Thursday, 20 September 2012

Social Networking Sites at Workplace: A Taboo

Today, Social Networking has become a fundamental part of an individual’s communication arsenal. Social Networking by far is the most buzzing thing on the planet. I recall back in 2008 I made my first social networking account with Orkut but rarely opened it. Once my girlfriend texted me on my phone saying “Hey, I have scraped you”. Till that day scrap for me meant waste, and I thought she dumped me. I immediately called her to enquire what went wrong, to my pleasant surprise, she meant she had posted something on my profile, which apparently is called as Scrap in Orkut. Few years later, Facebook came and scrapped Orkut. It’s not just about communication, dating, meeting new and old friends, now social networking has taken a leap ahead and entered the professional world. Today most of us keep our LinkedIn profiles up-to-date, coz you never know when an opportunity knocks the door. Before joining a new company many of us visit Glassdoor, Mouthshut etc to know about the reputation of the company they are going to serve.

Unfortunately (yes, I would like to use the word unfortunately) Social Networking is still a taboo at workplaces. WHY? The biggest reason what a company gives are on the lines of the productivity impact. Let us take a look at the market giants. Google, was a noun before now it has become a verb, and Microsoft is a $294 bn worth brand. Ever wondered why are they at the top? One of the many things that set them apart is the culture they follow. They TRUST their employees, they know they would not let them down. The Trust factor seems to be missing in many of the companies today. I was disappointed to discover that I do not have access to social networking sites when I joined my organisation. I was later granted access as I was working on a project which needed me to visit these sites. For the first few days I was excited about it and I opened FB, Twitter and LinkedIn frequently, but today I only login when there is an official requirement coz no excitement lasts long.The good thing it did is that now I can brag in front of my friends outside my organization about the leisure I have and it makes me feel at home.

A company can do wonders if they have the blessings of Social networking sites, their TRPs would shoot up to unimaginable heights and to gain that their employees have to be the first to “like”/”follow” them, coz preaching starts from home. Many companies do a lot for the employees, but the key thing that they miss doing is, Spreading the Word. There cannot be a better way to do so than thru Social Networking sites. Following are some ways a company can go out in public and make other employers envy them:

·         Share pictures of team outings, lunch etc on Twitter or Facebook
·         Emails of accolades often gets flashed on the floor, now post the pictures of the R&R recipients on Social networking websites. They’ll feel Happier when their friends and families see them.
·         Share company’ revenue/stock updates which can be made public, makes an employee feel they are in safe hands.
·         Company townhall, outing etc, block the calendars of employees on FB, they wont miss it for sure.
·         Have online polls various topics
·         Share the list of awards the company won.

Ofcourse, we also have to ensure that these pictures and posts are not breaching the company’s Social Media policy, hence an admin to overlook the posts is advisable. After practicing even a few of the points above, if the company should have the employees give a feedback on Glassdoor/mouthshut, I am sure the employees won’t let them down.

The bottomline is You can take a person out of social networking but you cannot take social networking out of a person. The companies should learn to come in terms with the generation to make the workplace Happier.