As regular readers of my blogs will know, I am very much of the opinion that social media is a force for good in the workplace. New research by Deloitte suggests that managers are slowly coming round to the idea.
What is interesting however is that employees don’t really share the optimism of their managers. The survey found that whilst 45% of executives believed social media is good for their companies’ culture, only 27% of employees agreed with them.
The rationale behind the managers opinion was that it helped company transparency, it improved relationships between colleagues, improved connectivity with the company and its leadership, and helped build a positive work culture.
Employees however didn’t think social media usage played a big part in creating a positive culture. Instead they regarded things such as candid communication, employee recognition and easy and regular access to senior management as having a more substantial impact.
So if you’re looking to build a great culture at work, you can’t go wrong with focusing on the bare essentials in your role as manager.
Indeed, I have argued in the past that having the right culture is essential to making the best use of social media at work. The Deloitte survey suggests that for some managers it’s a case of trying to put the cart before the horse.
The Deloitte survey underlines the importance of good communication. People want honesty. They want regular communication with senior management, and they want what they say to make a difference. All of these are things that social media can build upon and supplement. Merely giving people access to Facebook however won’t cut the mustard.
Here’s the trick with social business: Focus on people and culture. People are naturally social, so whereas so much of modern management asks us to go against our natural behaviour, adopting a social culture taps into it like no other. Utilisation of social tools merely taps into our natural creativity and desire to form communities of like minded individuals.
Used properly they can allow employees to network with others both internally and externally to get their job done better than ever before. If you can empower them with the trust and belief that what they’re doing is right then you unleash the intelligence and creativity from within them.
Of course creating a social culture is not easy, it requires a fundamental shift in thinking. You need to let go of control and trust your employees to be the great human beings you thought they were when you hired them. Treat them like adults, empower them to do great things, enable them to form a social business.