HR Strategies is the Key to Corporate Success especially when implants contemporary tools such as Social Media Networks (SMN). But what is strategy? .  Strategy is a long-term plan. In a highly cited book by Johnson and Scholes define strategy as follows:

   “Strategy is the direction and scope of an organisation over the long-term:
     which achieves advantage for the organisation through its configuration of
     resources within a challenging environment, to meet the needs of markets
    and to fulfil stakeholder expectations” (Johnson, Scholes, & Whittington, 2008).

In other words, strategy is about:

  • Where is the business trying to get to in the long-term (direction)?
  • Which markets should a business compete in and what kinds of activitie
        are involved in such markets? (markets; scope)
  • How can the business perform better than the competition in those markets? (advantage)?
  • What resources (skills, assets, finance, relationships, technical competence, facilities) are
       required in order to be able to compete? (resources)?
  • What external, environmental factors affect the businesses’ ability to compete? (environment)?

Thus, the same definition could be applied to other strategies such as Corporate HR strategy. Nowadays, the fast majority of organizations use SMN mainly for HR departments and more specifically for recruitment (MOQBEL, 2012). Logically, SMN should be a main pillar of any corporate HR strategy.

 In this post we will narrow the scope to blogging-micro blogging context and we will try to address some of the above strategy’s questions for HR dept. (the same context of our INN-Group’s  case study) by discussing  a successful case study chosen from the literature (Koch, Gonzalez, & Leidner, 2012).

                                                                      SWBank On-Board strategy

SWBank is one of the largest providers of insurance, banking, investments, and financial planning to U.S. citizens. In spite of the hardships in the U.S. economy, in 2008 SWBank entered a growth and expansion phase. As of 2011, SWBank had more than 22,000 employees, revenue in excess of U.S.$18 billion and assets totalling more than $80 billion(Koch et al., 2012).

SWBank hires 250 IT new & young employees, who were accustomed to using Social Media Networks (SMN) in their daily lives. Unsurprisingly, the IT department had historically been plagued with a 60–70% turnover among the new hires during their second year of employment. Therefore, in 2008, SWBank leverages the power of social networking, creating its own SNS called On-Board which has many feature among them blogging and micro-blogging applications. Parts of their On-Board’s strategy are:

  • Leverage the fact that new hires were accustomed to using SMN in their daily lives which will make using On-Board easier.
  • Provide the management Support. Under the supervision of executives, SWBank’s 250 IT new hires develop and manage the On-Board’s content. Referred to as the On-Board group.
  • Open direct channel throw On-Board‘s blogging & micro-blogging applications between top-management & new hires. For instance, the ‘Pulse’ – On-Board’s work/social features – is social networking and micro-blogging application. The posts are purely social and support discussing weekend adventures and lunch plans with everybody including top-management.
  • Allocate resources ,  SWBank’s executives both sponsor and provide budgets for events that  the On-Board group hosts , which must fall into one of four pillars: networking, career development, workforce initiatives or continuing education. Table 4 describes and explains the four pillars.

  Finally, Since the inception of On-Board, two of SWBank’s IT executives and two middle managers concur that SWBank has experienced decreased turnover, higher morale and increased employee engagement. IT management believes that these organizational improvements are largely attributable to the On-Board initiative. For instance, the vice president of applications and infrastructure said, ‘Since the implementation of On-Board, there has been a greater retention rate visible within SWBank’(Koch et al., 2012). When asked why management supports On-Board, the vice president of applications and infrastructure stated, ‘retention and morale’. Furthermore, the director in charge of On-Board explained, ‘no one [new hires] has voluntarily left in the last 2 years’.

References

Johnson, G., Scholes, K., & Whittington, R. (2008). Exploring corporate strategy: text & cases: Prentice Hall.
Koch, H., Gonzalez, E., & Leidner, D. (2012). Bridging the work/social divide: the emotional response to organizational social networking sites. European Journal of Information Systems.
MOQBEL, M. (2012). THE EFFECT OF THE USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES IN THE WORKPLACE ON JOB PERFORMANCE. Texas A&M International University.