Employers are trying more social media tools to keep employees in the loop. How’s that working out?
Only so-so, if recent research from HR consultant Towers Watson is to be believed.
The 2011 Towers Watson Change and Communication ROI Study found that roughly two-thirds (64%) of respondents are more knowledgeable about using social media tools than they were a year ago, and 69% plan to increase their use over the next 12 months.
Here’s the rub: Only 28% report these tools are cost effective at their organization, and just 15% have measurement tools in place.
The respondents that find social media tools cost effective are investing in social networks (63%) and leadership journals or blogs (58%).
Other study findings:
- Effective communication is an important element of change management, and if both are done well, there is a stronger relationship with financial performance.
Companies highly effective at both communication and change management are 2.5 times as likely to outperform their peers as companies that are not highly effective in either area.
- When compared with companies with low change management and communication effectiveness, firms that are highly effective at change management are nearly five times as likely to create an integrated communication and change management strategy — and more than eight times as likely to continue to exhibit new behaviors and use new skills after changes are made.
- Nearly two-thirds of respondents report that managers are taking on more responsibility when it comes to communication with employees, but only 28% are evaluating managers on their communication effectiveness. While the majority of firms are training managers on communication and change management skills, relatively few find it effective.