Top 5 HR Processes Ripe for the Social Enterprise
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Wednesday, November 6, 2013
It’s pretty clear by now that the way people work is changing with the rise of the social enterprise. Forrester predicts organizations will spend in excess of $5B on social tools by 2016 and HR is eager to tap into this workplace transformation by focusing on areas most conducive to social interactions.
In this session, Todd Horton will highlight the top 5 HR processes well suited for a social enterprise. Based on recent research and a study of what has worked (and what hasn’t) for early adopters, Todd will share how companies are making employee centered tasks more timely, data rich, and effective.
The session will begin with a framework HR can use when thinking of implementing social technology and include a discussion around
1. Converting traditional HR processes from infrequent tasks to on-going conversations.
2. Capturing and reporting on timely data to create a smarter workforce
3. Tapping into a spirit of “getting things done” with simple tools.
The session will offer examples of how HR leaders have implemented programs to capture the benefits of these new breed of tools. Areas covered will include recruiting, employee feedback, performance reviews, on-boarding, and knowledge management.
The session will close with metrics and model dashboards organizations are using to measure the impact of a social HR strategy.
Participants will leave with a better understanding of what it means to embrace social HR for their organizations.
Founder/CEO of KangoGift
Todd Horton is the Founder/CEO of KangoGift, which Entrepreneur Magazine called a Brilliant Idea for making employee recognition instant and effective. Todd is a big believer in the power of celebrating great work in a timely way and regularly speaks on workplace trends including the rise of the social enterprise and on global HR recognition practices. KangoGift's approach of making it easy to say thanks at work has led to partnerships with IBM and major corporations use KangoGift to foster an engaged workplace. KangoGift has won or been a finalist for many awards including Mass TLC's Best Mobile Innovation, MITX's Start-up of the Year, and was a YEi French Laureate. Todd has a B.A. degree from Boston College an MBA from Yale. His full bio is at www.linkedin.com/in/toddhorton
Webinar Transcript: Top 5 HR Processes Right for the Social Enterprise (06 Nov 13)
Good afternoon. I'm Gene Thompson, senior writer with Monster. I would like to thank you for joining us today for this exclusive webinar hosted by Monster Intelligence. Today's webinar is entitled Top Five HR Processes Right for the Social Enterprise. Todd Horton will be presenting this afternoon. In this webinar, Todd will highlight the top HR processes that allow employees to work socially. Monster Intelligence helps HR professionals improve worker performance, retain top talent, and enhance recruiting strategies. We analyze and collect data from over four million unique job searches performed on Monster each day. We invite you to visit hiring.monster.com and read our in-depth reports and analyses. For our latest materials, click on the center Resources tab when you visit the website.
I would like to provide some background on our speaker. Todd is the founder and CEO of KangoGift, a Massachusetts-based organization that Entrepreneur Magazine called "a brilliant idea for making employee recognition instant and effective." Todd is an advocate for the power of celebrating great work in a timely fashion. He regularly speaks on workplace trends, such as the rise of the social enterprise, as well as global HR recognition practices. KangoGift's approach to making it easy to say thanks at work has led to partnerships with various Fortune 500 companies. Organizations such as IBM use KangoGift to foster and engage in the workplace. KangoGift has been nominated for many awards, including Mac, TLCs, Best Mobile Innovation, MITX's Start-up of the Year, and YEI French Innovation Laureate. Todd has a BA degree from Boston College and an MBA from Yale University. Todd, I'll now turn the webinar over to you.
Great. Thank you, Jim. Thank you, Monster, and thank you everybody for joining today to talk about the top five HR processes right for the social enterprise. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. It is something that I think we, as HR professionals, can really start to think about as we figure out what is the best way to make our organizations more social and to make HR a bit better and friendlier for all of our employees. Our agenda today is pretty straightforward in that I want to cover a few areas. The first thing that I would like to do is come up with a framework for what does it really mean to be a social enterprise.
