Employers need to recognise how social media is driving businesses into an age of "mass collaboration".
This is the message from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which has looked into the fields of social media and employee voice.
It has released a study from Silverman Research which underlines how social media is giving employers new ways of engaging staff and shaping the future direction of their organisations.
The CIPD believes that the technology is giving workers an open channel from which they can feed their views upwards, while also providing greater collaboration between workers at all levels, which can lead to better ideas and innovation.
As well as this, the organisation highlighted how social media interactions give organisations access to a unique mix of qualitative and quantitative data. This can help to boost employee and customer insight.
The research has suggested that the biggest barrier preventing employers from embracing social media is the inaction and resistance to change among leaders.
It discovered that many often do not understand how the technology works, or the power of the data it can generate, with some respondents believing that too much thought is given to the concerns associated with a more open approach.
Jonny Gifford, research adviser at the CIPD, said: "For organisations to thrive, employees must be given the opportunity to discuss how their organisations can innovate and feed their views upwards, as well as having the freedom to blow the whistle about genuine issues at work.
"Social media won’t always be the most appropriate channel for discussing issues, but employers must wake up to the fact that they can’t ignore it."
Mr Gifford went on to say that employee voice expressed through social media is influential because it is more likely to be heard, especially when compared to surveys.
Posted by Jon Aspinell on 26th March 2013
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