Assessing the Use of Social Media for Employee Engagement in the Singapore Military

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Kevin Kok-Yew Tan
Augustine Pang

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to assess the potential of using social media in employee engagement within the Singapore military through the theoretical lens of organizational listening, and to ascertain the implications to corporate organizational communication with the transferability of findings made possible by a common pool from which both military and corporate draw their employees. 20 interviewees with varied demographics were interviewed in this research. Findings showed that:
- Text messaging and social media were common communication platforms used for employee engagement;
- Employees feel proud when the organization showcases good work on social media;
- Social media use must be complemented by face-to-face interactions by the organization’s leaders; and
- Employees want to feel valued from the communication efforts by their organization.
Beyond the Singapore military, corporate organizations can better understand the potential of social media as a communication platform for the workforce and the importance of coordinated, consistent, deliberate and strategic communication internally. This study is arguably one of the first to apply findings from military employee engagement research into the corporate settings. Organizations should be cognizant of the high informational and emotional needs of the Gen Y workforce within organizations. Theoretically, it calls for organizational communication theories like organizational listening to reinforce existing internal communication strategies in the current mediascape, which this research attempts to spearhead by mapping its findings against the seven tenets of organizational listening – Recognition, Acknowledgement, Attention, Interpretation, Understanding, Consideration, and Response.

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