Social Media at Work – Not So Counterproductive Anymore

With a 5 plus years of experience working in different outsourcing firms, IT organizations – I think, I found it rather difficult to engage my reporting heads to allow us a breathing space. Cause, apparently they all were not too “down” with the whole Social Media thingy. Which is even more upsetting, considering how the enterprises and firm are nowadays encouraging more and more enterprise wide social communication and dialog.

However, with my last organization. Where I handled a team of six resources, reporting to me. I was allowed to give them the freedom and space required to work more efficiently and more productively. Which was a tedious task at first.

I designed a sufficient, somewhat ample “food for thought” resources including a small informative presentation highlighting the pros and cons of Social Media for Business networking and how you can redefine your daily goals by including Social Media as an important part of your game. Well, to kick start the module. I asked my team a few questions as follows :

  1. How many of you have an active facebook profiles?
  2. How many of you have an active/dead twitter profiles?
  3. Are you on LinkedIn? Is yes, what is your connection reach?
  4. Do you know what Social Media, really is?

All five of them had an active facebook profiles. One had a dead twitter profile, who really didn’t get the real hang of it? However, to my amazement almost none of them had a LinkedIn profile? I was “sort of” shocked, at first. But then I realized, I think this could work. This could actually work?

facebookatwork

source: google.com/images

And it’s interesting how a two way communication can bring out the best in you while giving a presentation or conducting a QnA session, the whole point of conducting such a module in the first place. The first thing after the session, they all went and created a their respective LinkedIn profiles.

Consider this – two of the team members were able to generate solid/hot leads within the next couple of days, cause they could really understand what page the prospect is currently on via his/her LinkedIn profile. They even made a connection request to a lot of their prospects, which was really amazing to see. They started taking more interest in their assigned task.

Just today, I was reading this article on Businessweek titled “When Social Media at Work Don’t Create Productivity-Killing Distractions” which talks about a research conducted by The Warwick Business School.

The research suggests that workers who are encouraged to tweet, chat, like, and Skype on the job are among the most productive of the lot.  The theory further solidifies the faith in Social Media as a prime mean of inter-enterprise collaboration and communication, against the usual managerial argument that Social Media at workplace is counter-productive and leads to a negative impact on the company’s/brand’s image.

Well, I found the article more than educative for myself. Knowingly, I am already aware of the pros, as far as enterprise wide Social Media involvement and application is concerned. However, what really intrigues me is the fact – how can the organizations, or are the organizations failing to implement and see the over-all growth and collaboration via mean of Social Media within their talent pool/workforce?

 

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