The effectiveness of utilising social networking in driving employee engagement
Swartz, Ivan Christo
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The use of social networks, as a business tool is becoming more and more frequent in this day and age. Companies are exploring various ways in which to optimise social media in gaining a competitive advantage. Social platforms give organisations the ability to communicate better with their staff, to market their products more effectively to potential customers and also to drive behaviour within the workplace. Employee engagement, sense of belonging and organisational commitment can be considered as components of employee well-being. Companies are investing large amounts of resources to lower employee turnover by creating an environment that is favourable for the employee. Within the call centre environment a well established technological infrastructure exists. This creates a setting that is very prone to launch a social media platform. The average age of employees is also quite young, which in most cases means that they understand and interact on social networks with ease. The applications for social media also seems to become second nature for younger generations and this also speaks volumes as to implement social network strategies within working environments. The experimental research design included a pre- and post assessment with samples of 74 employees for the pre-test and 36 employees for the post test. A qualitative and quantitative approach was utilised in order to gain better insight of what employees define as social networks and what effect it has on employees. To measure the various constructs, the following instruments were utilised: Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES), a self-constructed Sense of Belonging Questionnaire and the Affective Organisational Commitment Questionnaire (AOC). The results indicated that the exposure to a social network resulted in lower levels of employee engagement and lower levels of sense of belonging. The exposure to a social network however increased the levels of participants? affective organisational commitment.