Since social media is typically seen as a distraction in the workplace, why is this global bank actively pushing for its staff to use it during work hours?
The program aims to provide faster and more efficient collaboration amongst employees. Staff will be able to use the program on their computers as well as their smartphone and tablet devices.
The bank ran the pilot for Facebook at Work in July earlier this year and hopes to roll out the program across its global business by the end of 2016.
RBS is the first bank in the world to partner with Facebook and is the company with the highest number of employees to do so.
“I’m excited about how bringing people together from all across the bank through Facebook at Work can help our employees do their job better,” Simon McNamara, chief administrative officer at RBS said, “whether it’s being able to find answers to customer queries much faster or helping us come up with bright new ideas.”
Greater connectivity for HR
Mr Lim Say Ping, director of iqDynamics, agreed with the bank’s move saying that HR stands to benefit greatly through these types of corporate social media platforms.
“Most obviously, it serves as a great communications channel to allow HR to broadcast company-wide messaging such as events, promotions and even job openings,” Lim told HRD. “There is no need to wait for emails to be received and acknowledged, or wait for messages to be distributed through department managers.”
These platforms also encourage greater interaction between HR and employees, he said. This is especially useful when connecting to staff in different locations or time zones with systems such as Facebook or Yammer creating an equal, easy space for communication at all times.
“Furthermore these platforms can serve as a good area for HR to ‘listen’ to the voice of the company and what employees are saying on a day-to-day basis,” Lim added.
Encouraging proper use
Since platforms such as Facebook at Work are corporate channels, it is imperative for HR to work with the rest of the management team to make sure usage and communication along these channels remain the same, Mr Teo Teong Ho, director of iqDynamics, told HRD.
“Before introducing the platform, management and HR must agree on some form of usage regulations for certain areas. These can include wide areas such as language or showing forms of prejudice or discrimination.”
However, he warned that regulations here should not be too tight as this could turn employees away from using the platform and create resistance to change.
To help smooth out this transition, Teo suggested HR search for enablers or ‘agents of change’ within the company.
“An enthusiastic advocate of such a project can make all the difference in employee attitudes towards adopting new platforms,” he said.
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