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Last updated: September 14, 2010 at 19:28 pm

In–house social networking sites: A new trend to retain twenty somethings?

Twitter, Facebook, Orkut, Linkedin etc. – you surely wouldn’t have missed at least knowing about sites if not have an account on them. They have brought the onset of social media into the world consciousness. Social networking has turned out to be a phenomenon across the world. It has gripped a large audience from the age group of 15–60 years.

Some of the mind–boggling statistics include –

  • More than 500 million users on Facebook worldwide
  • More than 190 million users on Twitter tweeting 65 million times a day
  • More than 60 million users on Linkedin as of July 2010
  • More than 19 million unique visitors on Orkut in India as of July 2010-09-14

The number of users of social networking sites as well as the average time being spent on each one of them is increasing by the day.

Even though India has been relatively slow in adopting this new technology, social media has seen good adoption. Seeing this trend, companies like TCS, Cognizant etc. are introducing in–house social networking platforms as a means to retain their young employees.

Some of the biggest problems facing these IT majors in dealing with the young employees are –

  • Very high attrition rates due to a variety of factors like not happy with the work, with the pay etc.
  • Very high restlessness of the generation-next due to want of doing something new, not being happy with the present work, decreased satisfaction etc.
  • Since these youngsters are already exposed to new technologies like social media, mobile media etc, they feel at odds when they have to handle technologies like cluttered email boxes (which they sometimes refer to as old age or pre–historic)

The HR departments of large companies are understanding this and are taking steps to ensure lower attrition due to these factors.

Cognizant

For example, Cognizant has started Cognizant 2.0 or C2 which is an in–house Facebook like platform which allows one to connect with thousands of other people and share and discuss ideas without the intervention of project managers. It has 60,000 active users and gets more than 6 million page views daily.

TCS

TCS uses wikis and personalized websites like Justask and Ideamax which enables employees to ask questions in an easy and frank manner and also discuss and analyse various ideas and innovations. It has more than 50,000 members

These social media platforms are being used increasingly to plan, collaborate and team up to solve various business processes and make important business decisions –

  • Cognizant 2.0 manages the entire workflow and process flow from the start of the project till the time the customer experiences it across various geographical territories and organizations. It makes the entire experience innovative and interesting
  • TCS is inculcating a social culture in their organization through these platforms which would help individuals know each other better
  • Both these social networking platforms help the employees collaborate and understand each other better. It also helps find the right individuals who would be good at a particular project / job and encourages them to ask any questions openly without any hesitation

Though these companies have banned social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, these platforms could prove to be beneficial in the long run for a variety of reasons. Currently though there are no statistics to say that such measures have eradicated the problems facing these companies. Only time will tell as to whether this is just a passing fad or a real solution.

What are your views on it? Would social media platforms like these remove the employees attention from important tasks?

5 Comments

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  • Hi .. completely agree… .. I lead the team that launched TechMahindra’s own official peer networking site .. we called ours Oie! ( Online interaction Ecosystem) – its has most of the web 2.0 features .. Just to test the waters, I initially shared the link with just 170 beta users.. and to our pleasant surprise within 24 hours we had 2000 registered users, using the site .. We today have around 16-17K plus users ( could be more, stopped keeping track long back :) ) The site helps in terms of creating a warmer working environment and also assists as an informal knowledge sharing platform ( anyone in the KS field will know that its very difficult to ‘make’ people share information or knowledge, but if you give them a platform and back out, and let the system takes its own course the results are amazing).. Anyways all for the concept…

    • Hey that’s great..Since you have been there done that, I am sure you would yourself realise how important these tools are becoming for today’s generation :). And you have rightly pointed out this – anyone in the KS field will know that its very difficult to ‘make’ people share information or knowledge, but if you give them a platform and back out, and let the system takes its own course the results are amazing

  • @karen and @yaamini Social Networking sites are proving to be a way wherein youngsters can destress themselves from their daily work and lives and the faster the organizations realise this the better. In the long term it would be really beneficial for organizations.

  • Well it depends on person to person. A lot of ppl are engaged in these social networking siyes and they are also are up to date with their job.

  • Adjusting to adult life is also something that adds to the restlessness of young employees. Staying hooked to Facebook and Twitter allows them to stay in constant contact with people that remind them of college life, etc.

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