Social Business: It’s a Hot Topic That HR Needs to Go to School On

In the land of HR, folks tend to think inside their bubble.

And when it comes to social media, some are early adopters (think using social media for talent acquisition) and many are laggards (think writing policies that keep people from accessing Facebook while at work).

But the truth is that there is so much more to social technology than social media. And HR needs to go to school on this.

Required reading for every HR person

I was pleased to attend IBM’s Connect Conference in Orlando last week. I was there to get insight into IBM’s acquisition of Kenexa and its commitment to building a Smarter Workforce – the brilliant marketing extension of their Smarter Planet campaign. Social business is huge. Social business at IBM is enormous — and growing.

While at the conference, I received a copy of the IBM Institute for Business Value’s report titled, The Business of Social Business: What Works and How it’s Done, that should be required reading for every HR person. It’s a sort of primer explaining what social technology is and how it is transforming the way businesses are competing in the global marketplace.

Based on survey data from 1,161 respondents and interviews with 21 executives responsible for implementing successful social business practices around the world, this report is easily consumed by non-technical business leaders (that’s you, HR Pros) and creates a much larger context for understanding the opportunities that social technology brings to an organization — and that will be coming to your organization soon!

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3 key areas of social business

Despite Applebee’s and HMV’s unfortunate handling of recent experiences with social media, note that the IBM survey identified three primary areas of social business in which organizations around the world are currently investing:

  • Creating valued customer experiences;
  • Driving workforce productivity and effectiveness;
  • Accelerating innovation.

I found it fascinating that when drilling down into the second bullet point, driving workforce productivity and effectiveness – HR’s domain – the focus was on learning and developing talent, not acquiring it. There’s a head snap for you.

Take a look at the report and look for more useful information from the IBM Institute for Business Value. And download the free “IBM IBV” app for iPad and Android from your app store so you don’t miss any new research!ibm-social-business

This originally appeared on China Gorman’s blog at ChinaGorman.com.

China Gorman is a successful global business executive in the competitive Human Capital Management (HCM) sector. She is a sought-after consultant, speaker and writer bringing the CEO perspective to the challenges of building cultures of humanity for top performance and innovation, and strengthening the business impact of Human Resources.

Well known for her tenure as CEO of the Great Place to Work Institute, COO and interim CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and President of Lee Hecht Harrison, China works with HCM organizations all over the world to enhance their brands and their go-to-market strategies. Additionally, she serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Jobs for America’s Graduates as well as the Advisory Boards of Elevated Careers, the Workforce Institute at Kronos, and WorldBlu. Addtionally, she chairs the Globoforce WorkHuman Advisory Board and the Universum North America Board. China is the author of the popular blog Data Point Tuesday, and is published and frequently quoted in media properties like Fortune, TLNT, Huffington Post, Inc., Fast Company, U.S. News & World Report and many others.

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