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Web 2.0 and Employee Communications
Summary of Survey Findings
March 2009




Align your media to employees’ preferences and get results faster. Survey findings show
emerging preference for Web 2.0 media in employee communications.
Contents
Web 2.0 in the Workplace
                                92 million millennials are entering the workplace, while
                                78 million boomers retire. Millennials’ use of Web 2.0
  2   Introduction              communication tools (Web 2.0 media) is reshaping
                                employee communication.
                                If you plan to emerge from a down economy with a new
  3   Why This Report Matters   business strategy, this report will help you develop your
                                employee engagement and communication plan.

                                What we mean by Web 2.0 and how employers can use
  4   Web 2.0 Communication     it in the workplace.

                                A survey of over 8,000 people working for public and
  6   Key Findings              private employers reveal how they use Web 2.0 media
                                at home and at work.
                                A look at survey demographics and how Web 2.0 media
  8   Demographics              and millennials will help your recruiting.

                                If employees use Web 2.0 media at home, they’ll be
 12   Communication at Home     comfortable with it at work.

                                There’s a gap in how employers communicate with
 16   Communication at Work     employees at work and how people get information
                                when they are not at work.
                                Look here for where to get more information on
      Where to Go for More      integrating social media into your engagement and
 30                             education strategies and how you can participate in the
      Information
                                2009 survey for free.




                                                                                           1
Introduction
Web 2.0 media (social media) messages spread rapidly and feedback is 
nearly as fast, affecting and altering personal perceptions.  
     Blogs and tools like Twitter offer personal opinions and can 
     help leadership deliver messages to employees and obtain 
     instant feedback. 

     Instant messaging, text messaging and controlled social 
     networks can spread news and perceptions quickly through 
     an electronic grapevine that can help internal communicators. 
While the internet provided the vehicle, it is a new generation, born 
between 1980 and 2000, that helped introduce the use of Web 2.0 media in 
the workplace. In fewer than 10 years, this generation, referred to as 
millennials and numbering 92 million,* will become the largest 
generation in the US workforce. 

The value of using Web 2.0 media in communication planning with 
millennials is clear. They already use this media on their own and their 
workplace presence will continue to grow in size. Employers that
successfully integrate Web 2.0 media into engagement and education 
strategies will get results faster with this generation. 

However, our survey results show a much broader use of Web 2.0 media 
among all generations, whether hourly or salaried, not to socialize, but to 
get their jobs done. With a broader, multi‐generational audience using 
Web 2.0 media today, employers have another reason to look closely at 
harnessing the power of Web 2.0 media and integrating these tools into         In this report, Web 2.0 media include
their internal communications.                                                 social networks, blogs, text
                                                                               messaging, instant messaging, wikis
This report looks at the emerging role Web 2.0 media has in employee           and gaming technology (see page 5
communication and engagement** strategies. Employers can resist Web            for definitions).
2.0 media and restrict its use at work or they can leverage its influence 
and integrate Web 2.0 media into strategies for recruiting, educating, 
engaging and retaining employees. The point is, employees are using  *The population figures represent US
Web 2.0 media at work for work purposes anyway, employers should Census Bureau estimates of current
capitalize on this to enhance their business.                              US residents.

**We define engagement as the cognitive (mental),                Special Thanks
physical, and emotional attachment that an individual            For help and support in developing the 
experiences with regard to his/her work. Specifically,           survey and the report: 
engaged employees are those who are:
                                                                 • Bruce‐Eric Anderson, Dell
     Passionate and enthusiastic about their work
                                                                 • Tina Korecky Bowness, CCC 
     Devoted to getting the job done right
                                                                   Information Systems
     Immersed fully in the task at hand
                                                                 • Darren Luke, ABN AMRO Bank NV
     Focused and concentrate intensely while on the job
                                                                 • Joanne Kitnos, Blue Cross Blue 
     Driven to do whatever it takes to complete the task
                                                                   Shield Association
                                                                 • Al Comeaux, Sabre Holdings
                                                                 • Jim Wexler, Brand Games
                                                                 • Keith Burton, Insidedge
                                                                                                                       2
Why This Report Matters
What Employees (Not Employers) Think
If you believe that employers can effectively ban Web 2.0 media in the        If your workforce is comfortable 
workplace or that employees only use Web 2.0 media to socialize, this         using Web 2.0 media at home, 
report will change your mind. It’s based on a survey that asked               they are ready to use these tools 
questions of over 8,000 employees (not employers) how they use Web            at work. In other words, the 
2.0 media at home and at work. It gives you what you need to know             better you can align your 
about how these tools can be used to support traditional media to speed       communications to your 
results, whether for recruiting, training or engaging employees. These        employees’ media preferences, 
tools are effective and, as more millennials enter the workforce, they        the easier and faster you can 
will become more prevalent in the employer communication toolkit.             achieve results. 

Balancing Risk, Cost and ROI in Using Web 2.0 Media
The risk in using Web 2.0 media is that they may detract from productivity, a common employer position. 
But survey findings show people, even non‐millennials, are using these tools not to socialize, but to get their 
jobs done. 

The cost of Web 2.0 media is relatively low compared to the cost of printing. If the cost is lower, and they can 
help you reach results faster, the risk that they will be used for socializing may be worth it, especially if the 
risk can technologically be minimized and if results relate employee engagement. 

The return on investment (ROI) is more than just in cost savings, however. According to the 2008 Aon 
Talents and Benefits Survey, 70% of responding HR leaders said that will “increase” or “substantially 
increase” employee engagement during the next three to five years. Why? Because engaged employees: 

     Have a 44 percent higher rate in retention
     Are 56 percent better in customer service performance
     Have a 50 percent higher record for safety
     Are 50 percent more productive
     Are 33 percent more profitable

 Source: 2004 Gallup poll (latest available)

 Yet, a 2009 Gallup poll shows only 26% of employees are engaged, while 56% are not engaged and 18% 
 are actively disengaged. The faster you can achieve engagement, the sooner you reap the return on 
 investment. Web 2.0 media provides an opportunity to accelerate the engagement process.  

 The Market Downturn, Web 2.0 Media and Employee Engagement
 Whether you’re implementing a survival strategy and/or planning to emerge from the down economy 
 with a modified and/or aggressive business strategy, it makes sense to prepare and engage your 
 workforce now. As you prepare to implement your business strategy, look at your employees’ media 
 preferences. The better you can align your communication and engagement strategy to their preferences, 
 the faster you’ll get results. Use this report for ideas. Aon’s Organizational Performance & 
 Implementation team created this survey and have more details if you’d like to discuss them.  The 2009 
 Web 2.0 and Employee Communications survey will launch in April, if you want to participate. 




                                                                                                               3
Web 2.0 Media
Defining the Web 2.0 media used in this report.
Avatar
A graphic identity you either select from a group of choices or create on your own to represent yourself to 
other parties through instant messaging (IM) or a multiplayer gaming session. An avatar is a caricature, 
not a realistic photo and can be a simple image or a bizarre fantasy figure. Some employers are using 
avatars on recruitment websites and in training employees. The avatar helps the prospect or employee 
interact with the corporate environment. 
Blogs
A website where individuals or groups update entries in a journal on a daily or other periodic basis. Many 
blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online 
diaries. Some leaders find blogs useful in getting their message out to employees on a regular basis and 
using the blog to obtain comments and feedback on initiatives.
Gaming
Games you play online over the internet either by yourself or with others online. More organizations are 
using gaming technology to attract millennials in recruiting and to train and engage employees in a wide 
range of initiatives from sales promotions to diversity training.
Social Networks
Social networks like Facebook, MySpace, or LinkedIn (A collection of ways for users to interact online, 
such as chat, messaging, email, video, voice chat, file sharing, blogging, discussion groups, and so on). 
Social networks offer access to employee profiles for skill matching on project teams, faster on‐boarding 
and integration for new hires and increased employee morale. During a down economy, they can be 
useful in saving on travel costs. 
Wikis
Software that allows users to collaboratively create, edit, link, and organize the content of a website, 
usually for reference material. (Wikipedia is an example.) They offer work teams the ability to document 
project progress and keep the team in touch with each other more effectively than email. 


Other Web 2.0 media
Twitter is a micro‐blogging service that enables its users to send and read other usersʹ updates known as 
tweets. Tweets are text‐based posts of up to 140 characters in length. Updates are displayed on the userʹs 
profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. Senders can restrict 
delivery to those in their circle of friends. Twitter has potential application as a restricted tool for 
delivering website links, positioning perceptions and receiving responses from employees.




