…but they may be talking to the world!
Social media monitoring tools are generally thought of for monitoring a company’s online reputation with its customers. Have you given thought to the fact that employees are sharing their thoughts and opinions too?
We’ve seen an increase in clients wanting to monitor their online reputation in the eyes of their employees lately, even if they use an employee based feedback program. As it is with customer feedback programs, sometimes employees do not share their true, honest opinions for fear of retaliation or thinking that no matter what they say, their voice will not be heard. But, they will tell the world through social media.
Traditionally, our social media monitoring started as monitoring employee online activities for instances of company degradation or disclosing proprietary information. Lately we’ve seen a shift in more general monitoring – not to see what an employee is doing this weekend, for example, but instead looking for trends among employees talking about their work.
This can be more difficult to uncover and cannot always be tied to a specific individual because they prefer to leave anonymous comments. However, this data is still quite useful, especially if you see a negative trend in one or more aspects of the workplace. This may be a sign that you need to do more in depth interviewing of your staff.
There are a few places you can start:
1. Glassdoor: if you’re not familiar with the Glassdoor site, it is a site that offers company information, along with an area for employees to review the company. A quick search on this site may tell you if employees are talking about your company and what they are saying.
2. Run an initial online search: type in your company name along with the words “employee” and “reviews” or even “hate my job” – word phrases that disgruntled employees may use. You might be surprised with what you find. You may even find, like with Starbucks and Walmart, that there are forums specifically created for employees to complain about their jobs.
3. Google Alerts: this is a start to uncovering employee opinion and sentiment, though it can be challenging and time consuming depending on how you set up the search. If, after running an online search, you find results that indicate your employees may be talking about their work online, then it’s a good idea to set up a Google alert to watch the trend in conversation. If it remains consistent or increases, good or bad, it might be time to turn to a more formal social media monitoring program to help you. These programs are more streamlined and do the legwork for you. Additionally, they can provide some analytical insight into the social media data.
Keeping the lines of communication open with your staff is important; making sure you’re collecting as much feedback as you can, from as many channels as possible, will serve you well in the long run.