As employees become increasingly tech-savvy and begin to use a growing number of online applications and services to communicate on their own time, many workers are becoming more interested in integrating these tools into their organizations’ unified communications strategies.
According to a recently-released report by Source for Consulting, a majority of employees in the U.K. support integrating social media with back-office solutions in order to improve their work environments. The study, conducted in partnership with Advanced Business Solutions, surveyed finance, IT and HR staff from 160 mid-market firms in the U.K. Nearly 80 percent of employees from those organizations believe social media adoption will improve productivity, increase collaboration between employees and enhance supplier engagement.
The study found that 86 percent of organizations used social media for external purposes like marketing and client feedback, but only 17 percent used the technology for internal communication. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed felt their companies should be more concerned with internal collaboration.
“Although social media is widely used for sales, marketing and client services, it is not as well established as a means of optimizing productivity by improving employee collaboration,” said ABS managing director Simon Fowler in an interview with ITProPortal. “People are an organization’s most valuable asset and social technologies enable them to collaborate and share their knowledge quickly and easily from wherever they are working. This technology is ideal for bringing disparate teams closer together, enabling them to share their expertise and build on their combined knowledge.”
According to the report, implementing internal social media networks can help to increase productivity by reducing other time-consuming forms of communication. For example, 69 percent of participants reported social networks helping to cut down on unnecessary email.
Enterprise social media offers improved engagement
While just 13 percent of respondents said their organizations used social media solutions to engage suppliers, more than half felt their firms should be doing so in order to detect and leverage mutually beneficial opportunities and stay on top of potential supply chain issues.
Only 21 percent of organizations surveyed reported using social media for recruitment purposes, but this number will likely grow as companies realize the benefits of reaching out to a wider audience. Utilizing enterprise social media can be advantageous for groups interested in growing their staffs, as potential employees can be provided with specialized online recruitment solutions to manage their applications and engage more directly with the company.