How to Use an Enterprise Social Network to Increase Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century workplace. Organizations of all sizes are struggling to fully engage employees and get them to buy-in to the company’s vision. You already know that poor employee engagement is detrimental to the bottom line, but how can you improve it?

One tool that many companies are effectively using is an enterprise social media network. The majority of employees already spend significant portions of their day on social media. Having an enterprise social network can allow the company to create new lines of communication, recapture employee focus, and boost engagement. But, an organization only gets these benefits if the enterprise social network is configured properly.

Understanding What Drives Employee Engagement

While enterprise social networks can help employee engagement, they are not a magic bullet. Before creating and launching an internal social media platform it is important to understand that factors into employee engagement. Most human resource professionals and researchers agree that there are six main components of a fully engaged employee:

  1. They experience professional growth
  2. They have opportunities to demonstrate leadership
  3. They believe in the organization values
  4. They feel like the organization believes in their well being
  5. They have healthy work relationships with colleagues
  6. They have higher levels of satisfaction with their work

A corporate social media platform will only help improve employee engagement if it is designed to target one or more these six different areas.

Building an Internal Social Media Platform That Targets Engagement

One of the advantages of creating your own enterprise social media network is that you are free to make sure your organization’s core values are represented on the platform.

During the development phase, you will want to work with a firm that not only understands how to build enterprise social media platforms, but also understands how to target the specific components of employee engagement.

You will want to make sure the social network targets at least three of the six components. Social networks work well at communicating the company’s core values and helping employees see the connection between their work and the overall work of the company. They also can help improve employee well-being and help employees collaborate.

There are two keys to using an enterprise social network to improve employee engagement:

  1. High quality content
  2. Organic growth

Publish High Quality Content

High quality content is the biggest factor in determining how often employees use internal social networks and how much social networks boost employee engagement. You need to make sure that the content is useful, easy to access, and visually appealing. Employees already have a certain expectation when it comes to social networks. If your internal site is hard to navigate or employees cannot find anything useful to them, they will not bother to use the social network.

Best practices for internal social network content include using a mixture of employee generated content from all levels of employees, content from management, and relevant content from outside of the organization.

Allow for Organic Growth

While the corporation needs to stay in control of the social network, it must not keep too tight of a hold on how employees chose to use it. The organization needs to allow for the organic growth of the network. Clever employees will find creative uses for the social network that were not anticipated during the planning and development phase.

This is actually appositive sign because it means that the employees have accepted the network and want to truly make it their own. This is a sign of increased employee engagement.

When businesses develop and deploy an enterprise social network correctly they can drastically increase employee engagement.