In a matter of a few short years, social media has been infused into our daily lives. According to an Altimeter study, “In 2011, the US hit a milestone – more than half of all adults visit social networking sites at least once a month.” As social media has evolved and matured, these consumer technologies have started to make the cross-over into the enterprise. This is often referred to as the “consumerization of IT,” where consumer technologies such as mobile and social are making way into the business world for better productivity.
Not only is business changing at a rapid pace, the workforce is also undergoing a major shift. As baby boomers are reaching retirement age, 75 million millennials are expected to hit the job market at the same time. These youthful workers possess a fresh perspective and approach; qualities that are highly desirable for any company seeking to remain competitive, relevant and ahead of the curve.
This emerging workforce has grown up connecting through networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. They welcome and expect social tools in the work place, e-mail is perceived as an outdated form of communication. Companies that lead this trend and leverage social technologies will be seen as innovators by the new workforce.
Today, about half of enterprises are providing social tools to their workforce. With these tools employees have the resources to capture knowledge, overcome information gaps, collaborate, and communicate with the community in real-time. This is the groundwork for building strong relationships with co-workers, between departments, throughout companies and even globally. Collaborating, working in a team environment, and making decisions by consensus is preferred by the new generation. The ability to create and foster relationships will be a critical component to keeping them happy.
Enterprises can no longer ignore the evolution of social media and its adoption in the workplace, especially as it relates to recruiting the younger workforce. Incorporating social technologies has enabled an increase in productivity and has provided a more efficient workplace. The Generation Y workforce is more comfortable and familiar working in real-time, adopting new technology trends and working with social tools in the workplace. To bring in this workforce, recruitment through social media is critical. Going social has become increasingly more popular within HR departments and companies that have adopted the use of social business have become more successful recruiting Generation Y. According to Socialware.com, there are four ways to use social recruiting efforts:
1) More Social Employees = More Recruiters
2) Your Culture Will Recruit for You
3) Younger Generations Will Expect Access
4) Social Media Access is still a Differentiator
Social business is the way of the future and the younger workforce is looking for companies who have adopted enterprise social collaboration for daily use. A recent survey by the National Computing Centreshowed, “employees using social business tools have an increase in connectedness by 39% and a third reported an increased level of workplace satisfaction.” The younger generation is starting to filter in and fill the shoes of the baby boomer generation. Generation Y is armed with experience and knowledge of social tools, making complete adoption throughout companies inevitable and the way of the future.
Social software in the workplace is the collaboration tool of today’s generation. Can your company afford to ignore the adoption of enterprise social networking? Not only will lack of adoption keep your company from evolving, it could also prevent successful recruitment of the Generation Y workforce. The emerging workforce is full of new ideas, creativity, and innovation. They have their pulse on trends that will define our future. Not speaking to this group, in their language, or providing them with the tools they are comfortable working with could retract from workforce productivity, or even stifle the social evolution we see today. Incorporating a social enterprise agenda should be a priority to make your business blossom.