What is the value of your business? Clearly you factor in your fixed assets, intellectual property, brand and projected earnings. However, how often does a senior management team think about the total value of the employees who work within the business.
In today’s digital workplace, where the need for brand ambassadors and people within the company who have good communications skills is becoming vital, the value of your ‘human’ capital can be clearly seen.
Running a company has always been about making best use of your resources, and never more so than with your human capital. I would argue that every member of staff has three levels of skills:
- Those they use within their job
- Other skills they use in their leisure time
- A propensity to learn new skills
I’d like to focus on points 2 and 3, as these can have a real bearing on how well you communicate as an organisation.
Most people have a set of abilities away from the workplace - whether they be sporting, creative, artistic or intellectual. In the past, these would have been kept wholly separate and rarely ever employed as part of a specific job role – unless as part of a CSR or team-building exercise.
Now, good communications skills are becoming essential for almost everyone within a business from the most junior member of the team up to the Managing Director or even Board of Trustees.
Not only that, but also the ability to take decent pictures, shoot videos and edit content to be used online is now prized by many enlightened employers.
So how do you unearth these hidden skills whilst at the same time ensuring your employees continue to do their day-to-day role to the best of their ability?
Firstly, it is vitally important that you have a proper digital strategy, which clearly spells out what your business intends to do online, which channels it will be using and for what specific purpose. I would certainly suggest that you circulate a grid to all your staff showing the activity and outcome around each of your channels, including your website and personal LinkedIn profiles.
Secondly, you need to have some really well put together, proactive social media guidelines where you are actively encouraging your staff to come forward and be brand ambassadors for you. Of course, this should involve either involving your colleagues in Human Resources or, if you are a small company, engaging the service of an HR specialist who really understands social media.
What you’ve done so far metaphorically is given your staff a simple game-plan, explained the rules of the game and now, you want to see who are willing to play. This is where you discover what digital skills your staff have. Here are some tips:
- At team meetings and 1-2-1s, get your managers to ask their staff who would be willing to use their own digital footprints to engage with the company’s corporate channels
- At the same time, find out who possesses good A/V, photography, video or editing skills
- Create an incentivisation programme where those staff who contribute to your content reservoir are rewarded
- Bring together key individuals to form a de facto ‘news team’ which can power your content reservoir
- Set aside time at the end of weekly meetings for content ideas
It’s all about making best use of your assets – and in most businesses, your greatest asset is your staff.