                                                                                                              4
Web 2.0 Media in the Workplace
Here are some applications for Web 2.0 media in the workplace.


   Use or Purpose                   Web 2.0 Media                                        Comments
Peer-to-peer and team member       Instant messaging                  Set up instant messaging chat rooms for discussion
communications                     Text messaging                     groups.
                                                                      Group text messaging also possible
Remote employee                    Instant messaging               With more employees expected to work remotely, Web 2.0
communications                     Net meetings                    media provides tools to help keep them engaged.
                                   Podcasts
                                   Virtual training
Leadership-to-employee             Blogs                              Successful blogs are built on a foundation of trust and
communication                      Micro-blogs (i.e., Twitter)        credibility and can be used to feed the grapevine and
                                                                      monitor the results. When effective, they function as a two-
                                                                      way communication avenue.
                                                                      The optimal blog becomes a forum for leadership
                                                                      perceptions and decisions, enabling discussion and
                                                                      feedback from employees at all levels.
                                                                      Employees can feel included in decision making and
                                                                      business strategy implementation, a key element to
                                                                      successful engagement.
   Employee recruitment            Avatars: Websites with             The investment in gaming technology for employee
   Employee onboarding             avatars to help recruits with      recruitment and orientation has a significant return
   Employee orientation            a virtual experience of the        depending on your costs to replace an employee.
   Training                        workplace or for a first-day       For example, some have estimated the cost to replace
                                   experience.                        registered nurses is about $65,000 and the cost to replace
                                   Gaming technology and              hourly hotel workers ranges between $2,500 and $14,100
                                   podcasts for employee              per employee (Society of Human Resources Management).
                                   orientation, education and
                                   training
   Employee bonding (sharing    Internal social networks for       An estimated 85 percent of employees work on projects with
   the employment experience)   employees are similar to           colleagues from other offices, making social networks a source
   Staffing global projects     Facebook                           for staffing.
   Knowledge exchange

   Project management           Wikis                              Wikis help work teams manage projects, solve problems,
   Corporate HR interaction                                        answer questions in a group setting.
   with field HR




                                                                                                                             5
Key Findings
At Home                                                        At Work
If people are using these tools at home, they are ready and    Employees are using Web 2.0 media with or without 
willing to use them at work.                                   employer approval.

   All generations use the internet at relatively                 All generations use their employees’ intranet at 
   high rates (at least 40 percent are online an                  work for work (about two thirds of hourly and 
   hour or more daily when not at work).                          salaried employees use the intranet). 
   As expected millennials are frequent users of                  Surprisingly, non‐millennials are using Web 
   text messaging, instant messaging and social                   2.0 media at work than they do at home – a 
   networks at home.                                              clear signal that these communication tools are 
                                                                  effective.
   Most Used Web 2.0 Media at Home
                                                                         Most Used Web 2.0 Media 
                                                                            at Work for Work 
                          Non-
   Web 2.0 Media                          Millennials
                       Millennials
                                                                                       Non-
   Internet               77%                87%                 Web 2.0 Media                       Millennials
                                                                                    Millennials
   Text                                                          Intranet              65%              72%
                          21%                49%*
   messaging
                                                                 Text
   Instant                                                                             25%              38%
                          14%                72%                 messaging
   messaging
                                                                 Instant
                                                                                       46%              48%
   Social networks        14%                49%                 messaging

                                                                 Social networks       13%              20%
   Blogs                  11%                20%

                                                                 Blogs                  8%              13%
 Gaming and Avatars
 Gaming technology can accelerate training and 
 employee engagement.                                          Working Remotely
    19 percent of the non‐millennials are                         45 percent of the respondents work remotely 
    gaming online; 11 percent have avatars.                       at times; 4 percent all the time. 
    33 percent of millennials are gaming                          Because the number of remote workers is 
    online; 23 percent have avatars.                              expected to increase, Web 2.0 media offers 
                                                                  another communication tactic for engaging 
*Respondents were asked for use of text messaging                 them. 
when looking for information, not for communicating            Blogs and Wikis Are Emerging Work Tools
with friends and families.                                        Only 8 percent of respondents said they use 
                                                                  blogs and wikis at work. 
                                                                  The cost efficiencies and immediacy in 
                                                                  knowledge transfer will encourage employers 
                                                                  to expand usage.




                                                                                                                    6
What These Findings Mean
The internet’s power not only gives people access to a wide range of news perspectives, but it grants each 
person an outlet to express his or her own opinion on it. Employees are using social media to collect 
information, to interpret and communicate it to others. 

Your intranet and the internet are already resources for internal communications, using Web 2.0 media 
will help you maximize these resources. To use Web 2.0 effectively, you have to recognize that employees 
also share the power of this media and build your employee engagement and education communication 
strategies knowing and counting on employees sharing your message with other employees. 

Employees’ ability to share and alter the message through Web 2.0 media is a core issue to address when 
integrating social media into internal communications. It requires a different approach to message 
management – particularly post‐delivery where you need to collect feedback, monitor reactions and 
reinforce your message to sustain credibility and ensure effective message delivery.

The point is that the use of Web 2.0 media is most effective if you have built trust and credibility with 
employees. If not, you will need to by recognizing their voice and opening up channels to collect and 
share their input in helping you build a communication process that recognizes their ability to manage 
and reinforce messages through Web 2.0 media. The sooner you can build this foundation for Web 2.0 
media, the more effective your communication strategies and the quicker you can achieve results.




                                                                                                             7
Demographics
Survey participants include the general public and employees of public and private employers who 
agreed to forward the survey to their employees. This section looks at survey participant demographics 
and at how participants were hired by their current employers, linking Web 2.0 media to employee 
recruitment (an alternative and potentially lower cost way to hire employees). 




                                                                                                          8
Generations
 Four generations participated in the survey.
   Traditionalists
      – Age 63 and older
      – Make up 3 percent of surveyed participants
   Boomers born between 1946 and 1964
      – Ages 44‐62
      – 78 million in size, 45 percent of workforce
      – Make up 45 percent of surveyed participants
   Gen Xers born between 1965 and 1980
      – Ages 29‐43
      – 38.6 million in size, 40 percent of workforce
      – Make up 39 percent of surveyed participants 
   Millennials (Generation Y) born after 1980 
      – Age 28 and younger
      – 92 million in size, currently 10 percent of the workforce but within 10 years may be as large as 50 
        percent
      – Make up 13 percent of the surveyed participants 



                       Generations Participating in the Survey
                                               3%
                                                                   13%


                     45%
                                                                                  39%




               Millennials         Gen Xers           Boomers          Traditionalists




                                                                                                               9
Survey Demographics
                          Non-
                                          Millennials
                       Millennials                                    13% of survey base; overall millennials
                                                                      are 10% of total US workforce
       Participants       7,777                 974

             Males        40%                   34%                 More women, which supports trends in
                                                                    college enrollments among millennials
           Females        60%                   66%

          Full-Time       95%                   89%

           Salaried       68%                   43%
            Hourly        32%                   57%                   More hourly employees – use of Web
                                                                      2.0 media among millennials does not
                                                                      appear to be affected by job position
   Years of Service
      Fewer than 5        45%                   90%
               5-10       21%                   10%
              11-15       12%                   0%
              16-20        8%                   0%
      More than 20        14%                   0%
                                                                      88% have at least some college compared to
          Education                                                   68% of the non-millennials
   Advanced degree        14%                   7%
      College degree      40%                   49%
       Some college       14%                   32%
  High school degree      31%                   12%




                          The “average” respondent*
                             Female
                             Early 40s (on the cusp between Boomer and Gen Xer)
                             College educated
                             Salaried
                             Five years with current employer
                          *Based on median responses




                                                                                                                   10
Recruitment
Participants were asked how they joined their current employer 
     30 percent referred by a colleague
     17 percent recruited by employer or outside recruiter
     13 percent responded to job posting in newspaper or other 
     print publication
     12 percent applied through company’s online career site
     8 percent walked in and applied
     5 percent viewed job posting on career/job site (e.g., 
     Monster, CareerBuilder)
     12 percent other




   What This Means…
   Survey results show more employees are referred by a colleague than are recruited. Because 
   millennials network better than any other age group, they will recruit for you if you establish a strong 
   culture that appeals to employees, including millennials. This reinforces the value that Web 2.0 media 
   offers for employers interested in achieving or sustaining a preferred‐employer status.




                                                                                                               11
Communication at Home
In this section, you’ll se how people use the internet and Web 2.0 media outside of work to find 
information that interests them. This can help you gauge the impact that the internet and Web 2.0 media 
has had in personal communication and apply that information to your employee communication and 
engagement strategies. 




                                                                                                      12
Communication at Home – Summary

Summary                                   Non-Millennials        Millennials
                                                                                                          Internet as
                                                                                                          Internet as
TV is most popular information source                                                                     popular as TV
                                                                                                          popular as TV
                                               89%                    87%                                 among
for both groups                                                                                           among
                                                                                                          millennials
                                                                                                          millennials
Internet is more popular than radio
and newspapers and millennials use it
                                               77%                    87%
as much as they use TV for
information

Online for more than one hour: Four
out of 10 people are online for more
                                               41%                    64%
than one hour daily; two-thirds of
millennials

Use of Web 2.0 Media:
                       Text messaging          21%                    49%*
                                                                                                  No surprise here, millennials
                     Instant messaging         14%                    72%                         grew up with Web 2.0 media and
                       Social networks         14%                    49%                         it’s a natural resource for them to
                                                                                                  rely on for news and learning
Gaming: Playing games online
(potentially can be use in recruitment,        19%                    33%
orientation and training)


*Respondents were asked how often they use text        The use of social networks will continue to increase.
messaging when looking for information, not for        In 2008 alone, Facebook users grew 127 percent to
communicating with friends and families.               222 million visitors. But, millennials are not the only
                                                       ones joining. Over 73 million users are between the
                                                       ages of 35 and 54, according to Comscore, an online
                                                       audience measuring company.




