Podcast 85 - Social media: what's the point for work?

With new CIPD survey results showing prevailing uncertainty that social media has any role to play in the workplace, we discuss ways in which social and digital technologies can and increasingly will have a real impact on the world of work. We discuss how employers can exploit the potential of a more networked workforce, and talk about the altered power dynamics that can result from a more 'social business'.

HRD and prolific tweeter Gemma Reucroft (@HR_Gem) speaks about how she's used social media to network and learn, and how her company is now building social technologies into its communications framework. DPG's Head of Customer Experience Mike Collins (@MikeCollins007) talks about a networked approach to L&D. We also probe the findings with report author Jonny Gifford (@jonnygiff), who argues that the question is no longer 'whether' but 'how' you are going to use social media. The episode also includes the legal perspective from solicitor Ron Kane, including his suggestions for collaboratively developing a workable social media policy.

Speaker biographies

Jonny Gifford, Research Adviser, CIPD

Jonny Gifford is research adviser at the CIPD, specialising in employee engagement, employee relations and organisational culture. He joined CIPD in 2012, having previously worked as principal researcher at Roffey Park Institute and previously research fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies. Current interests include dispute resolution, uses of social and mobile technology (e.g. for collaboration, employee voice and flexible working) and the role HR functions play in corporate responsibility. Jonny has an MA in Social Research and Comparative Labour Studies from Warwick University and a BA in Social Anthropology from Sussex University.

Jonny is currently leading the CIPD's 2013-14 research project on social and mobile technology, including initial surveys of employees and HR professionals and other organisational 'policy-setters', followed by case study research in the new year.

Jonny tweets as @jonnygiff

Gemma Reucroft, HRD, Tunstall Healthcare

Gemma Reucroft is the HR Director of Tunstall Healthcare (UK) and leads the HR and internal communications teams. Prior to joining Tunstall, Gemma spent over seven years at the telecommunications provider KCOM Group, where she held a variety of HR roles including; leading employee relations, resourcing, HR shared services and a team of HR Business Partners. Gemma is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, and has a Masters' Degree in Employment Law and Industrial Relations from Keele University, She is also a qualified mediator and coach.

Gemma writes a popular blog and tweets to over 2,000 followers as @HR_Gem. She's introduced various social technology initiatives into her organisation, and has also recently been involved in the CIPD/MIX 'Hackathon', authoring her own hack.

Mike Collins, Head of Customer Experience, DPG plc.

Mike Collins is currently Head of Customer Experience at DPG plc. He has been working in HR, primarily focused on Learning, Performance and Leadership for the last 7 years. Until 2012, Mike worked in the corporate world, holding roles at companies including RBS and Direct Line.

Mike's work with DPG plc has involved developing the DPG Community, a free online community of practice for professionals interested in raising the standards of HR and leadership. The community supports DPG learning solutions, and membership is approaching 2,000.

In 2013 the DPG Community won a Peer Award for Customer Engagement Insight and it's also been shortlisted in the Social & Collaborative Learning category in the Learning Awards 2014.

From January 2014, DPG are joining forces with CIPD's learning arm to deliver Level 7 Advanced HRM and HRD certificates and diplomas through CIPD Flexible Learning.

Mike tweets as @MikeCollins007

Ron Kane, Consultant Solicitor and Tutor in Law, Leicester University

An experienced solicitor, Ron has provided employment law and employment relations advice to local authorities and schools and colleges for over twenty years. He has also advised and represented many private sector clients.

Ron was, up to the end of 2011, Head of Employment Law at Hampshire County Council. In that role he managed a team providing the full range of employment law and employment relations advice to internal and external clients, including other local and national park authorities, Probation Trusts and a wide range of schools and colleges, including Grant-maintained and Foundation schools as well as Post-16 and Further Education Colleges. Ron and his team also provided employment law and employment relations advice and support to the Hampshire Education Personnel Service.

Before joining Hampshire County Council Ron was in the private sector in HR and prior to that had an engineering role in the services. In addition to his practice as a solicitor Ron has for over twelve years taught employment law and employment relations to solicitors, barristers and HR consultants at post-graduate level in the University of Leicester. Ron also teaches employment law and employment relations at a Hampshire college where his students include HR officers and managers from a wide range of private sector companies.

Useful links

Read our latest survey report on social media.

For more information, please visit the CIPD website's Social media in HR page.

You can also comment on Twitter via the hashtag #cipdsocial13