Recently, I listened to part of a presentation made by Don Tapscott, Chairman of nGenera Insight. Don Tapscott is the author of a number of books including, Growing Up Digital – The Rise of the Net Generation. He states that “because of their access to digitial media young people learn, work, think, shop and create differently than their parents.” This is important for managers to understanding the new generation and their behaviour in the workplace.
What are your thoughts about blocking access to social media in the workplace? Don’s comments on social notworking in the workplace were thought provoking. He suggests that unproductive time spent on social media sites during working hours is a “managerial problem” not a “technology problem.” In the presentation, he says that by blocking access to social media employers are saying … “We don’t trust you.” How does this message impact productivity and the building of a mutually beneficial relationship? Since a key component of relationship building is TRUST, what does blocking access to social media sites say about the employer – employee relationship? Providing access to social media sites and setting clear expectations about what is acceptable use and what is not acceptable use will go much further in building a trusting relationship. The social media issue is like the personal phone calls issue in the old days. Don illustrates this by stating that if a sales person spends all his days making personal phone calls instead of phoning customers, the solution isn’t to take away the phone. This is a managerial and a motivational issue that is best dealt with open communication and setting clear expectations. The same could be said about the new way of communicating through social media. What are your thoughts? What do your company policies on social media say about the employer – employee relationship?
Joanne Royce is the Founder of Royce & Associates, a Human Resources and Training Solutions consulting company. She is passionate about Creating Happy, Healthy and Productive Workplaces. Joanne delivers workshops to help build employer-employee relationships and to strengthen management skills: Generations At Work – Valuing Our Differences and Managing Four Generations – Maximizing Results. www.royceassociates.com