                                                                                                                                 13
At-Home Media
Millennials key up websites for information 
just as frequently as they turn on the TV – or                               Multiple Responses
they use the internet to validate information       Traditional Media
and interact through chat rooms and blogs. TV       Used at Home
provides a range of viewpoints on news, but                                Non-
                                                                                           Millennials
the internet and its blogs, chat rooms and                              Millennials
social interactions allows people to express 
their own views and interact with others.           TV                     89%                 87%
                                                    Internet sites         79%                 87%
Millennials are also more prone to rely on 
word of mouth as a resource (text messaging is      Newspapers             72%                 60%
an electronic version of word of mouth).            Radio                   70%                62%

It’s also interesting to note that the growth of    Word of mouth           58%                70%
the internet as a source of information ranks       Magazines               47%                49%
ahead of both newspapers and radio for both 
non‐millennials and millennials.                    Other                   N/A                N/A




What This Means…
The internet’s power not only gives people access to a wide range of perspectives on news, but it grants 
each person an outlet to express his or her own opinion on it. As Web 2.0 media become more prevalent in 
the workplace, employers will have to recognize that employees’ share the power of this media. Employers 
can harness that power and leverage it by recognizing employees’ voice in the use of Web 2.0 media and 
opening channels to collect and share their input. 




                                                                                                     14
Web 2.0 Media Used at Home
Millennials who grew up with Web 2.0 media in their personal lives, as well as in the education system, are 
more likely to use Web 2.0 media for news and information at home compared to non‐millennials.




              Use of Web 2.0 Media
                (Multiple Responses)                   Frequency in Using Web 2.0 Media at Home
                     Non-                                                           Non-
     Media                        Millennials           Outside of Work                         Millennials
                  Millennials                                                    Millennials
                                                        Time spent online per
   Social
                      14%              49%                                day
   networks
                                                              Less than 1 hour      59%             36%
   Text                                                        1 or more hours      41%             64%
                      21%              49%*
   messaging
                                                         Frequency using text
   Instant                                                        messaging
                      14%              26%
   messaging                                                           Never        37%              7%
                                                                 Occasionally       36%             20%
   Blogs              11%              20%                         Frequently       27%             73%

                                                             Frequency using
   Online                                                  instant messaging
                      19%              33%                              Never
   gaming                                                                           46%             28%
                                                                 Occasionally       35%             42%
   Use of
                      11%              23%                          Frequently      19%             30%
   avatars




   *Respondents were asked for use of text messaging in looking for information, not for communicating 
   with friends and families.


  What This Means…
  It’s no surprise that millennials use Web 2.0 media at greater levels at home than non‐millennials. However, 
  these findings suggest that many millennials will bring Web 2.0 media to the workplace for both personal 
  and work use. Employers need to be aware that Web 2.0 media can be used for internal communications, 
  particularly employers with large numbers of millennials. Because millennials will become a larger group 
  in the workforce during the next few years, the opportunity to integrate Web 2.0 media into internal 
  communications will also become greater.




                                                                                                               15
Communication at Work
The survey asked respondents to specify media, including Web 2.0 media, used at work for information. 




                                                                                                    16
Communication at Work – Summary

                                                                            Traditional sources of information
Summary                                          All Respondents            are most commonly used.


Memos and emails are most common
media for employer information.                         73%
                                                                        Although not used as much as
                                                                        memos, the intranet is not that far
The employer’s intranet is second most                                  behind.
common source for employer information.
                                                        65%
                                          •   46% - Instant messaging
Web 2.0 media: Instant messages, social   •   25% - Text messaging
networks, blogs and wikis emerging as     •   13% - Social networking       Doesn’t necessarily mean that
communication tools                       •    8% - Blogs                   the employer offers Web 2.0
                                          •    8% - Wikis                   media resources, it reveals the
                                                                            percentage of employees who
                                                                            are using Web 2.0 media at
                                                                            work for their jobs.




                                                                                                         17
At-Work Media
Memos and emails from management remain a 
standard method for communicating with employees 
                                                            Sources used at work
– in the traditional top‐down communication                                                         All
approach. Nearly three quarters of the respondents          (Multiple responses)
look to memos and emails for employer news. 
                                                            Management memos/emails                 73%
Nearly two thirds of the respondents also turn to the 
employee intranet as a source for news. Interestingly,      Employee intranet                       65%
an employer’s face to the public – its website – is a 
more common source for news than meetings.                  Company newsletter                      55%
                                                            Word of mouth                           53%
                                                            Company website                         46%

                                                            Meetings                                41%

                                                            News media                              36%
                                                            Mailings to home                        28%
                                                            Human resources                         27%
                                                            Webcasts                                20%




   What This Means…
   Even among hourly employees, employers’ intranet sites are a primary source of information. A large 
   number of participants use several sources for employer information (memos/emails, their employers’
   intranet sites, internal newsletters and meetings). They are using multiple sources to obtain and confirm 
   news, just like they do at home.

   Word of mouth was also highly rated. This suggests that feeding the grapevine with the right information 
   can help build credibility – critically important if you consider that employees using Web 2.0 media to 
   discuss company messages broadens the grapevine’s power. You can manage the grapevine message by 
   tapping into the power of social networking through Web 2.0 media. This will help you to confirm if 
   employees have received and understood the message correctly.




                                                                                                                18
Social Networking at Work
   As millennials enter the workforce, they are accessing social networks, such as MySpace and Facebook, 
   bringing Web 2.0 media to the workplace. A survey by Challenger, Gray & Christmas found that one in 
   four of 200 surveyed employers have blocked access to social networks. One of the key reasons is that 
   social network sites are viewed as a major drain on worker output. 

   The survey also found some employers (less than 10 percent) actually encourage employees to use social 
   networking sites. “Banning use of sites could also make it hard to recruit young employees. To get a real 
   recruiting edge, business should integrate social networking and other Web 2.0 tools into every facet of 
   the organization, from marketing to internal employee communication.”

   Some employers have created internal social networks for employees to use for screening skills and 
   subject matter experts to match needed skills to projects. This has become especially important as more 
   organizations are staffing projects on a global basis. Internal social networks have also helped internal 
   communication and employee bonding. See the case study on the next page.

   In the Aon survey, 14 percent of the respondents indicated they use social networks at work; about the 
   same as those who use them at home.



                                              Use of Social Networks at Work
     The use of social                                                           Yes
     networks at work is 
     consistent with the                                                         13%
     use of social networks 
     at home


                                                    No
Millennials use of social networks
 Millennials use of social networks                87%
   20% Yes
     20% Yes
   80% No
     80% No


  What This Means…
  While millennials out number other generations on social networks, a third of the 222 million Facebook users 
  are between the ages of 35 and 54, according to Comscore, an online audience measuring company.




                                                                                                                19
Case Study: Social Networks
Several employers are using internal social networks to create “face pages” (profiles) of employees. Larger, 
global firms can especially benefit from internal social networks. 

Case Study available upon request.




                                                                                                            20
Social Networking at Work (continued)
Other growing uses for social networks are emerging as well. The Aon survey reveals, for example, 
that 33 percent of the respondents participate or are interested in participating in online affinity groups 
at work for an area of interest to them (e.g. working parents, working women, gay/lesbian, areas of 
technical expertise, etc.). Six percent noted they currently participate and another  27 percent said they 
would be interested, if available. 

Also, 57 percent of respondents are interested in participating in an online social network of fellow 
alumni if they left their current employer. Professional services firms such as consulting firms, audit, 
financial and legal services firms use affinity groups to stay in touch with former employees who can 
become potential clients.




                          Use of Alumni and Affinity Social Networks


   Participating in or interested in participating in an
                                                                      33%
            affinity social network if available



       Interested in participating in an alumni social
                                                                                57%
       network after leaving their current employer


                                                           0%   20%   40%     60%       80%     100%




What This Means…
Affinity networks offer an opportunity for an organization to address diversity within the workplace. 
Alumni networks are a way for former employees to interact with current employees. 




                                                                                                               21
Web 2.0 Media at Work – Blogs
A McKinsey survey showed use of company blogs increased from 21 percent in 2007 to   38 percent in 2008. 
Blogs are an especially helpful tool for executives who want to personalize their leadership. They allow 
executives to present a perspective on business and management issues, engage employees in dialogue and 
solicit input. See the case study on the next page.




