Asia HRM – Social Media Congress

A shout-out to Eka Talji at Key Media for putting together a great line-up of speakers for the recent Social Media Congress.  She included speakers from the APAC HR Head at Facebook, Madan Nagaldinne, to Gen Y social media guru, Patricia Lalisan from Alcatel Lucent and Dell’s head of social media, Damien Cummings, spoke about what they do in the social media.  The rest of the speaker lineup are click here.

Inside Facebook Human Resources

The internet is being rebuilt around people.  It was initially built for browsing, later for search and now, it is social.  Businesses are also being build around people.  Consider the music industry and news industry.  New business such as Spotify and traditional news, New York Times, for example are retooling themselves in a social world.  Madan Nagaldinne, head of Asia HR for Facebook, see that the traditional form of HR business partner, where HR working with BU heads is outdated.  HR need to organize themselves around the people.

At Facebook, the HR mantra is to deliver “awesomeness.”  Turning the traditional HR model on it heads, HR is required to identify “non-goals” but instead focus on those few things that have the biggest impact.

The top-down model of making decisions by top-level managers is no longer working.  Decisions are being made through multiple channels around employees and customers.

Gen Y and Social Media

Gen Y Patricia Lalisan was hired into Alcatel Lucent to manage their social media presence.  Working within the employee communications team Patricia suggests the need to create communities that people want to be a part of.  Businesses need to create environments that uses engagement to form ideas.  First is to define the strategic intent, what is the outcome desired by the organization.  Explore a host of non-traditional communication platforms and create a culture that allows employees to express themselves.

Having multiple channels and platforms is important for Gen Y.  They grew up in a connected world as digital natives.  Thus leveraging on social media outlets is completely natural to them.  At Alcatel Lucent, the company are using web chats and conferencing for employee dialogue directly with the CEO.  Blogs and enterprise social networking platforms allow employees to dialogue and exchange ideas that now changing how Gen Y engage and work in the workplace.

Social Media Policy Practices

Having a sound social media policy helps companies profit from this platform.  Damien Cummings from Dell discussed how his company manages their overall social media strategy.  The use of social media allows all employees within a firm to become brand ambassadors – allow your employees to talk about your brand.  Enterprise social networks are fast becoming the new intranet.

Having a formal social media policy enables organization to better navigate through the far reaches of social media.  While it is fairly easy to develop a policy, it takes discipline to execute the policy through regular training.  Employees should be formally certified before allowed to represent your brand in blogs, twitter or other social media channels.  As a rule of thumb, consider “the boss rule.”  Before posting anything publicly, would you want your boss to see it.

Wrapping Up

Participants recognize that there are inherent risks in social media.  Negative publicity can often go viral and spread like wild fire.  Human resources heads need new skills for navigate the complex web of social media.  Whereas social media has a feedback loop other traditional media do not.  Thus, HR can not hide behind policies.  They need to interact with people and create dialogue.  Hierarchy will be less important.

As Patricia mentioned in her presentation, in order to innovate, you must be innovative.  So, stop being boring.


Twitter:  #socialmediacongress

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