Youngsters have some neat TXT acronyms on messenger for intrusive parental behaviour - POS and POMB (Parents Over Shoulder & Parents On My Back). As HR departments fall over themselves to ban Facebook, it begs the question as to whether they should ban it or build on it in organisations. It’s a little sad that supposedly, people-friendly HR departments are now seen as the social-police. But they may have a point which is the possible drain on productivity.
7 types of added value
What organisations want to know is the added-value to their organisation of social networking. First we have to distinguish between open and closed social networking. A closed network, like a Facebook corporate network only allows members to socialise with other employees. Given this distinction, what are the benefits:
- Recruitment – using networks to find and assess candidates is becoming common.
- Induction – what better way to familiarise new starters than real-people social networking across the whole organisation.
- Optimal operational networking –optimal teams/networks in an organisation are rarely the people you sit beside. Social networking widens and optimises the network, especially in multi-site or international organisations.
- Training – using such sites to distribute knowledge and viral learning seems sensible. Use what people use, not what the IT department prescribe.
- Home workers – reduces isolation and increases teamwork.
- Happy employees – social networking is successful as it makes people feel valued and part of a social community. Happy employees are more productive employees.
- Links with people outside the organisation – useful in terms of contacts, sales, client relationships, finding suppliers and so on.
There’s a spike on the internet as social networkers, news hounds, gamers and ‘video snackers’ chillout from their daily grind. So the productivity slump is, I suspect, a mirage.
Giving a talk on this and other social networking issues - legal problems etc at Learning Technologies on Thursday 30 Jan at 11.30.