                                                            Use of Blogs at Work

                                         Read the blog
Of the 8 percent who 
                                             and                                                Read the blog
said their employers 
have a blog, only 10                      participate                                             but don't
percent read the blog                         3%                                                 participate
and 3 percent add                                                                                   10%
content to the blog
                                         Don't read the
                                             blog
                                             87%
                Millennials Use of Blogs at Work
                 Millennials Use of Blogs at Work
                   2% Read and participate
                     2% Read and participate
                   11% Read, don’t participate
                     11% Read, don’t participate
                   87% Don’t read
                     87% Don’t read



What This Means…
Organizations that want to share leadership information and solicit feedback on the information with 
employees find blogs very useful. However, not every organization can succeed with blogs. Blogs are most 
effective in environments where leadership has built credibility and trust and are viewed as listeners and 
collaborators. 

 To assess the feasibility of blogs as a leadership communication tool, poll employees on their perceptions of 
 leadership and determine if credibility and trust are issues. If they are a concern, take steps to mitigate these 
 perceptions first, adding a blog as a second phase to show that leadership is collaborative and is listening to 
 employees.




                                                                                                             22
Case Study: Blogs
 Blogs are an extremely useful leadership communication tool, enabling management to regularly update 
 employees on the organization while collecting feedback from employees. They can be used on a division 
 basis or at the top level. In some cases, blogs are used to spearhead a cultural change and to engage employees 
 in new business initiatives or goals. The are cost‐effective and easy to use. However, as mentioned earlier, the 
 organization must take steps to build support for a blog and then promote it before launching it. Without such 
 preliminary work, a blog can actually be counterproductive.

 To better connect with employees and 
 obtain feedback from employees, a CEO can 
 use a blog on business topics, such as: 
   New directions   
   Leadership changes
   Marketplace rumors
   Work environment 
   Brand reputation 
 Leaders can regularly join the discussion to 
 respond to specific questions and concerns. 
 Case Study available upon request.




                                                                                                             23
Web 2.0 Media at Work – Instant Messaging
Computer‐to‐computer instant messaging is a communication tool that is more direct than email because the 
users can converse online in real time. It also offers the capability for multiple users to “group think” on a 
topic, project or work issue. 

Whether the employer offers instant messaging or employees use their own services, usage is on the rise. 
According to a 2006 American Management Association report, almost one third of employers, 31 percent,  
have an instant messaging policy in place detailing how employees can and canʹt use the program during 
work hours. 

The Aon survey asked respondents if they use instant messaging at work with coworkers without regard to 
whether their employer had a formal instant messaging internal network or if the respondent uses instant 
messaging through an internet service (such as AIM). Nearly half, 46 percent, said they do. Of these, 20 
percent said they do so frequently. 

The fact that non‐millennials are using instant messaging at work more than they are at home is interesting. In 
comparison, millennials use instant messaging more at home than they do at work. This is likely because 
many millennials have a large network of friends and family who regularly use instant messaging, whereas 
non‐millennials’ friends and family members may not be using instant messaging nearly as frequently. Here’s 
where a generational difference shines through. See the example on the next page.



                                                  Use of Instant Messaging at Work
   Of the 46 percent who 
                                                                                 Frequently
   use instant messaging 
   as a work tool, more                                                             20%
   than half use it 
   frequently                                Never
                                              54%
                                                                                    Occasionally
                                                                                        26%
                    Millennials use of instant messaging
                     Millennials use of instant messaging
                       30% Frequently
                         30% Frequently
                       52% Occasionally
                         52% Occasionally
                       18% Never
                         18% Never



   What This Means…
   Email may be more common, but instant messaging is more direct and urgent. It has a potential role in 
   corporate communications. For example, instant messaging can be used to remind supervisors of 
   upcoming communication events and employee survey or enrollment deadlines.




                                                                                                            24
Example: Instant Messaging
Project managers at Example, Inc. must stay in regular connection with team members as they work at 
client sites on various projects. Most of the project team members have laptop computers that they use 
onsite. Email is frequently used as employees log on remotely to stay in touch with project team members 
and their managers. 

The company recently added instant messaging as an alternative and more immediate way for team 
members to discuss work issues. They found problem solving easier through group chat features in the 
instant messaging system. 

The company recently made changes to its business model that affected all employees and their managers. 
Several business lines were restructured and sales, operations as well as customer service were all 
affected.  With employees scattered around the country, the company faced productivity and cost issues 
to hold meetings to overview and discuss the impact of the changes on the work teams. Alternatively, 
corporate communications set up a webcast to present a general overview of the changes, created separate 
podcasts for operations, sales, customer services and other groups. Managers were also given special 
training and a series of questions to discuss with their work teams. Rather than call in these employees 
from the field, the company used instant messaging and the chat feature to hold discussion groups with 
the smaller project teams. Each supervisor was able to ask a series of questions – in a sort of focus group 
setting – to discuss how the change impact their groups. 

This strategy is effective because it eliminated the need to organize onsite meetings and incur travel 
expenses. It allowed for a cascading of the change message from the highest executive levels to the front 
lines where managers could personalize the change for their workgroups. It also enabled leadership to 
collect feedback from all levels within the organization.

Other uses for instant messaging and chat features include:
1. Virtual focus groups facilitated remotely by a focus group moderator. 
2. Call center interaction among customer service representatives as they field questions from callers. 
3. Human resources discussing rollout of new benefits or compensation plans with field representatives, 
   managers or team leads.
4. Pulse surveys asking three or four questions to poll employees with instant response. 




                                                                                                           25
Gaming Technology
Although the survey did not ask respondents whether they used gaming technology in training programs 
at work, the survey found that 19 percent of non‐millennials and 33 percent of millennials were gaming 
online at home regularly. It’s important to recognize that millennials spent a lot of time learning with 
games and interacting online with a wide range of games. This gaming technology has application in the 
workforce for recruiting, orientation and training. Here’s some examples:

1.   Recruitment: A small start‐up software 
     company needs young employees to help 
     build, sell and support customer service for a 
     new product in the construction industry. It 
     competes with big name, Silicon Valley type 
     employers for these recruits at colleges. Rather 
     than produce a brochure and other traditional 
     materials for recruiting purposes, the 
     company constructs a website and gives 
     candidates a button connect on a wire that 
     plugs into a UBS port. When the candidate 
     pushes the button, it takes them automatically 
     to the companies special website where the 
     candidate is greeted by the CEO in a video. 

     The candidate can select an avatar and take a virtual tour of the company…stopping at the R&D 
     department, sales, customer service and product support sites where the candidate can see and 
     hear more about the jobs available and the type of culture. 
2.   First Day Orientation: When candidates accept job offers, they are filled with anticipation and 
     enthusiasm for the new job. When they start the job they must become familiar with the new 
     employer’s culture, orient themselves to the new environment and figure out who is important 
     and where to spend their initial energy in establishing their credibility and value. A first‐day 
     website with a game or avatar‐type program would help new employees be prepared for their 
     first day, even before it starts (i.e., during the period after they accept the job offer). 

3. Training:  Web designers are also using gaming 
   technology to support learning. Millennials who learned 
   how to build simulated cities, fly jet fighters and battle 
   armies of adversaries online, can learn new job positions 
   quickly and at their own pace. No need for group 
   meetings and travel costs as online gaming can be 
   completed at home or at a workstation. 


                Like “Flight Simulators” for working scenarios,
                    gaming technology can put business goals
                                       and job roles in context.


                 With special thanks to Jim Wexler at BrandGames




                                                                                                         26
Web 2.0 Media at Work – Text Messaging
 Text messaging is a little trickier to use because of privacy issues. When is it ok for an employer to send a 
 text message to employees’ personal cell phones? Group text messaging can be used to notify team 
 members of a change in meeting time or location and for safety and crisis communication – to alert 
 employees of a safety issue or provide direction during a crisis, for example.  

 The survey asked respondents if they used their cell phones to text message with coworkers. Just over 
 one quarter, 25%, said they do. Millennials, as would be expected, text message with coworkers more 
 frequently – but not in large numbers.


                                                          Use of Text Messaging at Work

                                                                         Frequently
  Of the 25 percent who                                                     6%
  use text messaging                                                                        Occasionally
  with coworkers, most                                                                          19%
  use it occasionally


                                                          Never
                                                           75%
                Millennials Use of Text Messaging
                 Millennials Use of Text Messaging
                   9% Frequently
                     9% Frequently
                   29% Occasionally
                     29% Occasionally
                   62% Never
                     62% Never




 What This Means…
 Employers can encourage work teams to use text messaging if the employer is paying the cost of the cell 
 phone. HR may find value in text messaging to keep in contact with their field staff and vice versa, 
 especially when employees are asking questions about initiatives, changes or HR policy/benefit 
 programs.




                                                                                                            27
Web 2.0 Media at Work – Wikis
Wikis are a communication tool for a project team or work groups. Employees can log on and use a wiki 
for problem solving, tracking progress or in posting journal‐type entries. 

Respondents were asked if their employers offered wikis as a work tool. Fewer than one said they did 
have access to wikis. However, of those whose employers offered wikis, only 6 percent used one 
frequently  in their jobs and 22 percent said the occasionally use one. 




