Workplace collaboration is nothing new. For as long as companies have existed, employees have worked together to achieve their strategic goals. But the way they’ve gone about it has continued to evolve.
In today’s increasingly digital business world, enterprises are using social collaboration tools – video conferencing, instant messaging, sharable/editable spreadsheets or slideshow presentations, etc. – to simplify processes and drive company-wide results. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident – and critical – than in HR.
By emphasizing the importance of social collaboration throughout an organization, a company’s chief human resources officer (CHRO) can radically transform the enterprise. In fact, here are four ways your business can benefit from social collaboration tools.
1. You can improve your overall HR processes
The role of a company’s HR department extends beyond merely recruiting and hiring talented professionals. Once employees are officially part of an organization’s workforce, HR must continue to engage them, ensuring the staff feels connected to and informed about the company.
Social collaboration can go a long way toward this, beginning with the employee’s first day on the job. Combined with a formal onboarding program, social collaboration tools can help your organization get employees up to speed in no time – without exhausting resources or exceeding costs. In fact, according to a 2015 study, Forrester Consulting estimates that social collaboration can reduce onboarding costs by 13%.
Additionally, for both new and old employees alike, social collaboration tools can help improve communication, facilitating the sharing of important company documents, from organizational goals and personnel achievements to employee guides and current job openings.
2. You can enhance your employees’ professional development
Through social collaboration, your business can quickly, accurately, and easily deliver the right information to the right people at the right time. In addition to training brand new employees, social collaboration tools can be used to inform veteran staff members about the latest cutting-edge industry best practices.
Video conferencing technology can enable organizations to easily and cost-efficiently conduct regular training sessions, seminars, and classes for as many or as few people as desired. Social networking sites can then be used to answer employee questions or disseminate follow-up learning materials.
If you want to reinforce a culture of continuous learning and development – and you definitely should –social collaboration is the way to go.
3. You can reduce the cost of learning
The costs of sending an employee to attend a professional conference can add up fast. Conferences themselves can be incredibly expensive. On top of that, companies often foot the bill for employees to travel or stay in a hotel. Throw in per diem, and your business can be in the hole hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a single learning event.
Broadcasting knowledge-sharing sessions to large or small groups within your organization is the perfect alternative to sending employees to pricey professional conferences. The one-time investment in a social collaboration solution and video equipment would pale in comparison to event, travel, and hotel costs.
4. You can increase your learning ROI
Measuring the ROI of learning can be a difficult task. Rather than precisely calculating something that’s not-so-easily quantifiable, the best approach to gauging learning ROI would be to determine whether or not your current initiatives generate organizational value.
By developing and sharing your own learning sessions, you can guarantee your enterprise is delivering information most relevant to your employees’ needs. Additionally, upon the completion of your learning sessions, your company can solicit feedback from participants using social collaboration tools and subsequently tailor future sessions to better align with your staff’s roles and responsibilities.
In this scenario, employees would no longer waste precious time and large sums of money attending conferences that aren’t completely relevant to them.
At the end of the day, the primary goal of any CHRO should be to put his or her organization’s employees in the best position to succeed. With Forrester’s estimation that social collaboration tools can increase a company’s overall productivity by 14%, CHROs may have just discovered their secret weapon.
For another perspective on workplace collaboration, see Is Collaboration Dead?
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