now utilising a host of social media tools such as instant messaging
and social networks to communicate with their employees, a new study has
The research, which was based on surveys of 290
organisations from across North America, Europe and Asia, found that
more than half of the employers surveyed currently use various social
media tools as part of their internal communication initiatives as a way
to build community.
Among the companies surveyed, instant
messaging, used by 77 per cent, and streaming audio and video, used by
61 per cent, were the most popular social media tools,
Other tools being widely used
include human resources or employee blogs, enhanced online employee
profiles, social networks, SMS messaging and mobile apps, according to
the study by global professional services company Towers Watson.
believe that social media can be a great tool for communicating with
employees in the workplace,” said Kathryn Yates, global leader of
communication consulting at Towers Watson.
“By its nature,
social media is designed to build community and could help engage
employees on key topics such as performance, collaboration, culture and
values,” Yates said.
Despite the increased adoption, reviews
regarding each tool’s effectiveness have been less than overwhelming.
The study found that for each social media tool, less than half of those
using it find it to be effective.
Also, only 40 per cent rated the use of social media technology as cost-effective.
researchers believe the importance of social media tools will only grow
as businesses become more dependent on remote workers.
just 23 per cent of those surveyed said their company is effective at
building community among its remote workers.