                                                       Use of Wikis at Work
  Of the 8 percent who                                               Frequently
  work for employers                                                     6%
  that offer access to 
  wikis for work groups,                                                             Occasionally
                                                                                         22%
  most never access it

                                                 Never
                     Millennials use of wikis     72%
                      Millennials use of wikis
                        8% Frequently
                          8% Frequently
                        23% Occasionally
                          23% Occasionally
                        70% Never
                          70% Never




  What This Means…
  Human Resources can use wikis for managing large‐ and small‐scale projects, where HR staff and field 
  administrators can interact and problem solve as a group, or to track employee questions about policy 
  and benefits. Corporate communicators may find wikis useful in change management initiatives.




                                                                                                         28
Working Remotely Creates a
Communication Challenge
According to an independent survey conducted in mid‐2008 of senior executives, more than two‐thirds (69 
percent) said it is common for their employees to work off‐site. In addition, 82 percent said they expect the 
number of employees who work remotely to increase in the next five years. 

The Aon survey reveals that 45 percent of the respondents work offsite either always (4 percent) or sometimes 
(41 percent). Remote workers present a challenge to communication and engagement. It’s more difficult for 
them to build affinity, a key element of productivity, and it’s harder for them to stay in touch with what is 
going on at work. 




                      Respondents Who Work Remotely
                                                      Always
                                                        4%


                                                                                 Sometimes
                                                                                   41%



                         Never
                          55%



  What This Means…
  As more employees work remotely, corporate communicators and executives will be challenged in 
  keeping them engaged and informed. Millennials have a high regard for employers who can be flexible in 
  helping them blend their work‐life commitments. Working remotely, whether during normal work hours 
  or according to their own schedule, is part of that expectation. Since many remote workers may not be 
  available for company‐wide meetings and learning events, Web 2.0 media offers an alternative for helping 
  them stay informed and engaged through podcasts, webcasts, e‐learning modules and other electronic 
  media.




                                                                                                            29
Where to go for more information




                                   30
About Aon Human Capital Consulting

Service Area      Description                                  Specific Products and Services

Organizational       Strategic communication and change           Organizational Communication
Improvement          management expertise to ease clients
                                                                  Change Management
                     through initiatives and small- and
                     large-scale change                           HR Transformation
                                                                  Knowledge and Capability Transfer
                                                                  Workforce Engagement
Talent Strategy      Expertise in the strategic management        Human Resources Functional Assessment
                     of human capital, from talent alignment
                                                                  Talent Attraction/Retention Assessment
                     and workforce planning to human
                     resources optimization strategies            Total Rewards Alignment
                                                                  Workforce Planning/Workforce of the
                                                                  Future

Talent               Ensure our clients have the talented         Talent Acquisition
Acquisition &        employees and leaders they need now
                                                                  Workforce Performance
Management           and in the future
                                                                  Leadership Development and Talent
                                                                  Management
                                                                  Benefacts Compensation Statements
                                                                  Recruitment Process Outsourcing
                                                                  Call Center Performance




                                                                                                        31

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Social Media And Employee Communication