The word "social" is often overused, if you ask me, and I want to make sure that we have a common understanding of what it means to be a social enterprise. Then I will take about five to 10 minutes to share some of the most current research around employee sentiment. I'll share research on what employees are most looking for in their jobs, because I think what's most interesting is that what employees want and desire out of their work is changing rapidly. Social can provide a huge opportunity to optimize that for the work force. Then we'll spend the bulk of our time digging into the top five processes most right for a social enterprise. I'm going to cover a few key areas, but I'm going to spend particular attention on areas around performance management, employee feedback and coaching, training, and also knowledge management in the workforce.
Then we will finish by looking at some case studies and some common metrics for success in organizations. With that said, and with my background working with organizations for a long time to make HR more timely and social, I'm pretty excited to start us off. To kick everything off, I do want to start at the highest level and discuss something that I refer to as the instant work place. This is where employees expect that immediate access to ideas, people, and resources. Most of us would not disagree with the concept that the way we work is changing. The way we operate in the workplace is becoming not only more instant, but also there is a sense such that employees expect things to happen now. I believe the instant workplace provides nice opportunities for us to think about social.
Now one of the big opportunities around social is that the way employees treat their personal lives and the way employees use social media on their own time is starting to seep into the workplace. Common themes for my discussion today are going to be around how do we simplify our processes to make them more timely, and how do we design these HR process to be well suited for the way people work today. I want to highlight that these changes are happening, and organizations are starting to think about ways to make social a bit more consistent with the ways employees operate outside of the workplace. Now, to come up with a working idea of what it means to be a social enterprise, I will look at it this way.
To me, a social enterprise is one where employees have all of the resources necessary to collaborate and advance the mission of their organization. To me, what that means is our discussion today is not going to focus on technology and tools. Those are really just one important aspect of the equation. Today we're really focusing on the organizational mindset that we as HR leaders want to foster in our corporate cultures to enable employees to work socially. A lot of what we're going to be covering within the next 40 minutes or so is talking about this concept of the instant workplace and how we foster that mindset.
Now, if an organization is social, it clearly impacts all aspects of HR. Here I just want to highlight early on in our discussion that social really affects everything from the ways in which we attract top talents to the ways in which we represent our corporate brand as an employer of choice to the opportunities some employees have to be a voice of the organization and communicate externally through blogs or other resources to the ways in which employees are on-boarded into organizations.
Long gone are the days when our junior accountants, on their first day, received a folder from HR which then says, "Your manager will be by to take you out for lunch soon." The most innovative and progressive social organizations help employees get on-boarded really quickly through unique things such as video welcome messages from executives, introductions to their coworkers and team members, and being able to complete all of the standard HR processes that are essential when somebody is new to an organization. Social is also really impacting the way in which employees are engaging with their roles and also the ways the L and D, or Learning and Development, organizations are tapping into the wisdom of the workforce to train and develop future leaders.
Now, since we have a common understanding and an agreement for all of us that the workplace is getting more instant and people expect things to happen now, I'd like to start off with a fun little cartoon that says, "We do all of those whole tricks electronically now." For all of us on the line today, as HR people, we're not necessarily reinventing HR processes. We're just invited to think about how can we do this a bit smarter, do it in a bit more of a structured way, and do it in a more timely way. I introduce it that way because what the workplace values and what the workplace embraces is starting to change. There are four broad areas of the workplace where the workplace places high values, and I'm going to focus just on two of them here.
The first is this concept of a cultural IQ. When asked, employees really looked to understand the needs and the desires of the people around them, and HR is starting to take a leadership role in helping employees really understand not just the cultural IQ of the workplace environment, but also what it means to work at that organization. The reason is, a lot of employees these days are transitioning from a period in which they want a job that offers nice pay and stability to one that provides them the personal and social impact that helps employees advance their career in the way that they want. Now, if we understand what the people in the workplace value and place importance on, for us as HR practitioners, there are a few big trends we can touch on. The first is how we can convert traditional HR processes from infrequent tasks to ongoing conversations. A recurring theme in today's talk is really about how do we take these point in time hypotheses and adapt them so that they are well-suited for the way people work today, becoming more normal, bite-sized conversations among coworkers.
