We recently gathered some interesting statistics on the use and benefits of social in large organizations as part of a workshop we delivered for the annual meeting of the American Correctional Association in Chicago this month. It evoked lively discussion and we thought it would be helpful to share the information with others.
A study on the use of social media by Aberdeen found that top 20% of users of Web 2.0 tools in talent management experienced:
- 34% improvement in time-to-productivity among its people
- 31% improvement in employee retention/turnover
- 78% of employees indicate they were highly-engaged with the company (compared to 16% for “laggards”).
McKinsey recently correlated the relative value companies believed they were getting from various social media technologies. The study surveyed 1,000 participants. Included in the study results are answers to three key questions:
- What Web 2.0 tools are companies mostly using?
- What tools had the highest reported levels of tangible benefits (and the highest ratio of benefit to no benefit)?
What are the benefits?
Companies that reported tangible benefits saw the following median improvements:
- Increasing speed to knowledge – 30% improvement
- Reducing communications costs – 20% improvement
- Increasing speed of access to internal experts – 35% improvement
- Decreasing travel costs – 20% improvement
- Increasing number of successful innovations for new products or services – 20% improvement
- Reducing time to market for products or services – 20% improvement
- Increasing revenue – 15% improvement
A survey by the Bordeaux Group found that most companies are still focusing on risks when thinking about social media. They looked at social media policies at 48 different companies and government agencies and found that only one-third were looking at social media as a positive opportunity with upside potential for employees and their organization. The survey further noted that few organizations are providing guidance to employees regarding specific social media practices and utilities.
These findings suggest a couple of things advocates should consider to further advance the cause in their enterprise:
- The days of thinking about social media as frivolous are over. There’s little doubt that these tools are providing real business value.
- Help IT and other stakeholders see the upside productivity and human capital benefits and not get lost in the weeds of excessive risk assessment. Many of these perceived risks are behavioral issues more than technical issues and this is where added training and additional policy and best practice guidelines can help.
These findings can also help you build a quantifiable business case to support your efforts above. Go for it!