  • 1. Web 2.0 and Employee Communications Summary of Survey Findings March 2009 Align your media to employees’ preferences and get results faster. Survey findings show emerging preference for Web 2.0 media in employee communications.
  • 2. Contents Web 2.0 in the Workplace 92 million millennials are entering the workplace, while 78 million boomers retire. Millennials’ use of Web 2.0 2 Introduction communication tools (Web 2.0 media) is reshaping employee communication. If you plan to emerge from a down economy with a new 3 Why This Report Matters business strategy, this report will help you develop your employee engagement and communication plan. What we mean by Web 2.0 and how employers can use 4 Web 2.0 Communication it in the workplace. A survey of over 8,000 people working for public and 6 Key Findings private employers reveal how they use Web 2.0 media at home and at work. A look at survey demographics and how Web 2.0 media 8 Demographics and millennials will help your recruiting. If employees use Web 2.0 media at home, they’ll be 12 Communication at Home comfortable with it at work. There’s a gap in how employers communicate with 16 Communication at Work employees at work and how people get information when they are not at work. Look here for where to get more information on Where to Go for More integrating social media into your engagement and 30 education strategies and how you can participate in the Information 2009 survey for free. 1
  • 3. Introduction Web 2.0 media (social media) messages spread rapidly and feedback is  nearly as fast, affecting and altering personal perceptions.   Blogs and tools like Twitter offer personal opinions and can  help leadership deliver messages to employees and obtain  instant feedback.  Instant messaging, text messaging and controlled social  networks can spread news and perceptions quickly through  an electronic grapevine that can help internal communicators.  While the internet provided the vehicle, it is a new generation, born  between 1980 and 2000, that helped introduce the use of Web 2.0 media in  the workplace. In fewer than 10 years, this generation, referred to as  millennials and numbering 92 million,* will become the largest  generation in the US workforce.  The value of using Web 2.0 media in communication planning with  millennials is clear. They already use this media on their own and their  workplace presence will continue to grow in size. Employers that successfully integrate Web 2.0 media into engagement and education  strategies will get results faster with this generation.  However, our survey results show a much broader use of Web 2.0 media  among all generations, whether hourly or salaried, not to socialize, but to  get their jobs done. With a broader, multi‐generational audience using  Web 2.0 media today, employers have another reason to look closely at  harnessing the power of Web 2.0 media and integrating these tools into  In this report, Web 2.0 media include their internal communications.  social networks, blogs, text messaging, instant messaging, wikis This report looks at the emerging role Web 2.0 media has in employee  and gaming technology (see page 5 communication and engagement** strategies. Employers can resist Web  for definitions). 2.0 media and restrict its use at work or they can leverage its influence  and integrate Web 2.0 media into strategies for recruiting, educating,  engaging and retaining employees. The point is, employees are using  *The population figures represent US Web 2.0 media at work for work purposes anyway, employers should Census Bureau estimates of current capitalize on this to enhance their business.  US residents. **We define engagement as the cognitive (mental),  Special Thanks physical, and emotional attachment that an individual  For help and support in developing the  experiences with regard to his/her work. Specifically,  survey and the report:  engaged employees are those who are: • Bruce‐Eric Anderson, Dell Passionate and enthusiastic about their work • Tina Korecky Bowness, CCC  Devoted to getting the job done right Information Systems Immersed fully in the task at hand • Darren Luke, ABN AMRO Bank NV Focused and concentrate intensely while on the job • Joanne Kitnos, Blue Cross Blue  Driven to do whatever it takes to complete the task Shield Association • Al Comeaux, Sabre Holdings • Jim Wexler, Brand Games • Keith Burton, Insidedge 2
  • 4. Why This Report Matters What Employees (Not Employers) Think If you believe that employers can effectively ban Web 2.0 media in the  If your workforce is comfortable  workplace or that employees only use Web 2.0 media to socialize, this  using Web 2.0 media at home,  report will change your mind. It’s based on a survey that asked  they are ready to use these tools  questions of over 8,000 employees (not employers) how they use Web  at work. In other words, the  2.0 media at home and at work. It gives you what you need to know  better you can align your  about how these tools can be used to support traditional media to speed  communications to your  results, whether for recruiting, training or engaging employees. These  employees’ media preferences,  tools are effective and, as more millennials enter the workforce, they  the easier and faster you can  will become more prevalent in the employer communication toolkit. achieve results.  Balancing Risk, Cost and ROI in Using Web 2.0 Media The risk in using Web 2.0 media is that they may detract from productivity, a common employer position.  But survey findings show people, even non‐millennials, are using these tools not to socialize, but to get their  jobs done.  The cost of Web 2.0 media is relatively low compared to the cost of printing. If the cost is lower, and they can  help you reach results faster, the risk that they will be used for socializing may be worth it, especially if the  risk can technologically be minimized and if results relate employee engagement.  The return on investment (ROI) is more than just in cost savings, however. According to the 2008 Aon  Talents and Benefits Survey, 70% of responding HR leaders said that will “increase” or “substantially  increase” employee engagement during the next three to five years. Why? Because engaged employees:  Have a 44 percent higher rate in retention Are 56 percent better in customer service performance Have a 50 percent higher record for safety Are 50 percent more productive Are 33 percent more profitable Source: 2004 Gallup poll (latest available) Yet, a 2009 Gallup poll shows only 26% of employees are engaged, while 56% are not engaged and 18%  are actively disengaged. The faster you can achieve engagement, the sooner you reap the return on  investment. Web 2.0 media provides an opportunity to accelerate the engagement process.   The Market Downturn, Web 2.0 Media and Employee Engagement Whether you’re implementing a survival strategy and/or planning to emerge from the down economy  with a modified and/or aggressive business strategy, it makes sense to prepare and engage your  workforce now. As you prepare to implement your business strategy, look at your employees’ media  preferences. The better you can align your communication and engagement strategy to their preferences,  the faster you’ll get results. Use this report for ideas. Aon’s Organizational Performance &  Implementation team created this survey and have more details if you’d like to discuss them.  The 2009  Web 2.0 and Employee Communications survey will launch in April, if you want to participate.  3
  • 5. Web 2.0 Media Defining the Web 2.0 media used in this report. Avatar A graphic identity you either select from a group of choices or create on your own to represent yourself to  other parties through instant messaging (IM) or a multiplayer gaming session. An avatar is a caricature,  not a realistic photo and can be a simple image or a bizarre fantasy figure. Some employers are using  avatars on recruitment websites and in training employees. The avatar helps the prospect or employee  interact with the corporate environment.  Blogs A website where individuals or groups update entries in a journal on a daily or other periodic basis. Many  blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online  diaries. Some leaders find blogs useful in getting their message out to employees on a regular basis and  using the blog to obtain comments and feedback on initiatives. Gaming Games you play online over the internet either by yourself or with others online. More organizations are  using gaming technology to attract millennials in recruiting and to train and engage employees in a wide  range of initiatives from sales promotions to diversity training. Social Networks Social networks like Facebook, MySpace, or LinkedIn (A collection of ways for users to interact online,  such as chat, messaging, email, video, voice chat, file sharing, blogging, discussion groups, and so on).  Social networks offer access to employee profiles for skill matching on project teams, faster on‐boarding  and integration for new hires and increased employee morale. During a down economy, they can be  useful in saving on travel costs.  Wikis Software that allows users to collaboratively create, edit, link, and organize the content of a website,  usually for reference material. (Wikipedia is an example.) They offer work teams the ability to document  project progress and keep the team in touch with each other more effectively than email.  Other Web 2.0 media Twitter is a micro‐blogging service that enables its users to send and read other usersʹ updates known as  tweets. Tweets are text‐based posts of up to 140 characters in length. Updates are displayed on the userʹs  profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. Senders can restrict  delivery to those in their circle of friends. Twitter has potential application as a restricted tool for  delivering website links, positioning perceptions and receiving responses from employees. 4
  • 6. Web 2.0 Media in the Workplace Here are some applications for Web 2.0 media in the workplace. Use or Purpose Web 2.0 Media Comments Peer-to-peer and team member Instant messaging Set up instant messaging chat rooms for discussion communications Text messaging groups. Group text messaging also possible Remote employee Instant messaging With more employees expected to work remotely, Web 2.0 communications Net meetings media provides tools to help keep them engaged. Podcasts Virtual training Leadership-to-employee Blogs Successful blogs are built on a foundation of trust and communication Micro-blogs (i.e., Twitter) credibility and can be used to feed the grapevine and monitor the results. When effective, they function as a two- way communication avenue. The optimal blog becomes a forum for leadership perceptions and decisions, enabling discussion and feedback from employees at all levels. Employees can feel included in decision making and business strategy implementation, a key element to successful engagement. Employee recruitment Avatars: Websites with The investment in gaming technology for employee Employee onboarding avatars to help recruits with recruitment and orientation has a significant return Employee orientation a virtual experience of the depending on your costs to replace an employee. Training workplace or for a first-day For example, some have estimated the cost to replace experience. registered nurses is about $65,000 and the cost to replace Gaming technology and hourly hotel workers ranges between $2,500 and $14,100 podcasts for employee per employee (Society of Human Resources Management). orientation, education and training Employee bonding (sharing Internal social networks for An estimated 85 percent of employees work on projects with the employment experience) employees are similar to colleagues from other offices, making social networks a source Staffing global projects Facebook for staffing. Knowledge exchange Project management Wikis Wikis help work teams manage projects, solve problems, Corporate HR interaction answer questions in a group setting. with field HR 5
  • 7. Key Findings At Home At Work If people are using these tools at home, they are ready and  Employees are using Web 2.0 media with or without  willing to use them at work. employer approval. All generations use the internet at relatively  All generations use their employees’ intranet at  high rates (at least 40 percent are online an  work for work (about two thirds of hourly and  hour or more daily when not at work).  salaried employees use the intranet).  As expected millennials are frequent users of  Surprisingly, non‐millennials are using Web  text messaging, instant messaging and social  2.0 media at work than they do at home – a  networks at home. clear signal that these communication tools are  effective. Most Used Web 2.0 Media at Home Most Used Web 2.0 Media  at Work for Work  Non- Web 2.0 Media Millennials Millennials Non- Internet 77% 87% Web 2.0 Media Millennials Millennials Text Intranet 65% 72% 21% 49%* messaging Text Instant 25% 38% 14% 72% messaging messaging Instant 46% 48% Social networks 14% 49% messaging Social networks 13% 20% Blogs 11% 20% Blogs 8% 13% Gaming and Avatars Gaming technology can accelerate training and  employee engagement.  Working Remotely 19 percent of the non‐millennials are  45 percent of the respondents work remotely  gaming online; 11 percent have avatars.  at times; 4 percent all the time.  33 percent of millennials are gaming  Because the number of remote workers is  online; 23 percent have avatars. expected to increase, Web 2.0 media offers  another communication tactic for engaging  *Respondents were asked for use of text messaging  them.  when looking for information, not for communicating  Blogs and Wikis Are Emerging Work Tools with friends and families. Only 8 percent of respondents said they use  blogs and wikis at work.  The cost efficiencies and immediacy in  knowledge transfer will encourage employers  to expand usage. 6