The undercurrent for all this talk around becoming a social enterprise, no matter if you're using social tools for learning and development, for recruitment, or for performance management and recognition, is that these tools provide a common way for HR to develop a smarter workforce. A lot of the data and insight that's generated from enabling employees to use common tools really helps executives and HR understand what is the pulp of our workforce.
I think the last big trend here is the spirit of getting things done. If everybody is in a hurry these days, and everybody wants things to completed instantly, it really is on HR practitioners to make sure our employees can get things done with simple tools. One of the things that I want to be mindful of, thinking about the future and thinking about how we can create a more social workforce, is just to highlight that in just a few years almost half of the US workforce is going to be the Millennial generation.
Now, our conversation today is not specific to generational differences or anything like that, but I do think it is important to understand that Millennials will make up a large percentage of our workforce in the future. Now building on the generational shift, we do know that when most employees say they're not fully engaged in their work, the causes are largely rooted in the fact that employees don't necessarily feel like they're receiving the development and communication from their managers and from leadership to help them excel in their roles.
A lot of the opportunities around social tools help employees really understand us and address the root cause of employee disengagement. The other big trend that we're noticing is the way in which we motivate our employees is evolving from a classic financial-based reward system to one where HR is challenged with creating jobs and career paths for our internal employees that really understand their motivations and desires. This new motivation can be challenging to carry out, but organizations that really understand an employee's wants and desires tend to outperform their peers.
Now, going back to this idea of using social to help address the root cause of employee disengagement, we can also refer back to some of the research that Mackenzie has been doing for a long time, highlighting how employees place a lot of value on the non-financial aspects of their career. This is related to timely recognition from an immediate manager, feedback to cultivate and develop their career, and also providing employees with opportunities to lead. These tend to have a bigger impact on the employee's engagement and commitment to the organization than some of the financial based awards.
Now, some of the interesting research that's coming out of groups like IBM and Connexa really focuses on helping organizations take the time to understand what employees want. Now to us as an HR audience, this is tricky to do, and I'm not saying it's easy. If we as HR professionals are able to understand what our employees want and value, as IBM demonstrated, organizations that do this successfully tend to outperform their peers in key areas such as customer satisfaction, competitiveness, and overall performance. I would think this notion of how we can make HR more timely, relevant to our employees, and tailored to the way they work today can increase engagement and then help them generate a bigger impact for the organization.
We all know as HR folks that many employees tend to leave because of a direct manager or the perceived challenges of working with a direct manager. IBM and Connexa have demonstrated that organizations that are able to foster a collaborative spirit between manager and subordinates tend to do well and increase the satisfaction of employee recognition. This is also correlated to the outcomes around the business and how the business operates.
This research covers a wide set of data points, but I think it's important for us to look at it as we start our conversation around the top processes most right for social enterprise, because social can help us address each of these areas. I think these are all areas that are really fascinating. The other last thing around some of the research is, as everything is changing and everybody is communicating in real time, there's a sense that employees just want truthful, honest dialogues. They are no longer looking for the corporate stake, and they're looking to kind of break through the clutter. I think this concept of giving employees what they want to communicate and do their job better and more efficiently really resonates with a lot of workers.
Before we turn our attention to the top five processes most right for social enterprise, I just want to remind you of some of the themes that have emerged so far. One is this concept of instant workplace, about which I think there's little dispute. There is also this trend toward cultivating and fostering jobs and career paths for employees that make them feel fulfilled. How do we as employers create environments that really help our employees understand what our organizational goals and values are? How can we align our workforce to those values?
I start off with by saying that I believe the first big opportunity, or HR process most right for social enterprise, is the annual performance review. I believe the opportunity lies in how can we as HR professionals transition performance reviews from a point in time activity to an ongoing conversation. The reason is, when ask, most employees will report back and say, "I do appreciate having that official annual record of my performance from my manager." Frankly speaking, though, it just doesn't always feel relevant. One year is almost too long in this age of an instant workplace, where employees are looking for more timely and impactful feedback about what they're doing. I think a good example here is with an IT company.
