Rethinking your social media policy

by Cameron Edmond24 Oct 2013

With the average Australian spending close to 22 hours on social media each week, many organisations are still unaware of how to turn this into a productivity and engagement booster.

Deloitte’s recent report, Rethinking social media: Building the social organisation through HR produced in association with the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI), found that social media tools – both internal (wikis, intranets) and external (Facebook, Twitter) – can promote networking and sharing of ideas, drive innovation and allow organisations to tap into their employee base’s ‘collective wisdom’.

“Social media is becoming increasingly important as a way of building an organisation’s social capital,” Peter Williams, chief edge officer at Deloitte, said.

“Employees love to share and connect using social media and people are using social media tools outside of their work environments to learn and collaborate. Organisations need to change their thinking and leverage these skills in their workplaces in order to improve productivity and engagement.”


Key HR takeaways
While leveraging social media as a tool to help an organisation, HR must be aware that this is only possible if a focused strategy is employed. Deloitte highlighted some key recommendations:

  • In some areas of the organisation, social media may be causing disruptions. It is important to identify these – and indeed, all business disruptions –  and evaluate how a social media strategy may help. Establish where social media belongs. Do not isolate one department towards or away from it, but find its “time and place” in the company.
  • Examine and measure the potential in employees’ existing social media skills.
  • Set realistic milestones when measuring ROI – while social media may be instant, its effects on your organisation could take a while longer. Deloitte added that success could not be measured by adoption rates, but examining increases in productivity and engagement in key areas where social media has had an uptake can be beneficial. Managers must look carefully at how they will measure their ROI for social media to avoid confusing correlation with causation.


“Human Resource Directors and businesses leaders need to come on board and accept it is passionate and proactive employees who strive to improve performance and inspire innovation. These people are the ideal advocates for a business,” said Alec Bashinsky, national people and performance partner at Deloitte.


  • by Rick Maré 5/11/2013 8:48:35 AM

    Another important point about socialising the workforce, is the implied trust. Employers who empower their staff to better collaborate and engage with each other online demonstrate a shift away from old school employer thinking: keep them off social platforms to keep them 'working'. It's an antiquated view, and surprisingly still very present in Australia. You've aptly highlighted the potential productivity benefits. A great article. Thanks for sharing.

Most Read