Social Media in today’s Learning Environment- Tools for today’s Learners

August 4, 2014


Recent survey data has shown that Social Media tools are becoming more prevalent, proving to be one of the most used for relationship management, knowledge transfer and the sharing of ideas among the next generation of Learners. These tools allow users to engage with others that share the same interest and perform research within the subject matter and expertise of the issue or learning item at hand

Talent Management systems are now including the social aspect as a module since the generation in the work force today has come to realize that this is an important tool but corporations are slow in moving to adapt the social aspect. If you were to ask the workforce of today their thoughts, the answer would be that corporations must adapt and we are beginning to see movement in this area. Creating a social environment is not only useful for the learner but also a good knowledge transfer tool allowing users to interact and share multitudes of information. In the past, when there was an issue or situation that arose where you felt someone had “been there before”, you sent an email or just picked up the phone. While these are great methods of communication and are still valuable today, today’s generation of learners are more adapt to send an IM or chat with someone since they are accustomed to real time responses.

So how will Corporations deal with this from a learning perspective? First and foremost, start with a plan of how to incorporate the social aspect of learning. Designate a group to head up a discussion board that creates discussion topic categories based on the learning catalog and allow some controlled interaction to take place. Monitor the social platform and make sure that you designate fallback SMEs to answer questions that are not getting answered in a timely fashion. Assign areas of interest to folks that can respond quickly and accurately. This generation is fast moving and if they can’t find the answers with the tools you provide, they will search elsewhere.

So how will these tools allow Learners to become more efficient? Let’s face it, when we sit down to take training or work in our corporate Talent Management System, time is both our friend and our enemy. Using social as a tool can offer assistance allowing users to collaborate about learning items and supply information relevant to the Course. Another way to use this is to establish guidelines and principles. Create discussion groups, topics of interest and items that will entice participation in discussions about training items.

I recently spent some time interviewing and discussing the importance of Social Media and Collaboration tools in today’s learning environment with a group representing a Fortune 500 company. This work force group consisted of the Baby Boomers and Millennials which provided a diverse view of the social tools that are being pushed to the forefront of Talent Management Systems in the work place. They are customer facing, meaning they spent the majority of their day interacting with customers in one fashion or another; face to face or on the phone, and require both fast and accurate resolutions.

Each group had different views on the subject but both reached the agreement that having such tools incorporated inside the Learning environment added greater value allowing for easier discussions related to training items.

Everything is available and connected, all answers are out there either through searching the web, social media or just putting a question out there for an instant response. If your company isn’t out there using these channels then your organization effectively does not provide all the necessary tools for the new generation of learner to be successful.

Ray Eaton

Senior HCM Consultant at HRchitect




Men are from Mars and Women really are from Venus at least on Social Media

April 24, 2014


Let’s face it, communication in the workplace is key to a successful business. In as much as we like to think men and women are equal when it comes to collaboration, more studies are being done on gender and how it affects that very concept. A recent article by SSON discussed how men and women differ in their communication skills especially when it comes to social media. Social Media is no longer just a fun tool where we can waste the day Tweeting about our beloved cats’ next nap or Instagramming a drunk selfie or better yet updating our Facebook status from married to single to none of your business, it’s a MUST in today’s business environment. With that said, strategically identifying how employees approach projects makes a huge difference in the outcome of that project. According to SSON, many organizations today use “gamification” techniques to make the work environment more fun and interactive. Therefore, the same logic is now being applied to teamwork and communication.

I would say to check out the really cool graphics and charts online but I know we would all rather read the cliff note version instead (which so happens to be what somebody else already did) So here it is……

  • Men are more likely to use social media for business (27% vs. women’s 22%)
  • Women are more likely to use social media for sharing and self-help (65% versus men’s 53% for sharing; 37% versus men’s 30% for “how to” information)
  • Men prefer quick access to deals or information and are more likely to scan coupons or codes (56% versus women’s 39%)
  • Women are suckers for brands (71% will like or follow a brand for deals versus men’s 18%)
  • Men engage with car, sports, and action themes; women engage with real-life situations, pets and kids, and sentimental themes. Both genders react well to humor, value, endorsements, and aspirational themes.
  • on mobile phones, women use social networks more than men [57% versus men’s 47%]
  • Men read more news on mobiles than women (10% versus women’s 7%)

In a nutshell, before you send out your next communication on your favorite social networking site, internally in the office, or externally to clients, work related or personal, make sure your message is crafted in a way that best attracts the interest of the Mars or Venus citizen you are trying to reach.

  May Huffer

  Regional Sales Manager at HRchitect


Do You Know Your Company’s Online Reputation?