This IT company has 5,000 employees, and employees said very loudly in their annual employee engagement survey that the performance reviews were just not cutting it. So what this organization chose to do was to have an annual performance review, but to transition it. Once a week, they chose to motivate and reward managers to use a common platform to give targeted performance feedback about how people on their teams are doing. What that translates to is a resource where on a weekly basis managers can go in, capture the contributions of employees on their teams, and be able to provide targeted opportunities for development and goal tracking. At the same time, basically in real time, they can help employees understand how they're doing and where they fare in relation to their goals, helping them feel more connected.
Because they are using a common HR platform, they are able to get more line of sight and real time visibility into what the managers are communicating to the employees. For this IT organization, the biggest benefit that they saw was how they were able to train and develop their managers. For many of the junior managers, having a performance review process once a year meant a lot of training to help bring these managers up to speed. By having a system that was more timely and offered an ongoing conversation, HR was able to step in and coach managers to be better managers. This organization really enjoyed it, and the employees appreciate it, making the performance review more of an ongoing conversation.
The second big trend that I see when going out and talking to organizations about finding areas of opportunity around social HR is related to employee's feedback. Now, the way I think about it, employee feedback is a subset of the annual performance review. Many organizations and employees are asking for more timely coaching and feedback not just from their managers, but also from peers in their cross-functional groups. With organizations and HR, what we are starting to think about is how we can embrace and foster a culture where employees are more willing and able to give timely kind of quick-hit, bite-sized employee feedback. A good example here is a very natural progression of the way I've seen this type of program involved in the organization.
We're friendly with an insurance company that was looking to transition their annual 360-degree feedback survey from an annual process to one that is an ongoing conversation. What they wanted to do was specifically encourage cross-functional feedback from team members. Too many times, they had a situation where a younger marketing analyst was working on a big report, and then needed help from somebody in finance. When finance provided that help, the marketing person was able to do his or her job better and smarter, while looking great. There wasn't a formal opportunity to capture the values that financial analyst contributed to the marketing person, though. The insurance company was able to take the 360-degree feedback process and break it open in a good way. They provided incentives for employees at all levels of the organization to go in, give feedback on a regular basis, and then receive the proper coaching from their managers.
The reason is by having ongoing feedback from peers and cross-functional members, managers were able to have real time dashboards to track the type of feedback that their employees were receiving. Now, I will say that this concept of capturing more timely feedback does work well for large organizations with workforces placed in many offices. Even for smaller organizations, though, revisiting and thinking about how they can make employee feedback more of a natural process and designing for the way people work tends to be really impactful.
The third area that's most right for social enterprise is clearly near and dear to my heart. On a personal level, my mission is just to make it easy to say thank you at work. I believe fundamentally that we don't say thank you and celebrate the smaller successes enough in the workplace. This is something that I've started to hear from organizations that I go out and talk to, with special focus on employee recognition. There are two things I think we all understand in our guts. Recognition is most impactful when it's done in a timely way. If I stay late and come in on the weekend to finish a big project, I appreciate it more when my manager thanks me on Monday, rather than waiting for an annual performance review to thank me for that contribution.
More importantly from an HR perspective, if we can capture timely recognition and do it in a way that is standardized, then we can take all of that data and do a lot of great things. When thinking about making employee recognition more timely and impactful, organizations can look at ways in which they can take their workforce and make tools available to every employee at every level. All employees should be able to go to the colleagues that they want to recognize, reinforce their best work with a tangible reward, and then add a data point to that employee's recognition statement. This is very similar to the employee's feedback statement that I was talking about a few moments ago.
Now as an example, there's an IT company that we work with that was looking to optimize their recognition budget. The way they used their recognition budget was more of an offline game, like traditional pizza parties and events to foster the workplace culture. The employees reported, though, that they didn't feel like they had enough visibility of ongoing successes of their team members. This company was able to take their recognition from an ad hoc offline activity, and instead optimize their budget and put the money toward rewards that resonated with employees. More importantly, though, they were able to broadcast and amplify these employee successes, because one of the benefits of social is, increasing the visibility of all the contributions in the workforce.
