Web 2.0 offers a variety of benefits:
- Employees who interact socially with each other work harder
- The most engaged employees spend up to one hour a day on social networks, the least engaged employees do not.
- 25% of employees use online social networks to interact but two thirds of companies ban social networks (and this proportion is increasing)
- This is a turn-off for employees (28% of <25s are frustrated by lack of social interactions with colleagues, 33% fo <25s are frustrated by restrictions over use of the web.
Rayner’s take on this is that taking a slice out of each day for social networking doesn’t decrease the ‘value adding wok’ slice - it increases the overall pie. It:
- Develops the psychological contract between employer and employee changes
- Leads to increased trust, and higher creativity and productivity
- Blurs the distinction between work and play. You put “’our whole self in’.
Rayner also described how web 2.0 adds value to his firm’s products (flexible benefit solutions):
- 70% of employees wouldn’t be able to say what their flexible benefits are
- When they do understand, they tend to undervalue their benefits by about a third
- Social networking can be a more important employee engagement tool than traditional benefits.
You at Work have therefore developed a new offering, Meet at Work, which incorporates their employee benefits platform and web 2.0 facilities. This helps stimulate interest in benefits, allows employees to trade benefits etc.
My main learning: Meet at Work is a really nice example of how existing compensation and benefits arrangements can be made more social through the use of web 2.0. Benefits potentially provides a useful basis for this extension as it is already about increasing engagement, and social networking fits alongside this agenda. However, I don’t see any reason why other HR technologies can’t be transformed in this way as well.