Why Web 2.0 Matters in Your Employee Communications

May 19, 2009sparxoo_admin

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Photo By Flávio Takemoto from Stock.Xchng

By Ken Groh, an Aon Consulting expert

According to an Aon Survey of 8,000 employees of various public and private employers, both salaried and hourly workers are finding ways to use Web 2.0 (social) media at work, for work purposes. The survey bypassed employers to ask employees directly if they are accessing social networks (Facebook, Linked In, etc.), using instant messaging and text messaging to communicate with each other, setting up wikis and reading blogs at work.

Why is this good news for employers? The answer is because corporate communicators and HR can use these tools for employee engagement and education to accelerate the communication process. Since Web 2.0 media is electronic, it can provide access to your intranet or HR portal to create a more integrated and cost-efficient way to communicate with employees – including benefits enrollment and wellness education campaigns.

What Works at Home Will Apply at Work
The survey asked respondents what Web 2.0 tools they use at home to find information important to them. If they are comfortable with Web 2.0 media at home, they are ready and will find these tools used in a communication campaign at work.

As expected, the survey found higher usage of this media by those under age 29 (Generation Y or millennials) compared to older respondents. If these younger employees, who will soon be the largest generation in the workforce, are comfortable using this media at home, then they will find a way to use these communication tools at work – employers should begin using them as part of their employee communication strategies. The better you can align your communications to your employees’ media preferences, the easier and faster you can achieve results.

All Generations Are Using Web 2.0 Media at Work
The survey found higher usage of Web 2.0 media at work than at home among employees over age 28. This finding shows that employees of all generations are learning how to use these tools – whether to instant message team members about a project they are working on or to research information through a discussion group on Linked In or Facebook. Some employee groups set up their own blogs while work teams are using wikis to assist in project management.

Virtual Workforce and Web 2.0 Media
As more employers encourage employees to work remotely, they will find it more difficult to communicate with them and to maintain consistency in the culture. Web 2.0 media can help virtual workers stay connected to team members and remain updated about their employer.

Saving Money with Web 2.0 Media
With most employers looking for ways to save money, using Web 2.0 media and other electronic resources can help you reduce print and postage costs. In addition, these new media tools can be used to supplement traditional communication materials to help speed learning and employee engagement, which enables you to achieve your goals faster.

For more information please visit the Aon Mediaroom