The fourth opportunity for us as HR people to think about comes from opportunities in training and developing our workforce. I think about training in a few ways. I look at it as how we as HR professionals can make skills assessment and skill and resource planning more effective. Also, how can we tap into the wisdom of our workforce to make training more meaningful and effective for the workforce? As an example, some of the more progressive organizations and learning and development teams are really embracing video within the enterprise. A learning and development team may be limited on resources for creating content that then gets pushed out to the workforce.
When you do it in a social way, what you're able to do is put the content out there, let your employees go through it, digest it, process it, but then also allow them to add their own commentary and feedback to it. The nice thing about that is you allow your subject matter experts within your organization to be able to contribute and share their insights and their wisdom and help employees get trained more effectively in whatever area you're looking to focus on. I have a good case study that we'll talk about in a few moments around healthcare organizations that are doing this to help train healthcare workers.
The last area that's most ripe for social enterprise is something that I refer to as knowledge management. I would say if there's one area of today's talk that you're going to listen to, then pay attention to this. I invite you to pay attention for the next two minutes. The only reason is, this is an area where organizations and HR leaders tend to receive near immediate responses when they think about embracing social for this area. What do I mean when I talk about knowledge management? It is a new one, so bear with me. Fundamentally, as HR leaders, we are charged with fostering cultural collaboration and idea sharing, so employees can work more productively. In many organizations, large and small, though, information is still relegated to specific silos or even people that have been at the organization for a long time. Some progressive organizations are starting to take this institutional knowledge and trying to get it out there in the open, so that employees can accept it.
An example here includes companies that allow employees to maintain a presence on their internal network where they can share projects and files that are most commonly requested. An example here is a finance person who is bombarded on a weekly basis with emails from different people requesting certain files, best practices, or advice on the way to do something. Rather than have this finance person email all of these people every week, here he or she has a resource for posting this information. It really just helps make the workforce a bit more efficient and optimized in a good way. I think the French organization Athos is really taking the leadership position here, in that they are looking to ban, or outlaw if you will, emails in just few years. By encouraging employees to collaborate in new ways, they're really trying to reduce the friction and get people talking rather than emailing.
If those are the five areas that I believe are most ripe for a social HR opportunity, the theme that I want to touch on and make sure is clear for today, is that many of these tasks are being done from common tools and common platforms. These days, as HR people, we're unable to force our workforce to go into all of these different tools. Any time you've streamlined and designed tools for the way people work today, you'll often see the most success and benefit. Before we get into a few case studies and some of the metrics for success, I just want to make sure that everyone is clear that when we think about which area in your organization is best suited to social HR practice, there are some common concerns and some common opportunities that we all think about. Issues that I tend to hear are, "Well, we don't want to lose control. How do we really measure a social program?"
Frankly speaking, I don't know where to start, and so social does. It starts from a sometimes very ambiguous place, but once you get down to what areas are most right for your organization, you start to see benefits around timeliness, data insight into the workforce, visibility for top management, and really developing managers to be more effective. Now, let's take a few moments and dig into a few case studies of organizations that do this really well.
For this conversation, I'm actually going to start from the bottom up, because the learning and development example is really exciting. For some organizations, you may want to kind of experiment with on your own, going back to the question of how we can train our workers to be more effective in their roles. What this organization set out to do is essentially create an internal YouTube where the learning and development team can produce bite-sized video content modules that employees can go watch and then be tested on after they've completed a video series. At the same time, subject matter experts within the organization were able to contribute their own content and ideas to help make the training materials more rich. I'm being a little vague about what company it is, but I will say it is in the healthcare industry. What they were able to do was help train very specialized job roles to be better. If there's a new idea or a new procedure in the marketplace, they were able to leverage video internally as a way to make the skill-building process much more effective.
Another example is something that we haven't talked about yet, but it is related to employees' service awards. Frankly speaking, the service awards aren't necessarily something that gets me really excited. They tend to be something companies have in place, and they become something that organizations do. There is one financial company that I've heard of that is doing something pretty creative and innovative with their service awards. Their business problem was that the service awards tended to be more of an enforced necessity, and employees didn't really feel like the service awards were meaningful to them. Also, the service awards based on tenure were not delivered in a timely way.
