Deloitte’s most recent survey on the results and effects of Social Media in the Enterprise is both expected and unexpected! It would appear the C-suite has a much more elevated opinion on the positive effects of social media than co-workers. The corporate divide is wide as usual; management and employees rarely see eye to eye! Below are a few of the results:

  • 45 percent of executives say social media has a positive impact on workplace culture; 27 percent of employees agree
  • 41 percent of executives believe that social networking helps build and maintain workplace culture; 21 percent of employees agree
  • 38 percent of executives say social media allows for increased transparency; 17 percent of employees agree
  • 46 percent of executives say social media and online collaboration tools are critical to building and maintaining relationships with colleagues; 27 percent of employees agree

So what do these results suggest from the co-worker’s point of view?

  1. Social media provides what we call a social smoke screen which is the ability for the enterprise and/or brands to appear 110% engaged in open conversation but to only be partially listening, if at all.
  2. Coworkers continue to feel disconnected from having any real influence in effecting corporate direction, strategy and culture. This is a cultural and structural challenge in corporate communications that has been around since Henry Ford.
  3. The opportunities to conveniently and economically launch social platforms within the enterprise are endless but the dialogue is still one way and often a dead end. There is still a perception of us vs. them.
  4. Social media is still in its infancy and we’re expecting too much, too soon. Be careful of what you ask for and be prepared to react and act. Too much unfocused feedback is a waste of time.
  5. Social media doesn’t change corporate culture, co-workers do. So think and Yelp, because they will ignite a bottom up co-worker to co-worker revolution. This next revolution will be much more POWERFUL than shouting to the C-suite. Think mass communications, not isolated individuals in cubicles.
  6. Larger, bulky enterprises are slow to react. Think Microsoft Surface tablet and Apple iPad? It takes time to implement change or even keep up.  By the time the enterprise takes action to solve a problem, a new problem emerges someplace else. Putting out fires burns calories, time and money.
  7. Keeping an open line of communication is a lot responsibility so the enterprise needs to invest in an Intelligent Social Agent(s) to ensure that data, insights, ideas and opinions are captured, examined and elevated and have a brisk follow up.  Talk is cheap but finding and mining for the value is the art and the FUTURE.
  8. Nothing replaces face-to-face and personalized communications to build lasting and meaningful relationships.
  9. Social media is often used to share friction, what’s broken and to highlight the differences between co-workers and executives. The unhappy often have the loudest voice. Social media also needs to elevate the positive as well as eliminate the negative. Think positive first . . . know what is working FIRST.

What perspective are you coming from: the executive or the employee? What advantages or disadvantages to “social media in the enterprise” would you add to this list?


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