#NEXTCHAT: Creating a Groundswell in HR

by Emily Jasper on January 14, 2014


This post is featured on SHRM’s We Know Next blog. Join me January 15 at 3:00E for a #Nextchat on creating a groundswell in HR. 

Much like a groundswell where a massive storm can create huge waves and a rise in the sea level, a groundswell among large groups of individuals — using the power of technology and social media to connect — can create a major surge in support, approval and enthusiasm to accomplish goals. Companies have started using groundswells to inspire consumers to rally around a cause — and a brand.  Procter & Gamble successfully created a groundswell around the Secret brand with their “Fearless” campaign.

However, motivating people to become passionate and share that passion with others can be a difficult endeavor. Last fall, I wrote a blog for SHRM We Know Next about building a groundswell with your team. Now let’s look at the HR perspective.

Groundswells in HR can be used for a variety of endeavors from the adoption of a new technology to encouraging employees to rally around an organizational goal.  They can also help talent management and employer brand initiatives by showcasing a positive and engaged workplace culture.

As a reminder, the groundswell happens when people, economics and technology collide. In theory, we should already be there when it comes to the power of talent management.

Let’s think about these three elements of the groundswell and what that means to HR:

People: Employees are critical to success of business. Whether your organization is trying to fill more strategic roles, experiencing a lack of certain skillsets, or having to get more creative with a contingent workforce, the makeup of your people will be changing as your business continues to align itself for the future (and the future changes quite rapidly). Continuous measurement and gap analysis will probably become the best processes you can institute in your organization. You’ll be taking a true pulse of the organization.

Economics: Even if you’re not a fan of the math, basic supply and demand will heavily influence your ability to make change when it comes to the future of your organization’s talent. You’re going to experience economic influences on everything from the compensation structures to the market values of talent, as well as the actual performance of the business. Educating yourself on the factors that can influence the existing economy (government negotiations, world events, the aging workforce), will help you to prepare for scenarios that will affect your business and talent.

Technology: You probably feel like you’re on speed dial with every HCM sales rep out there. Do you need analytics? Engagement software? Communication systems? And when companies are using six or more different HCM systems, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the options and what they’re going to mean for your organization. The best thing you can do is push for a balance between foundational platforms that allow for interoperability (so systems talk to each other) and commercial-like interfaces that make it easy for anyone to use the technology.

You don’t have to suddenly become an economist or an information systems specialist to take your people specialty and make a groundswell in the business. You just need to be informed.


Please join @weknownext at 3 p.m. ET on Jan. 15 for #Nextchat with special guest, Next Official Blogger, Emily Jasper (@emilyjasper). We’ll chat about how HR can use technology, economics and people to create groundswells of success in their organizations.

Q1. As an HR pro, do you think groundswells are a passing fad or the new way to accomplish goals in a socially connected world?

Q2. What HR initiatives make the best cases for groundswells?

Q3. Do you need high levels of employee engagement to create groundswells or do groundswells create high levels of engagement?

Q4. What are the first steps to creating a powerful groundswell in your organization?

Q5. How can social media be used to amplify communication in a groundswell campaign?

Q6. How can groundswells help when implementing new HR or other enterprise-wide technology?

Q7. Do groundswells need executive level buy-in to be successful or can they be just as successful at the grassroots level?  Why?

Q8. How do you know if a groundswell was successful in your organization? How do you measure it?

Q9. How have you used groundswells in your organizations to successfully accomplish goals?


What’s a Twitter chat?


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