If my employee anniversary was on the first of this month, I may not receive a service award for two or three months later. What they're doing now, in a very social way, is implementing a system that generates an index of who is eligible for a service award on the first of each month. They let those employees know that they are eligible and will be receiving their service awards. What their system also does is alert members of that person's team that, for instance, Bob is up for a five year service award. Those employees are invited to contribute some content and some feedback that helps celebrate Bob's five-year achievement. The benefit is that HR then gets more content and understanding of Bob's contributions over the last five years, Bob has a much more social and enjoyable experience around celebrating his five years in the office, and they do it in a way that's very visible to all other workers.
Everybody in the organization can see who is eligible for the service aware and hear what other people have said. They've transitioned the service award process from more of a mundane required process to one that is pretty lively and engaging. Looking at recognition, I think the opportunity that we saw with the global automotive company was finding ways to transition recognition from more of an offline behavior that wasn't driving the outcomes that they wanted to one that was inclusive of everybody in the workforce. When we talk about a social workforce, the benefit is you can typically make these processes available to employees at all levels of the organization. What they were able to do was quantitatively measure the impact of employee engagement and retention by creating a culture where employees were able to celebrate ongoing, everyday successes, increasing the visibility of those successes to everybody in the workforce.
They were able to do so in a way by optimizing their budget, and without disrupting the way in which employees work today. Recognition can provide a lot of benefits around employee engagement and retention. The last example focuses on knowledge management. Here we have an example, a case study with a global manufacturing company that was looking to reduce the time it takes to bring products to market. They wanted to do it in a very collaborative way. For them, the business goals were measured on wanting to reduce the time it takes to bring new products to market and wanting to increase employee productivity. By shifting to a more social way of collaborating, employees felt more informed about where they stood in the project. They were able to share project milestones in a more timely way. They were also able to bring new products to market more efficiently and outperform their peers. Those are just a few examples of some companies that have embraced social in a very effective way.
I'm happy to dig in more deeply in the Q&A. As an HR leader in your organization, we've covered a lot of ground today around social and some of the opportunities for social. Now we want to start to drill down to what can you do and what are some of the immediate next steps you can take. The first set of common questions you want to ask your organization is how you can create an environment that engages employees and enables them to advance their goals and the mission of the organization. Lastly, how can you measure the performance of these programs? With that, once you have your frontal in place and you understand what behaviors and outcomes you want to drive, you can then look at some of the metrics most suitable to your goals. I will admit it can be challenging at times to measure a social HR programs. Some organizations come from a place of thinking that since our competitors do it, so do we. Obviously that's not the way to approach the social enterprise.
The metrics I have here look at how you can potentially drive retention, satisfaction, engagement, and operational gains. These areas are really the ones that we all try to achieve, and you just want to make sure, when you're going through your benchmarking process, which ones you want to drive, because it will be a market basket. You can't do all of them. Some of the more progressive organizations are actually able to map their social business outcomes to profit employees, with time and cost savings, budget optimization, and really aligning the compensation to the individual employee.
I would just like to add, when thinking about the metrics for success, it's really important to focus on the aspect or the specific area of HR that you're looking to optimize. I do believe that when thinking about social HR, it is nice to start in a small, very targeted way. By doing so, you can then have a very targeted outcomes for your organization.
Another key aspect of transitioning and becoming a social enterprise is the opportunity to have dashboards. The dashboard as a concept is not new, and I would never suggest that it is. For our conversation today, what dashboards are able to do is really bring together all of these different data sources. For our conversation today, let's say you've optimized your performance, where you process your employee feedback, your recognition, and your service award into one system. You can then percolate up to the top real time dashboard around what employees are actually working on. How do the goals align with the programs that we have? Transition your dashboard program from showing transactions of what just happened to really providing your real business insight into what's going on. Again, in the Q&A, I am happy to talk more about the use of dashboard.
As we finish off today's conversation, I want to bring it back to what's really important here. For us, as HR leaders, I do believe we are trying to drive employee satisfaction, because if we have a satisfied and engaged workforce, those workers tend to offer us the discretionary effort that's required to differentiate our organization from our peers. It's been well documented that companies designed to be great places to work tend to outperform their peers. While it may be difficult to think about where to start with some of the things that I'm introducing today, when done right, they really show a dramatic improvement in your organization. When implementing various HR programs, one of the biggest points of failure I've seen comes when you don't necessarily have that full executive support. If there was one thing to listen to today, it was thinking about centralizing your institutional knowledge.
