On Sunday evening I was reading a blog post over on Business on Main called Why Employees Are Less Engaged than Ever. The post talks about why employee engagement is at an all time low. According to research conducted by Hewitt Associates, employee engagement in June 2010 had its largest quarterly decline in more than 15 years, when Hewitt first began tracking this metric. The post goes into detail on some ideas to help keep employees more engaged. I suggest that you read it.

This subject is definitely something that I could be better at. Employee engagement is a hard thing when businesses are in startup mode and client interaction is number one. Let’s look at a couple of ways leaders in organizations can better engage employees using social media.

1. Facebook Groups for Employee Engagement

Facebook Groups can be used for employee collaboration and engagement if used the right way. A recent study found that when members of different business units interacted socially, they also transferred more knowledge. It is important to remember that no matter how large or small your organization… interaction between employees is a key factor in business growth. Facebook Groups can be used as a cost effective way for employee collaboration. Setup a private Facebook Group for your employees to engage. This ensures that employees can discuss and talk amongst each other without having to share personal profiles with bosses and peers.

2. Create a Twitter Account to Share Knowledge

I have known plenty of business owners and CEOs who have created Twitter accounts to share pieces of information and thoughts throughout the day. Remember to research (or even ask) how many employees are actually using Twitter. It could be important to encourage them to start using Twitter in order to collaborate.

3. Use Twitter-like Technology – Yammer

Charles van Heerden over at The Recruiter’s Lounge wrote recently about a technology called Yammer:

“VicRoads are using Yammer, an internal “twitter” bringing together all of a company’s employees inside a private and secure enterprise social network. According to Judith Pettitt, Executive Director People Services and Internal Communications, more than 20% of their 3,000 employees are engaged in providing valuable shared knowledge on various business topics. It has been especially helpful in organizational problem solving and in ‘seeding’ ideas.”

4. Use LinkedIn for Advocacy Recruitment

When looking to hire a new employee it could be an excellent idea to utilize your current employee’s LinkedIn networks to crowd source recruitment. Employees who have been trained on LinkedIn and have developed a network could be huge advocates for recruiting their friends through LinkedIn.

5. Use an Internal Blog to Promote Internal Genius

Blogs can be extremely powerful in the external marketing and the internal communications world. Setup a blog or wiki for your employees to engage and interact with content and comments. By encouraging your employees to write for an internal source… they may be more likely to write for an external blog. Writing content encourages your employees to become advocates for your brand… internally and externally.