Employers are now utilising a host of social media tools such as instant messaging and social networks to communicate with their employees, a new study has found.
The research, which was based on surveys of 290 organisations from across North America, Europe and Asia, found that more than half of the employers surveyed currently use various social media tools as part of their internal communication initiatives as a way to build community.
Among the companies surveyed, instant messaging, used by 77 per cent, and streaming audio and video, used by 61 per cent, were the most popular social media tools, 'BusinessNewsDaily' reported.
Other tools being widely used include human resources or employee blogs, enhanced online employee profiles, social networks, SMS messaging and mobile apps, according to the study by global professional services company Towers Watson.
"We believe that social media can be a great tool for communicating with employees in the workplace," said Kathryn Yates, global leader of communication consulting at Towers Watson.
"By its nature, social media is designed to build community and could help engage employees on key topics such as performance, collaboration, culture and values," Yates said.
Despite the increased adoption, reviews regarding each tool's effectiveness have been less than overwhelming. The study found that for each social media tool, less than half of those using it find it to be effective.
Also, only 40 per cent rated the use of social media technology as cost-effective.
However, researchers believe the importance of social media tools will only grow as businesses become more dependent on remote workers.
Currently, just 23 per cent of those surveyed said their company is effective at building community among its remote workers.