In past posts on the topic, I’ve often wondered when the average worker would “get” blogging. I have to admit that I finally “got it” recently, but from a different perspective. While working with larger firms, I’ve again had the chance to observe the average office worker. In doing so, “it” occurred to me while explaining how social media adds value to an organization that many folks just don’t have the bandwidth to participate.
It’s not that they wouldn’t want to, rather, it’s that the modern organization is so optimized on searching for productivity gains that there is little room to add back the socialization tools to the mix. To do so without finding the reasons for using more employees’ time doesn’t add value to the organization. Many existing efforts to engage the employee meet with mediocre results because people don’t have interest in helping their employer know more about them.
Another aspect of social media in the enterprise is buy-in. There simply is a certain demographic that will be averse to participating. The reasons for this can be nearly anything, but usually comes back to the fact that many people can’t grasp the value of participating. They may exhibit this perspective in many other aspects of their life as well by not joining community groups or friends in other activities.
So, for those organizations that are trying to leverage the knowledge of their employees, the challenge is to find the channel that they will respond to. It’s more than that however, because just like working to connect with consumers, the business needs to connect with their staff. They need to eliminate the gap between business and employee by being themselves. Executives & veeps need to show their personalities, not their “game face” that they use for business. The employees know about that all too well, they need to see that the business is made up of real people.
Social Media in general has this issue – that people aren’t willing to invest the time, or don’t see any value in participating. It’s not unique to this new way of engaging people. Similar challenges faced radio and television at one time as well, newfangled things that they were. These new community building tools & techniques are still in their infancy and will be a large part of the infrastructure of the new economy that is developing as we speak – the trends in the market prove that out every day.
Photo credit: ShadowStorm