engaging employer branding encourages job-seekers to become applicants, and it keeps current staff members connected with the company. Employers have successfully leveraged social media video to communicate with current and prospective employees about benefits, company culture, and social responsibility. Some even use this forum to encourage strong connections between management and the workforce, effectively discouraging unions from their attempts to stir discontent.
While it is possible to use the same social media video content across multiple platforms, your social media campaigns should include slightly different strategies for each of the popular sites. Differentiate your content based on the culture promoted by individual channels. These are the basics for today’s top social media platforms:
Getting started on social media doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with Facebook, then expand to other popular platforms. For more information on connecting with your employees through innovative, engaging social media videos, visit Projections, Inc.
Introducing the new workforce: Gen Z (aka iGeneration)! By the year 2020, this youngest generation of workers, Gen Z employees, will account for 20 percent of the workforce. Born during or after 1995, the eldest are 23 years old and are already working side-by-side with four other generations: millennials (Gen Y), Gen X, baby boomers and the silent generation. The oldest millennials are 38 years old, so Gen Z has multigenerational leaders, challenging your organization to develop effective and productive communication systems, leadership skills, and training and development programs.
Every generation has different perspectives about employment and careers, so it’s time for you to dive into understanding Gen Z employees in order to maintain successful HR practices that engage the whole workforce.
Just when you’ve finally learned how to successfully engage millennials, along comes Gen Z. As the first digital-native generation, millennials have driven significant changes in the workplace, from workplace design to embracing social responsibility. Gen Z employees are entering the workforce as employees who are even more comfortable with technology, but their perspective on and experience with technology tools are much different from earlier generations.
A Deloitte study created an informative picture of these young people. Gen Z is skilled with technology. Unlike millennials, they grew up moving rapidly across a variety of technologies — smartphones, tablets and laptops — and social media programs – Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, etc. They are entering their careers at higher levels as most “typical” entry-level work is now automated.
Gen Z is very concerned about their ability to communicate and forge strong interpersonal relationships. This may be due to the fact that technology has negatively impacted their cognitive skill development, and they recognize that their social skills, like critical thinking and communication, are weak.
Gen Z absorbs information in small bites and is visually oriented. This has implications for your training and communication systems. Learning programs that deliver information in easily digested, intuitive modules are attractive to Gen Z employees. Adding soft skills development, such as problem-solving and leadership skills, to training and development can close technology-created gaps in communication skills. This begins with your onboarding program, which should initiate the education process for developing cognitive and communication skills — and continue through all your training programs.
You should use mixed training media that is visually stimulating, easy to access and use, flexible and available 24/7. Providing mobile access is critical to successful Gen Z training, and enables you to deliver continuous learning opportunities. Your managers will also need to hold in-person meetings to supplement the technology-based training and encourage Gen Zers to collaborate on designing work environments that enable people to work as teams, in person or through collaborative technologies.
Gen Z employees also value diversity and are attracted to employers who have similar values and will provide learning and experiential opportunities to work with people who have diverse backgrounds, origins and preferences. In this regard, they are quite similar to younger millennials. The Ernst & Young survey of Gen Z interns found that they prefer millennial managers over Gen X or Baby Boomer managers, likely because some of their perspectives intersect. Since it’s estimated that millennials and Gen Z employees will make up approximately 75 percent of the workforce by the year 2025, this will become a fact of life anyway.
Your leaders need skills that enable them to create a cohesive, collaborative workforce within the context of a culture that embraces diversity and innovation. Could anything seem more challenging from an HR perspective?
Managing and motivating a four- or even five-generation workforce that is growing younger and older at the same time requires leaders who can build respect and trust among them. With top-down support, it’s the front-line leaders who maintain a positive corporate culture and engage employees. You want to develop leaders who can identify and promote shared values across the generations, creating a bond. A good leader is accessible, helps each employee understand the importance of their role, holds people accountable, challenges employees to perform at their highest level and meets their unique needs. An effective leader understands generational differences and leverages that knowledge to engage employees.
For example, baby boomers prefer face-to-face communication and Gen Z needs to develop interpersonal communication skills. Millennials and Gen Z are deeply interested in working for organizations that are socially responsible. Millennials use social media to collaborate. Gen Z employees are natural collaborators and use social media to facilitate real world connections. Both baby boomers and Gen Z desire face-to-face meeting opportunities.
Do your leaders develop mixed-age collaborative teams? Are younger and older workers given opportunities to interact with knowledge sharing from both directions? Do your managers know how to leverage the differing generational motivations to engage all employees? Do your leaders understand the importance of personalized communication skills? Do they have inclusive skills that strengthen employee engagement among all employee generations? These are the kinds of questions you should be asking about your organization’s leadership skills now to develop positive employee relations in a multigenerational workforce.
Finding common ground to bring people together based on their preferences and needs in a productive manner promotes cohesiveness and creates a foundation for leading a multigenerational team. You can develop customized employee videos, web training and eLearning programs that deliver information in a desired format and leadership training programs that address connecting with and managing a multigenerational workforce.
A multigenerational workforce will be a fact of life for decades to come. Consider this: In 16 years, the oldest of Gen Alpha, the next generation, will be 21 years old and entering the workforce. Learning how to connect with a multigenerational workforce now will prepare your organization to engage all employees well into the future.