Although it is impossible to truly predict every aspect of the future, experience in an industry can provide some detailed insights that make a true prediction more likely. In the case of Edelman (News - Alert), a public relations firm, employee engagement is top priority, and a recent blog post at Edelman describes what one employee, Christopher Hannegan, believes the future of employee engagement could look like.
First off, he states that businesses could begin to take a page out of political campaign handbooks. Politicians often target specific audiences with specific messages that relate to their experiences. They bring up topics that appeal to Republican audiences, for example, when they are addressing that sort of crowd. Similarly, businesses will begin to target highly specific segments of the population such as, Hannegan suggests, mothers with children under five years of age who have been in the workforce for more than five years. Employees will target those populations with products and messages that appeal to their experiences.
Employees will also begin to take advantage of the pervasive nature of media by making more business-related events public through social media. Information has a high likelihood of being leaked, so companies will take advantage of that fact and purposely leak information themselves in a manner they wish to convey. They will also begin to take closer looks at which information they wish to spread locally, regionally, and globally. To the extent that it is possible, information should only reach groups that businesses want it to reach. Although social media can spread small bits of news like a wildfire, businesses can control their content to a certain extent and try to create better communication with less noise.
Similarly, leaked content and marketing content will be quick and surprising. Employees will engage with the public through short blurbs rather than long-winded reports. The public does not want to wade through seas of content; they want information quickly. And businesses will do well to stick to public demand.
Finally, within businesses themselves, employees will be treated more like the public as they test new products and ideas. Before creating a new product or releasing a beta to the masses, employees can solve product-related issues by issuing feedback as if they were consumers themselves.
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