  • 8. What These Findings Mean The internet’s power not only gives people access to a wide range of news perspectives, but it grants each  person an outlet to express his or her own opinion on it. Employees are using social media to collect  information, to interpret and communicate it to others.  Your intranet and the internet are already resources for internal communications, using Web 2.0 media  will help you maximize these resources. To use Web 2.0 effectively, you have to recognize that employees  also share the power of this media and build your employee engagement and education communication  strategies knowing and counting on employees sharing your message with other employees.  Employees’ ability to share and alter the message through Web 2.0 media is a core issue to address when  integrating social media into internal communications. It requires a different approach to message  management – particularly post‐delivery where you need to collect feedback, monitor reactions and  reinforce your message to sustain credibility and ensure effective message delivery. The point is that the use of Web 2.0 media is most effective if you have built trust and credibility with  employees. If not, you will need to by recognizing their voice and opening up channels to collect and  share their input in helping you build a communication process that recognizes their ability to manage  and reinforce messages through Web 2.0 media. The sooner you can build this foundation for Web 2.0  media, the more effective your communication strategies and the quicker you can achieve results. 7
  • 10. Generations Four generations participated in the survey. Traditionalists – Age 63 and older – Make up 3 percent of surveyed participants Boomers born between 1946 and 1964 – Ages 44‐62 – 78 million in size, 45 percent of workforce – Make up 45 percent of surveyed participants Gen Xers born between 1965 and 1980 – Ages 29‐43 – 38.6 million in size, 40 percent of workforce – Make up 39 percent of surveyed participants  Millennials (Generation Y) born after 1980  – Age 28 and younger – 92 million in size, currently 10 percent of the workforce but within 10 years may be as large as 50  percent – Make up 13 percent of the surveyed participants  Generations Participating in the Survey 3% 13% 45% 39% Millennials Gen Xers Boomers Traditionalists 9
  • 11. Survey Demographics Non- Millennials Millennials 13% of survey base; overall millennials are 10% of total US workforce Participants 7,777 974 Males 40% 34% More women, which supports trends in college enrollments among millennials Females 60% 66% Full-Time 95% 89% Salaried 68% 43% Hourly 32% 57% More hourly employees – use of Web 2.0 media among millennials does not appear to be affected by job position Years of Service Fewer than 5 45% 90% 5-10 21% 10% 11-15 12% 0% 16-20 8% 0% More than 20 14% 0% 88% have at least some college compared to Education 68% of the non-millennials Advanced degree 14% 7% College degree 40% 49% Some college 14% 32% High school degree 31% 12% The “average” respondent* Female Early 40s (on the cusp between Boomer and Gen Xer) College educated Salaried Five years with current employer *Based on median responses 10
  • 12. Recruitment Participants were asked how they joined their current employer  30 percent referred by a colleague 17 percent recruited by employer or outside recruiter 13 percent responded to job posting in newspaper or other  print publication 12 percent applied through company’s online career site 8 percent walked in and applied 5 percent viewed job posting on career/job site (e.g.,  Monster, CareerBuilder) 12 percent other What This Means… Survey results show more employees are referred by a colleague than are recruited. Because  millennials network better than any other age group, they will recruit for you if you establish a strong  culture that appeals to employees, including millennials. This reinforces the value that Web 2.0 media  offers for employers interested in achieving or sustaining a preferred‐employer status. 11
  • 14. Communication at Home – Summary Summary Non-Millennials Millennials Internet as Internet as TV is most popular information source popular as TV popular as TV 89% 87% among for both groups among millennials millennials Internet is more popular than radio and newspapers and millennials use it 77% 87% as much as they use TV for information Online for more than one hour: Four out of 10 people are online for more 41% 64% than one hour daily; two-thirds of millennials Use of Web 2.0 Media: Text messaging 21% 49%* No surprise here, millennials Instant messaging 14% 72% grew up with Web 2.0 media and Social networks 14% 49% it’s a natural resource for them to rely on for news and learning Gaming: Playing games online (potentially can be use in recruitment, 19% 33% orientation and training) *Respondents were asked how often they use text  The use of social networks will continue to increase. messaging when looking for information, not for  In 2008 alone, Facebook users grew 127 percent to communicating with friends and families. 222 million visitors. But, millennials are not the only ones joining. Over 73 million users are between the ages of 35 and 54, according to Comscore, an online audience measuring company. 13
  • 15. At-Home Media Millennials key up websites for information  just as frequently as they turn on the TV – or  Multiple Responses they use the internet to validate information  Traditional Media and interact through chat rooms and blogs. TV  Used at Home provides a range of viewpoints on news, but  Non- Millennials the internet and its blogs, chat rooms and  Millennials social interactions allows people to express  their own views and interact with others. TV 89% 87% Internet sites 79% 87% Millennials are also more prone to rely on  word of mouth as a resource (text messaging is  Newspapers 72% 60% an electronic version of word of mouth). Radio 70% 62% It’s also interesting to note that the growth of  Word of mouth 58% 70% the internet as a source of information ranks  Magazines 47% 49% ahead of both newspapers and radio for both  non‐millennials and millennials. Other N/A N/A What This Means… The internet’s power not only gives people access to a wide range of perspectives on news, but it grants  each person an outlet to express his or her own opinion on it. As Web 2.0 media become more prevalent in  the workplace, employers will have to recognize that employees’ share the power of this media. Employers  can harness that power and leverage it by recognizing employees’ voice in the use of Web 2.0 media and  opening channels to collect and share their input.  14
  • 16. Web 2.0 Media Used at Home Millennials who grew up with Web 2.0 media in their personal lives, as well as in the education system, are  more likely to use Web 2.0 media for news and information at home compared to non‐millennials. Use of Web 2.0 Media (Multiple Responses) Frequency in Using Web 2.0 Media at Home Non- Non- Media Millennials Outside of Work Millennials Millennials Millennials Time spent online per Social 14% 49% day networks Less than 1 hour 59% 36% Text 1 or more hours 41% 64% 21% 49%* messaging Frequency using text Instant messaging 14% 26% messaging Never 37% 7% Occasionally 36% 20% Blogs 11% 20% Frequently 27% 73% Frequency using Online instant messaging 19% 33% Never gaming 46% 28% Occasionally 35% 42% Use of 11% 23% Frequently 19% 30% avatars *Respondents were asked for use of text messaging in looking for information, not for communicating  with friends and families. What This Means… It’s no surprise that millennials use Web 2.0 media at greater levels at home than non‐millennials. However,  these findings suggest that many millennials will bring Web 2.0 media to the workplace for both personal  and work use. Employers need to be aware that Web 2.0 media can be used for internal communications,  particularly employers with large numbers of millennials. Because millennials will become a larger group  in the workforce during the next few years, the opportunity to integrate Web 2.0 media into internal  communications will also become greater. 15
  • 18. Communication at Work – Summary Traditional sources of information Summary All Respondents are most commonly used. Memos and emails are most common media for employer information. 73% Although not used as much as memos, the intranet is not that far The employer’s intranet is second most behind. common source for employer information. 65% • 46% - Instant messaging Web 2.0 media: Instant messages, social • 25% - Text messaging networks, blogs and wikis emerging as • 13% - Social networking Doesn’t necessarily mean that communication tools • 8% - Blogs the employer offers Web 2.0 • 8% - Wikis media resources, it reveals the percentage of employees who are using Web 2.0 media at work for their jobs. 17
  • 19. At-Work Media Memos and emails from management remain a  standard method for communicating with employees  Sources used at work – in the traditional top‐down communication  All approach. Nearly three quarters of the respondents  (Multiple responses) look to memos and emails for employer news.  Management memos/emails 73% Nearly two thirds of the respondents also turn to the  employee intranet as a source for news. Interestingly,  Employee intranet 65% an employer’s face to the public – its website – is a  more common source for news than meetings.  Company newsletter 55% Word of mouth 53% Company website 46% Meetings 41% News media 36% Mailings to home 28% Human resources 27% Webcasts 20% What This Means… Even among hourly employees, employers’ intranet sites are a primary source of information. A large  number of participants use several sources for employer information (memos/emails, their employers’ intranet sites, internal newsletters and meetings). They are using multiple sources to obtain and confirm  news, just like they do at home. Word of mouth was also highly rated. This suggests that feeding the grapevine with the right information  can help build credibility – critically important if you consider that employees using Web 2.0 media to  discuss company messages broadens the grapevine’s power. You can manage the grapevine message by  tapping into the power of social networking through Web 2.0 media. This will help you to confirm if  employees have received and understood the message correctly. 18
  • 20. Social Networking at Work As millennials enter the workforce, they are accessing social networks, such as MySpace and Facebook,  bringing Web 2.0 media to the workplace. A survey by Challenger, Gray & Christmas found that one in  four of 200 surveyed employers have blocked access to social networks. One of the key reasons is that  social network sites are viewed as a major drain on worker output.  The survey also found some employers (less than 10 percent) actually encourage employees to use social  networking sites. “Banning use of sites could also make it hard to recruit young employees. To get a real  recruiting edge, business should integrate social networking and other Web 2.0 tools into every facet of  the organization, from marketing to internal employee communication.” Some employers have created internal social networks for employees to use for screening skills and  subject matter experts to match needed skills to projects. This has become especially important as more  organizations are staffing projects on a global basis. Internal social networks have also helped internal  communication and employee bonding. See the case study on the next page. In the Aon survey, 14 percent of the respondents indicated they use social networks at work; about the  same as those who use them at home. Use of Social Networks at Work The use of social  Yes networks at work is  consistent with the  13% use of social networks  at home No Millennials use of social networks Millennials use of social networks 87% 20% Yes 20% Yes 80% No 80% No What This Means… While millennials out number other generations on social networks, a third of the 222 million Facebook users  are between the ages of 35 and 54, according to Comscore, an online audience measuring company. 19
  • 21. Case Study: Social Networks Several employers are using internal social networks to create “face pages” (profiles) of employees. Larger,  global firms can especially benefit from internal social networks.  Case Study available upon request. 20
  • 22. Social Networking at Work (continued) Other growing uses for social networks are emerging as well. The Aon survey reveals, for example,  that 33 percent of the respondents participate or are interested in participating in online affinity groups  at work for an area of interest to them (e.g. working parents, working women, gay/lesbian, areas of  technical expertise, etc.). Six percent noted they currently participate and another  27 percent said they  would be interested, if available.  Also, 57 percent of respondents are interested in participating in an online social network of fellow  alumni if they left their current employer. Professional services firms such as consulting firms, audit,  financial and legal services firms use affinity groups to stay in touch with former employees who can  become potential clients. Use of Alumni and Affinity Social Networks Participating in or interested in participating in an 33% affinity social network if available Interested in participating in an alumni social 57% network after leaving their current employer 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% What This Means… Affinity networks offer an opportunity for an organization to address diversity within the workplace.  Alumni networks are a way for former employees to interact with current employees.  21
