The HR Juggler

Practical ideas for becoming more social…and keeping it simple

Posted on: November 11, 2010

One of the main challenges I have found in influencing my organisation to be more social is not so much lack of collective wills, desire for absolute control or a requirement to measure to death ROI benefits; rather a simple case of knowing where to start and what can be done easily, simply and cheaply.

Through talking to colleagues it is also clear that they are open to new suggestions and ways of doing things, but sometimes just need a few pointers and ideas on where to start

I get a bit bored of talking about the whys and wherefores of social media but I love practical applications of it, especially those that challenge me to do things differently and come out of my well-worn comfort zone.

So here are some practical ideas about some small changes that either I or my colleagues have made in the last few weeks in our organisation.

1) Social conversations

No big deal this one, but like all of us, I like to talk about what I’ve seen that has worked well and may be a different and interesting way of approaching something.

So, when Flora Marriott gave an example of the first #cHRchat that her managers were using Rypple to share feedback within the business, I dropped a note to one of my colleagues who is working on an online appraisal system to tell her about this.  I knew she would find it interesting, not necessarily to replace the online system, but as a complementary mechanism to potentially sit alongside it.  She found it so interesting that she immediately set up a pilot scheme for the HR & Training team to use it and test it out…great result!

Equally, I was very impressed with how the agenda setting process had worked at the Connecting HR Unconference, by use of a large grid and people contributing ideas on the day and then sponsoring break-out sessions.  The next time I was chatting to our Training and Development Director, I told her about how it had worked and how great it had been to see everyone get so engaged and enthused.  She was delighted to hear about it and is now going to use that format at the next Senior Manager’s Conference.

And because I have found Twitter to be a great source of information and personal networking, I have enthused about what I see as its benefits to the other HR managers in my division, which has led to all three of them setting up new Twitter accounts and giving it a go themselves.

2) Sharing knowledge

People often genuinely don’t know what’s out there, how to use it and how it can benefit them.  I’m no evangelist seeking to convert everyone, but it’s at least good to know what social media channels can offer, to enable people to make an informed decision as to whether they want to use them or not.

So, this week I ran my first lunch and learn session for my HR colleagues, focussing on Twitter, blogging and Connecting HR.  Because I wanted to challenge myself and do things a little differently, I did a Pecha Kucha style presentation of 20 slides auto-forwarding after 20 seconds, pictures only.  I really enjoyed experimenting with presenting information in a different way: once I get the sound sorted out I will also post the Pecha Kucha up here for everyone to see (and edit and use if they wish to!)  I also showed them Andy Headworth’s great Twitter for beginners video link which received a great response.

My colleagues gave great feedback on the session and the next step for me is to prepare it in a WebEx format and present it to my US colleagues…then if more HR teams are interested, I will present it further.  I like sharing knowledge and trying different ways of doing things and it has had a great energising effect on both me personally and the team.

Another really simple way I have been sharing knowledge is forwarding on links that I have come across to colleagues – blogs that discuss topics that I know interest them for example.  If they are on Twitter but don’t use it very often I often tweet them a direct message with a link, encouraging them to go back in and check it out.

3) Having a go!

Being a champion is at least partly about putting yourself out there and having a go – at blogging, at coaching others and at talking about what you get out of social media in its many channels and forms.  Within HR we are expert at making things much more complicated than they need to be…but I think that it’s actually really simple.  It’s also part of our job as champions, enablers, energisers or whichever other term we choose, to keep it that way.

I would love to hear your ideas about what you do in your organisations, what works and how you keep things simple….as a training guru said to me this week, our biggest resource is right here in the (virtual!!) room!

5 Responses to "Practical ideas for becoming more social…and keeping it simple"

Cracking post Alison! Its great to see you getting stuck in with practical examples – what a great role model. Now, if we can just replicate you x 1000! Thanks for sharing! I can see you will be leading a session on ‘practical use and benefits of social sharing’ at the next unconference, no?!

Thanks for the Rypple shout, as well as the tangible cases and examples. Sharing knowledge and transparency are two thing we champion and it looks like you’re mastering both!

Looks like you’re doing everything I’m always only talking about.Sad for me, but definitely great for all of us!And I guess I’ll definitely have to attend the next #CHRU. Now if I could only remember my EasyJet password 😉

Thanks so much for the comments. Gareth if you twist my arm nearer the time I’m sure I’ll oblige – I got so much out of the last CHRU, I’d be happy to contribute if there is interest.Thanks too Laura, Rypple is a great tool with impresive customer service so far….I’ll keep you posted how we get on!Etienne, would be fab to see you at the next Unconference, thanks for your lovely message.

What a tip top, top three! Converse, share, and do. I love it – thanks Alison

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