January 21, 2014

- What you don’t know can hurt you -


For years, experts have cautioned job seekers to monitor and control their social media presence to prevent potential recruiters and hiring managers from getting the wrong impression from reading inappropriate comments and seeing those horrible photos that friends just love to post. In today’s employment market, it has become equally important for businesses to be aware of their online reputation.

Just as shoppers rely heavily on online services before making purchases for anything from electronics to furniture, shoes or appliances, job seekers now have many sites available to research a company’s reviews, CEO approval ratings, salaries, interview questions, and competitors, in addition to searching job openings. Where (not so long ago) these sites were merely places for disgruntled ex-employees to vent, they now provide the social-media savvy jobseeker with a handy resource to learn the ins and outs of prospective employers.

Of course, as with any compilation of user-driven reviews, there will frequently be a certain percentage of overly negative posts. That said, it is important that a company is aware of the overall perception being created in the job market. Are salaries in the organization well above or below the averages for like job descriptions? Is the typical job approval rating significantly lower than the competitor? Not only are these possible indicators for your future recruits, they are also possible indicators for attrition within your current workforce.

While targeted to job seekers, staying abreast of the activity on sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and CareerBliss can provide a company valuable insight and resources:

  • Employment Brand – postings provide real-time visibility into the market’s perception of your quality as an employer, along with the up and down shifts in momentum as your world changes
  • Cheap Advertising – as the popularity of these resources has soared with potential candidates, the ability to post basic job ads free, or the option for low cost “premium” ads, provides the company with an economical outlet for recruiting
  • Know Thy Enemy – if your information is out there, so is your competitors’. These public forums provide the opportunity to track their trending, providing an alternative resource to try to stay ahead of potentially damaging activities.

Some additional considerations when monitoring your company’s presence in these forums:

  • Oversight – Most sites have some level of oversight, but you should also moderate the feedback posted about your organization.  Many forums will allow the company to provide some level of input to flag inappropriate content, possibly removing it. Keep in mind – strong opinions (even when they are negatively addressed toward your company) are acceptable; grievous venting, inappropriate comments or false claims are not.
  • Avoid Head in the Sand – While it is not uncommon to see a disproportionate number of negative reviews from the disgruntled former employee ranks, do not completely discount the negative reviews. Look for common themes or an up-tick in the number or frequency of negative posts. You do not want to miss a potentially costly trend in the workforce.

As an employer, keeping abreast (or even taking advantage) of these resources can not only provide you with the opportunity to gain greater insight into your employee satisfaction, but can help with recruiting expense, control your online brand, and provide a source for always needed competitive advantage.


Annastasia Bell
Director of Implementation Services

Annastasia Bell has over 15 years of experience in business development and management, project management, data capture and analysis, process development, and implementation management. A seasoned workforce management professional, Annastasia has delivered WFM consulting services to organizations such as Anchorage School District, Fort Wayne Community Schools, Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment, and Western Financial Group. In addition to leading the workforce management team at HRchitect, Annastasia regularly speaks at industry events and publishes educational content related to her work in WFM.

The Second Day of theHRshow 2009 Provided Us With 10 Great Presentations

June 12, 2009


After many months of anticipation, planning, and buzz throughout the entire HR industry, theHRshow 2009 virtual event completed its second full day yesterday with ten different presentations:


  • Web 2.0 Recruitment Marketing
  • Managing a Global Workforce with Global HR and Payroll
  • Secrets to Building a Successful Social Media Policy
  • Leveraging Assessment Technology
  • Building a Performance Based Culture Despite Economic Cycles Using Talent Management Best Practices
  • Employer or Big Brother – IM’ing, Blogging, & Other Off-Duty Conduct
  • Managing HR Risk Through Workforce Planning
  • How Do I Motivate My Employees During an Economic Downturn?
  • Six Degrees of Separation – How Technology Changes the Landscape of Recruiting
  • Emerging Trends: Anticipating the Future of Work

 Day 3 will continue today with 8 great sessions throughout the day from leading experts in the HR industry.

 One of the many comments received from attendees to the show summed it up nicely:

 “Kudos to you and the rest of the HR Show planning team on a job very well done.  I think you’ve set the stage for others to follow your lead with providing insightful sessions in an interactive, engaging and creative manner.”

 The show is completely free, thanks to the generosity of HRchitect and our sponsors. All you need to attend is access to a computer with an Internet connection!

 HR professionals can visit and select “Agenda” on the right of the screen to see a complete list of sessions. Simply register online for as many sessions as you’d like.

We’d also like to let you know that we are deep into the planning stages for theHRshow 2010, which is an on-site event that will take place February 4-5, 2010 in Frisco, TX. It will be the largest regional HR technology event in our industry and the one HR technology event you simply can’t miss!



Matt Lafata, HRchitect


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