Social media at work worth investing in

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Hotels should have guidelines for the proper use of social media. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Social media can be tricky and I can guarantee that 99 percent of the people reading this work for a company that has a social-media policy. The policies have their place, but after seeing a hospitality company that has found a way to make the social-media policy coexist with a company-provided and -endorsed social-media platform and hearing similar stories from my industry peers, I am saying “yes!” to social media at work. 

I promise that I am not going as far as to say let your team members get on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter while standing in front of a guest. But I am saying that social media has an appropriate spot in the workplace. 

There are hotel and restaurant groups all over the world who have taken the step to provide a social-media platform, such as Beekeeper, Workplace by Facebook, Slack, etc. for their employees. These apps have many upsides and the two major positives I’ve seen are increased knowledge and a sense of camaraderie. As a training professional, these two benefits are undeniably big and prove that this type of tool is something worth investing in. 

While knowledge and camaraderie are just two of many reasons the practice of social media at work has proven successful, these benefits don’t necessarily come automatically. Having a plan of execution and some ideas of how this tool can be used best in your organization will help jump-start the platform for quicker results. 

Below are some examples of knowledge builders and camaraderie strengtheners:

Knowledge

  • Highlight a drink special by displaying an enticing picture with a mouthwatering description.
  • Add the training calendar of classes and learning topics for the upcoming month.
  • Post a trivia question about one of your service standards.
  • Show a picture of the latest update of an ongoing property renovation with a small summary of the details and an estimated date of completion.
  • Send a how-to video to the engineering team, going through the safest and most efficient way to repair the newest piece of equipment so they can have it on-hand when needed.

Camaraderie

  • Include posts from sister properties from around the world.
  • Create a poll to choose the winner of an employee competition.
  • Welcome the newest employee or group of employees to the company.
  • Celebrate this month’s employee of the month with the reason why he or she was nominated.
  • Spotlight an employee who recently led a local volunteer effort.

The HR person in me has to say, as with all company-provided tools, include guidelines for the proper use of the social-media platform. The training person in me says have fun! Don’t be surprised when one of your more quiet colleagues suddenly has much more to say on this new form of company communication.

Workplace social-media apps allow individual voices to have a place to be heard, regardless of generation or position within the organization. Take advantage of the increased employee engagement levels and say “yes” to social media at work.

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