Modern Communication in HR: Embrace Digital

Communication has changed a lot over the last few of decades. Or, the last few years, even.

Between our gradual switch to text messaging instead of calls and instant messaging and social media punctuating our lives in unprecedented ways, human resource departments are facing new challenges.

How can they adapt to this new era?

Here’s a look at how a full embrace of digital communications can make HR more efficient, rather than undermine its efforts.

Utilize Social Media to Your Advantage

modern communication

Employee engagement is tough. Efforts to keep employees interested is an obvious uphill battle for any HR department and upper management. So what’s an HR team to do?

As the much-maligned millennial generation now makes up the bulk of the modern workplace, the way employees are engaged has to change.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. These tools allow employees to expand their reach into industry-specific conversations around the world. Social media should be embraced by HR for its potential to increase credibility, collaboration and reach.

From an employee perspective, getting the green light from HR to engage in the company’s niche community allows some control over their career.

If done correctly, the merger of personal and the company brands mean a more nuanced public voice for the company, comprised of many voices. For the individual, social media channels can help further their career and document the inner workings of their current role.

Modernize Your Communications

No longer the digital territory for friend groups alone, group messaging is a workplace necessity that enables collaborative work.

Many HR professionals worry about the amount of time wasted by employees “goofing off” with work pals. This is understandable, but a little humanity goes a long way. A little social interaction fosters the right spirit for collaboration.

The group chat makes it easy for remote teams to get together and hash out ideas, as well as get to know each other and build trust. It seems silly to try and stop communication from happening during work hours.

Here are a few points for how to best frame socializing (digital or otherwise) in this new age of collaboration:

  • Focus on whether work gets done, instead of focusing on perceived social interactions.
  • Make goals deadline oriented and clear—a looming deadline gets most employees back on track.
  • If the norm in your office is that employees always be available, allow for periods of “disconnect” so those who need to concentrate can get their work done.

Recruiting for a New Age

With major developments in social media, from the personal to the professional, we’re collectively more reliant on the internet to find people and communicate with them. The recruitment process is no exception.

While many HR managers are utilizing tools like LinkedIn to find and attract the right talent, not all organizations have kept pace. Instead, they’re using digital tools to enhance the existing model. Recruiters are finding qualified applicants online and getting them to come in for a traditional interview.

But, we can do better—think time-saving video interviews, mobile recruitment through a range of social networks. No longer is social media seen as this personal life-only tool. Huge companies like Pepsi and Deloitte have adopted social media recruiting on a broad range of platforms.

In the end, HR must embrace modern communication if it wants to succeed. Businesses that welcome modern communication, rather than ban or limit usage, are better equipped for future success.

To learn more about this topic, check out KnowledgeCity’s catalog of online courses for HR professionals. Our timely course on Modern Communication in the workplace is a great primer for the challenges new media presents in the workplace.

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