What Do Employees Really Want? | Gagen MacDonald

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What Do Employees Really Want?

Jan 23, 2015
In our third annual Employee Engagement study, which APCO Worldwide conducts with our friends at Gagen MacDonald, we chose to focus on the influence of social media on employee engagement in the workplace. Maril MacDonald recently wrote about the importance of executive leadership in internal communications broadly and internal social media (ISM) specifically. But what exactly is internal social media, and how do we know what employees really want?In our recent survey of 1,000 employees at companies with at least 500 employees, 51 percent of respondents say their company is using internal social media tools to communicate with them. The primary tool employed is an intranet (71 percent of employees say their company has one); but about half have blogs, two-fifths use wikis and one-third deploy Facebook-like sites. Clearly, social media tools are making their way into the internal communications environment.Drawing on industry best practices, we developed a list of attributes of ISM. Using factor analysis, our ISM Model isolated 21 discrete attributes that characterize the best programs, which in turn combine to form the three major factors that employees look for when deciding whether their company has effective social media internally. Our study found that Quality of Content is the most important aspect of ISM (42 percent importance to the model), followed closely by Engagement & Dialogue (37 percent); Optimization trails in importance (21 percent).This model can be used by enterprises to assess the needs and design of their own ISM strategies and tools. Enterprises that apply this framework as a diagnostic tool are better able to guide how they design the overall ISM system as well as how they get buy-in from employees, which facilitates usage and engagement.Done well, ISM has the potential to ease collaboration, make employees feel closer to their employers, aid in employee recruitment and retention, and engage employees who can become brand ambassadors.How well is your own internal social media strategy aligned with employee expectations? If you’re not currently employing ISM, we encourage you to stick your toe in the water and see what happens – you might be pleasantly surprised!
/ Jan 23, 2015

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