If there was one insight about implementation, you definitely need your executives on board, and then you need to articulate to the workforce why you're transitioning to a new process like this. The nice thing is that if you can get the executives aligned, you might be pleasantly surprised with the rate of adoption of social tools in your enterprise. What this tells me is that there's pent up demand from employees to do some of these more traditional HR processes in a more social, interactive way. I think when successfully implemented, it provides a really nice opportunity to show your leadership and your teams how you are able to take a process and make it more informative and more actionable, as well as to help create a better corporate culture.
As we part ways and transition to the Q&A, I just want to leave everybody with a very simple framework to invite you to think about what your social HR road map is. I would invite you to think that you may have a lot of these resources within your organization already, so taking that first step may not be as challenging as it may seem. I would first make sure you understand what your employee wants. If you recall, at the top of today's presentation, I talked about how you as an HR leader can really understand your employees' motivations and what they value the most. If you can understand that, you can understand what behaviors you want to derive from your workforce.
I then believe if you really assess what your cultural IQ is, you can understand what assets are already within your organization. Then you can undertake a specific process that's right for innovation and be able to open it up. As you do that and then benchmark your practices with other organizations, it starts to become clear which areas of HR you want to use to differentiate your organization and stand apart from your peers. It's only then that you start to think about the tools and resources necessary to make it happen. Sometimes it's a big process, and for many others it's not as hard as one would think. Then it's clearly launching and learning. While some of this is new for us and some of it is untested, I would say that social tools and a social enterprise have been around long enough now that we're starting to realize social is something that we want to do.
We don't just want to provide tools, though. We want to make sure these tools are designed to capture the right data and insights in an HR approved way. I think this is our opportunity as HR leaders to step in and say, "We want to go social, but we want to do it in a way that has an HR structure stamp of approval so that all of our managers feel engaged." That is my introduction to what I think are the top five processes most right for social enterprise. I look forward to the Q&A and also encourage anybody and everybody to reach out anytime with questions or comments. Monster will make the presentation available as well. Thank you, everybody, and take care.
I'd like to thank Todd for sharing his insight and knowledge with us today, and I will start with the questions on our side, Todd. This is from Jacqueline. Do you have any specific recommendations regarding tools or software programs to initiate the things you spoke about today?
Sure. Potentially this may be a question that may be best answered kind of in a follow-up with an email. Are we looking for tools for benchmarking the organization or actually implementing some of these programs?
I didn't get any specifics on that. If you are going to be follow up with some written information, I think if you could touch on both of those that would be fantastic.
Yeah, so if it's okay, Jacqueline, what I'd like to do is follow up and share some resources that could potentially help with the benchmarking process, understanding these employees' wants and desires, and then go ahead and actually share some of the tools that may tackle somebody's specific HR tasks that we covered today.
That sounds superb. All right, I'm going to jump in and just ask one more from our side. If you would, Todd, could you revisit any issues or dangers around using social media this way and are there common ways to avoid any troubles or any pitfalls before you get started?
Sure. As I mentioned, there generally is a bit of hesitation to make some of these social tools open and available to the workplace. For our conversation today, we are referring to internal social media tools. We're not necessarily allowing employees to share information externally. So as I was finishing up, I think it's very important for HR to really have a seat at the table, and not let IT drive some of these decisions. I say that because some of the fears are around loss of control, or that we don't know what employees will say. If HR has a stake, ultimately some of the tools and technology you use can have the business roles in place to provide any necessary filtering, auditing, or any review. You'll have the ability to review content before it may get posted or shared in an open forum. I will say though that there is always hesitation and fear of losing control. What will employees actually say and do? I would say that fear tends not to be realized. One's employees understand that these tools are broadcast to every other employee in the organization. That creates a natural disincentive to do anything the awry or go outside of the protocol, because it will be publicized. Employees do tend to behave well in this system.
