In some ways, the perspective a number of employee benefit brokers and advisers take on social media in the workplace reminds me of views held by many employers - at least in the beginning - on the value of workplace wellness programs. Both social media and wellness have their enthusiastic, devoted supporters, as well as skeptics who question the level of time commitment required to be successful and the resulting return on investment, which can be difficult to track.
At the same time, both avenues hold an untested amount of potential. And both are about so much more than "what's in it for me?" In her column, Overcoming ROI objections: Getting to the heart of the corporate wellness program, Intercare Insurance Solutions' Beth Taylor discusses the hesitancy of employers to embrace wellness programs. As she points out, "Clients that measure every task in terms of immediate ROI are not getting to the heart of the corporate wellness program - the health of their employees. By shifting the focus to the total wellbeing of employees, your clients lay the foundation for long-term gains."
Cover subject Dal Watson, Keeping it social", views social media with the same long-term growth proposition: "Over time, I'm planting seeds for future reference . . . and hope to reap the harvest down the road."
Just as a company that embraces wellness permeates a positive attitude toward healthy behaviors and stimulates employees through the motivational environment the program creates, a workplace that utilizes social media tells the world a firm is in touch with the bigger picture and ready to join the next generation of communication and business building.
With social media as the theme of this month's issue, the cover story provides multiple examples of why it's no passing fad. In fact, branding specialist Rick Morgan equates not being engaged with social media to not having a website or showing up at meetings. "As a broker, I don't know that you have a choice about joining the sites," he says. "You hear all the [concerns], yet looking at the dominant position social [media] has got in our lives, I think that not doing something is . . . a negative branding signal."
Based on the steady number of daily requests we receive from you all to join our Employee Benefit Adviser LinkedIn group, I know you embrace the networking angle to a degree. I encourage you to explore further the potential of other avenues as well: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr and others.
And while you're out there, connect with us @EBAmagazine and facebook.com/EBAMagazine.
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