Can Marketing Pros Connect More Effectively with Employees Than HR?
I live in the Chicago area, where we just witnessed a high-profile election with what most believed was a foregone conclusion. A big-name federal official, Rahm Emanuel, squared off and won against local politicians who had impressive resumes. However, they couldn’t compete with Emanuel’s celebrity power.
When I noticed a brewing debate about whether HR or marketing was the best function to handle employee engagement, it raised my curiosity about the HR community’s vote on that topic. Some say the marketing function’s expertise in brand management and social media make it a better candidate to build workforce community than HR. HR is too far behind the social media curve to use those popular communication tools to connect with employees. Just as marketers have used Facebook and Twitter to engage customers, C-Suite leaders expect HR to engage employees in the same way. But can HR professionals do it?
A new white paper from Madison Performance Group makes some intriguing points. First, organizations must manage the virtual workplace with engagement in mind. That not only includes social media, but other types of technology, such as videoconferencing and text messaging, according to Employee Engagement in the Virtual Workplace.
Second, although virtual working environments offer convenience and flexibility, they also breed isolation and disconnection. With more than 80 percent of companies defining themselves as virtual organizations, and 27 percent of employees considering themselves to be virtual workers, a champion to manage engagement becomes a critical issue.
So, who will it be: Marketing or HR? Marketing has a head start in understanding social media platforms and how to grow and leverage them within communities. However, HR has the attention of workers as the traditional gatekeeper of employee work life.
Express your vote here!