Excellent. Thanks very much for that. Could you give us another example, Todd, of an organization that had quite of bit of success with the processes you've described today? It's always good put face or the name if you will.
Sure. I think few organizations are doing this really well and organizations we don't work with that are just publicly out there as leaders in their industry. I think Cummins has done a great job using internal social tools to bring together their global workforce, specifically around collaboration and information sharing. Given their industry and geographic footprint, once they were able to take that institutional knowledge and open it up to all these employees, regardless of location, they were then able to understand what employees were working on and really increase visibility of the status of current projects and increase the engagement among employees.
Other organizations stateside that tend to do social very well? A common example is Zappos, which is held in high regard, along with Google for some of their internal social HR programs. They have programs in place that allow, not just the ability to reward good behavior in an ongoing way, but Google has also done a great job internally fostering that performance review culture and employee feedback culture. They do it in ways so that the Googlers, if that's what they are called, really understand where they share their roles and really understand, from their managers, how they are doing compared to their goal.
A lot of the challenge with some of these social tools is that one needs to keep them very simple, because people don't necessarily have the patience and energy to go in and create a ton of benchmarks that employees will be measured against. What they want to do is do it in ways that are well suited to the way they work. If it means natural language processing to just enter a quick hit message that they could share with a coworker, then some of these tools can help mine that data and really understand what employees are working on.
Great. Thanks very much. You've covered a lot of tactics here today, Todd. Is there any differentiation between the tactic you'd use when in a small company versus a larger organization or enterprise shop? You can comment on that.
It's a good question. I've seen this happen in organizations of all sizes. The first thing that I would always suggest is to make sure you narrow down which is the specific area of HR that you think is really short, something that a little bit more social would help. I would never advocate for a small organization to say "We're going to go social and do everything at once." To answer your question directly, I think big and small companies simply need to understand what their employees want. What is the HR process that employees most want kind of optimize and change? Then they should just start in it small, targeted way. The only difference tends to be in how employers actually implement these types of programs. A smaller organization that may want to optimize talent attraction or their employer brand may choose a tool that only focuses on that. Large organizations, however, may choose tools that have a lot of these processes baked in, but they only implement one at a time and they see how they go. That would be the real differentiator, if you will, of how large and small businesses go about implementing these things.
Excellent. Thanks very much. Okay, well, we've got time for another question here on our end. This will be the last one for you Todd. For folks who are very interested in starting the ball rolling at their organizations, could you just recap? What would be the first steps to kind of pitch this again to senior leaders in their organizations? What are the initial steps to take to get this rolling?
I think the initial pitch to top management and executives is really looking at the metrics that you want to drive. If they're rooted in the qualitative ones around employee engagement and satisfaction, or more rooted in those financial measures around increasing productivity gains, profit per employee, and budget optimization. Once you understand what your employees place their most value on and you understand which HR process you want to go tackle, I think the conversation with the executives tends to be more successful when you can demonstrate the ROI around these are the metrics that we are going to be able to drive. That's where the executive support tends to come in.
Then also frankly speaking, there is just the sense of "we need to be thinking about this because it is happening." The way the tools that employees use to get their jobs done are changing, and if we as an organization don't provide those tools to the employees, they are going to choose what they want to use. Use things like employee feedback, celebrate great work, or give a quick hit performance appraisal. It's really incumbent on HR to take the lead and provide these structural tools to executives. I will say most executives understand that.
They understand that as long as the program is being rolled out to measure and quantify a specific aspect, if it's profit per employee or engagement score, that tends to really win them over. Of the organizations that I've seen implement the most successful social HR programs, they've seen gains in a variety of areas, not just in the corporate culture and feeling like they're providing innovative and thought leadership tools to their workforces. Also you're just really celebrating that we're an employer of choice because we think about work in a new way, and that's what employees value the most.
Excellent. Thanks again. We are running out of time, so I'd like at this point to thank Todd again for sharing his expertise today. This concludes our webinar. Recording of this event as well as presentation materials will be available shortly on our hiring website. That's hiring.monster.com. Visit the Resource Center tab for this information, and thanks again for joining us. Please join us again soon for more in-depth webinars, and have a great day.