Mixed feelings on social networking

Employers have mixed feelings about the use of social networking to promote health engagement among their workforces, according to researchers.

A survey examined the use of three key new technologies – social networking, mobile technology and gamification (the use of game-like features in non-game situations to motivate a change in behaviour among staff).

Social networking is used in some fashion by half of all organisations.

Yet it ranked highest in concerns over privacy of personal information in the study, which was conducted by Buck Consultants and WorldatWork.

Gamification was found to be the most prevalent (62%) and ranked highest for effectiveness – with nearly a third (31%) of companies intending to adopt one or more new gamification elements in the coming year.

Mobile technology was implemented by fewer firms (36%) but was the highest priority for future adoption or expansion (40%) out of the three solutions.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of responding organisations have a health engagement strategy in place.

However, the measurement of communication effectiveness and return on investment (ROI) were found to be inadequate.

While 40% of respondents believe mobiles will be the most frequently adopted technology by employers during the next two years, only 11% measure ROI on mobile apps and social media initiatives.