3 social tools that help productivity

Success Factors (a SAP company) released a report titled, “Improving Employee Productivity with Social Tools.” In the report, some of the ways in which social tools can positively impact the work environment are listed. Social tools do more than just boost morale. They can reinforce learning in areas that are otherwise difficult to teach. Performance management, “blended learning,” and onboarding are three fast, easy to implement social tools named in the report that can enhance regular processes, and help increase productivity, and retention.

1. Performance Reviews. Ask many HR professionals what there least favorite part of their job is, and many of them will say the dreaded six, month, or annual performance review. As much as these performance reviews are despised, it’s well known that tracking employees performance is essential to accomplish company and employee goals. Since they happen so rarely, managers can easily forget how to conduct them properly, and it ends up being more time consuming than necessary. The report suggests “interactive performance review, goal setting and compensation planning tutorials online” can alleviate the training burden on HR. Having 24 hour access to that kind of information online, gives HR a break from having to answer redundant questions regarding time-consuming, but all important performance reviews. The more streamlined, and effective your performance review process is, the more likely you are to make accurate decisions when it comes to discipline, incentive, rewards, and promotions.

2. Blended Learning. According to a study by the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), close to $1,400 is the average cost to design one hour of training led by an instructor. One way to stretch this considerable expense, is to add some social into the mix. In addition to creating the lessons, create an online learning community, where teachers can make pertinent information easily available to students. This also gives tinstructors the opportunity to interact with students regarding the training, in real-time.

“Blended learning is the highest impact way to deliver Corporate training on mission critical business initiatives… The ROI for some of these programs has been more than 700%.”

– Josh Bersin, Bersin and Associates

3. Onboarding.  In a report by the Aberdeen Group, they claim that most new hires don’t finish their first watershed moment when they’re expected to. Even more discouraging, 39% are gone from the company within a year. Utilizing social tools for the onboarding process allows employees to receive much needed training, while allowing them to interact with other employees and build relationships. When you give new employees the opportunity to learn in an interactive environment, and contribute their own skill-set and expertise, you are also giving them a more intimate introduction to your company and it’s culture. Another perk about the use of social tools in onboarding, is the fact they they generally offer good analytics to help you see how well your new employees are doing, or where they need improvement.

Conclusion: Social tools are a great way to improve necessary HR  processes. The unique opportunity for feedback, interaction, and engagement is too positive to ignore. If you haven’t implemented social tools into your HR processes yet, I suggest you do.

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