  • 23. Web 2.0 Media at Work – Blogs A McKinsey survey showed use of company blogs increased from 21 percent in 2007 to   38 percent in 2008.  Blogs are an especially helpful tool for executives who want to personalize their leadership. They allow  executives to present a perspective on business and management issues, engage employees in dialogue and  solicit input. See the case study on the next page. Use of Blogs at Work Read the blog Of the 8 percent who  and Read the blog said their employers  have a blog, only 10  participate but don't percent read the blog  3% participate and 3 percent add  10% content to the blog Don't read the blog 87% Millennials Use of Blogs at Work Millennials Use of Blogs at Work 2% Read and participate 2% Read and participate 11% Read, don’t participate 11% Read, don’t participate 87% Don’t read 87% Don’t read What This Means… Organizations that want to share leadership information and solicit feedback on the information with  employees find blogs very useful. However, not every organization can succeed with blogs. Blogs are most  effective in environments where leadership has built credibility and trust and are viewed as listeners and  collaborators.  To assess the feasibility of blogs as a leadership communication tool, poll employees on their perceptions of  leadership and determine if credibility and trust are issues. If they are a concern, take steps to mitigate these  perceptions first, adding a blog as a second phase to show that leadership is collaborative and is listening to  employees. 22
  • 24. Case Study: Blogs Blogs are an extremely useful leadership communication tool, enabling management to regularly update  employees on the organization while collecting feedback from employees. They can be used on a division  basis or at the top level. In some cases, blogs are used to spearhead a cultural change and to engage employees  in new business initiatives or goals. The are cost‐effective and easy to use. However, as mentioned earlier, the  organization must take steps to build support for a blog and then promote it before launching it. Without such  preliminary work, a blog can actually be counterproductive. To better connect with employees and  obtain feedback from employees, a CEO can  use a blog on business topics, such as:  New directions    Leadership changes Marketplace rumors Work environment  Brand reputation  Leaders can regularly join the discussion to  respond to specific questions and concerns.  Case Study available upon request. 23
  • 25. Web 2.0 Media at Work – Instant Messaging Computer‐to‐computer instant messaging is a communication tool that is more direct than email because the  users can converse online in real time. It also offers the capability for multiple users to “group think” on a  topic, project or work issue.  Whether the employer offers instant messaging or employees use their own services, usage is on the rise.  According to a 2006 American Management Association report, almost one third of employers, 31 percent,   have an instant messaging policy in place detailing how employees can and canʹt use the program during  work hours.  The Aon survey asked respondents if they use instant messaging at work with coworkers without regard to  whether their employer had a formal instant messaging internal network or if the respondent uses instant  messaging through an internet service (such as AIM). Nearly half, 46 percent, said they do. Of these, 20  percent said they do so frequently.  The fact that non‐millennials are using instant messaging at work more than they are at home is interesting. In  comparison, millennials use instant messaging more at home than they do at work. This is likely because  many millennials have a large network of friends and family who regularly use instant messaging, whereas  non‐millennials’ friends and family members may not be using instant messaging nearly as frequently. Here’s  where a generational difference shines through. See the example on the next page. Use of Instant Messaging at Work Of the 46 percent who  Frequently use instant messaging  as a work tool, more  20% than half use it  frequently Never 54% Occasionally 26% Millennials use of instant messaging Millennials use of instant messaging 30% Frequently 30% Frequently 52% Occasionally 52% Occasionally 18% Never 18% Never What This Means… Email may be more common, but instant messaging is more direct and urgent. It has a potential role in  corporate communications. For example, instant messaging can be used to remind supervisors of  upcoming communication events and employee survey or enrollment deadlines. 24
  • 26. Example: Instant Messaging Project managers at Example, Inc. must stay in regular connection with team members as they work at  client sites on various projects. Most of the project team members have laptop computers that they use  onsite. Email is frequently used as employees log on remotely to stay in touch with project team members  and their managers.  The company recently added instant messaging as an alternative and more immediate way for team  members to discuss work issues. They found problem solving easier through group chat features in the  instant messaging system.  The company recently made changes to its business model that affected all employees and their managers.  Several business lines were restructured and sales, operations as well as customer service were all  affected.  With employees scattered around the country, the company faced productivity and cost issues  to hold meetings to overview and discuss the impact of the changes on the work teams. Alternatively,  corporate communications set up a webcast to present a general overview of the changes, created separate  podcasts for operations, sales, customer services and other groups. Managers were also given special  training and a series of questions to discuss with their work teams. Rather than call in these employees  from the field, the company used instant messaging and the chat feature to hold discussion groups with  the smaller project teams. Each supervisor was able to ask a series of questions – in a sort of focus group  setting – to discuss how the change impact their groups.  This strategy is effective because it eliminated the need to organize onsite meetings and incur travel  expenses. It allowed for a cascading of the change message from the highest executive levels to the front  lines where managers could personalize the change for their workgroups. It also enabled leadership to  collect feedback from all levels within the organization. Other uses for instant messaging and chat features include: 1. Virtual focus groups facilitated remotely by a focus group moderator.  2. Call center interaction among customer service representatives as they field questions from callers.  3. Human resources discussing rollout of new benefits or compensation plans with field representatives,  managers or team leads. 4. Pulse surveys asking three or four questions to poll employees with instant response.  25
  • 27. Gaming Technology Although the survey did not ask respondents whether they used gaming technology in training programs  at work, the survey found that 19 percent of non‐millennials and 33 percent of millennials were gaming  online at home regularly. It’s important to recognize that millennials spent a lot of time learning with  games and interacting online with a wide range of games. This gaming technology has application in the  workforce for recruiting, orientation and training. Here’s some examples: 1. Recruitment: A small start‐up software  company needs young employees to help  build, sell and support customer service for a  new product in the construction industry. It  competes with big name, Silicon Valley type  employers for these recruits at colleges. Rather  than produce a brochure and other traditional  materials for recruiting purposes, the  company constructs a website and gives  candidates a button connect on a wire that  plugs into a UBS port. When the candidate  pushes the button, it takes them automatically  to the companies special website where the  candidate is greeted by the CEO in a video.  The candidate can select an avatar and take a virtual tour of the company…stopping at the R&D  department, sales, customer service and product support sites where the candidate can see and  hear more about the jobs available and the type of culture.  2. First Day Orientation: When candidates accept job offers, they are filled with anticipation and  enthusiasm for the new job. When they start the job they must become familiar with the new  employer’s culture, orient themselves to the new environment and figure out who is important  and where to spend their initial energy in establishing their credibility and value. A first‐day  website with a game or avatar‐type program would help new employees be prepared for their  first day, even before it starts (i.e., during the period after they accept the job offer).  3. Training:  Web designers are also using gaming  technology to support learning. Millennials who learned  how to build simulated cities, fly jet fighters and battle  armies of adversaries online, can learn new job positions  quickly and at their own pace. No need for group  meetings and travel costs as online gaming can be  completed at home or at a workstation.  Like “Flight Simulators” for working scenarios, gaming technology can put business goals and job roles in context. With special thanks to Jim Wexler at BrandGames 26
  • 28. Web 2.0 Media at Work – Text Messaging Text messaging is a little trickier to use because of privacy issues. When is it ok for an employer to send a  text message to employees’ personal cell phones? Group text messaging can be used to notify team  members of a change in meeting time or location and for safety and crisis communication – to alert  employees of a safety issue or provide direction during a crisis, for example.   The survey asked respondents if they used their cell phones to text message with coworkers. Just over  one quarter, 25%, said they do. Millennials, as would be expected, text message with coworkers more  frequently – but not in large numbers. Use of Text Messaging at Work Frequently Of the 25 percent who  6% use text messaging  Occasionally with coworkers, most  19% use it occasionally Never 75% Millennials Use of Text Messaging Millennials Use of Text Messaging 9% Frequently 9% Frequently 29% Occasionally 29% Occasionally 62% Never 62% Never What This Means… Employers can encourage work teams to use text messaging if the employer is paying the cost of the cell  phone. HR may find value in text messaging to keep in contact with their field staff and vice versa,  especially when employees are asking questions about initiatives, changes or HR policy/benefit  programs. 27
  • 29. Web 2.0 Media at Work – Wikis Wikis are a communication tool for a project team or work groups. Employees can log on and use a wiki  for problem solving, tracking progress or in posting journal‐type entries.  Respondents were asked if their employers offered wikis as a work tool. Fewer than one said they did  have access to wikis. However, of those whose employers offered wikis, only 6 percent used one  frequently  in their jobs and 22 percent said the occasionally use one.  Use of Wikis at Work Of the 8 percent who  Frequently work for employers  6% that offer access to  wikis for work groups,  Occasionally 22% most never access it Never Millennials use of wikis 72% Millennials use of wikis 8% Frequently 8% Frequently 23% Occasionally 23% Occasionally 70% Never 70% Never What This Means… Human Resources can use wikis for managing large‐ and small‐scale projects, where HR staff and field  administrators can interact and problem solve as a group, or to track employee questions about policy  and benefits. Corporate communicators may find wikis useful in change management initiatives. 28
  • 30. Working Remotely Creates a Communication Challenge According to an independent survey conducted in mid‐2008 of senior executives, more than two‐thirds (69  percent) said it is common for their employees to work off‐site. In addition, 82 percent said they expect the  number of employees who work remotely to increase in the next five years.  The Aon survey reveals that 45 percent of the respondents work offsite either always (4 percent) or sometimes  (41 percent). Remote workers present a challenge to communication and engagement. It’s more difficult for  them to build affinity, a key element of productivity, and it’s harder for them to stay in touch with what is  going on at work.  Respondents Who Work Remotely Always 4% Sometimes 41% Never 55% What This Means… As more employees work remotely, corporate communicators and executives will be challenged in  keeping them engaged and informed. Millennials have a high regard for employers who can be flexible in  helping them blend their work‐life commitments. Working remotely, whether during normal work hours  or according to their own schedule, is part of that expectation. Since many remote workers may not be  available for company‐wide meetings and learning events, Web 2.0 media offers an alternative for helping  them stay informed and engaged through podcasts, webcasts, e‐learning modules and other electronic  media. 29
  • 31. Where to go for more information 30
  • 32. About Aon Human Capital Consulting Service Area Description Specific Products and Services Organizational Strategic communication and change Organizational Communication Improvement management expertise to ease clients Change Management through initiatives and small- and large-scale change HR Transformation Knowledge and Capability Transfer Workforce Engagement Talent Strategy Expertise in the strategic management Human Resources Functional Assessment of human capital, from talent alignment Talent Attraction/Retention Assessment and workforce planning to human resources optimization strategies Total Rewards Alignment Workforce Planning/Workforce of the Future Talent Ensure our clients have the talented Talent Acquisition Acquisition & employees and leaders they need now Workforce Performance Management and in the future Leadership Development and Talent Management Benefacts Compensation Statements Recruitment Process Outsourcing Call Center Performance 31