Let me ask you this upfront! Do you think the culture of an organization can be clearly expressed to the stakeholders and partners by sending enormous tweets and constant FaceBook updates about your company?
I doubt it! For example the photos and information that are shared mostly in a company’s facebook page are of their recent achievements, facilities available at work, employees having fun at a get together and mostly new products that has been launched recently,Social Media tools can possibly help an organisation motivate their workforce but cannot do a good job of getting their employees to understand their culture. For an employee to truly dive into the organization’s culture, he has to understand the shared values and beliefs which is often can be understood only by interacting with other employees including leaders in their day to day work and observing how things get done in the way they do.
Social media is just a complementary tool that is available to leverage an organization’s visibility to its stakeholders and get them engaged. Visibility of how well the organization treats their employees, visibility of how people treat each other within the organization.
Employers might feel that sharing real time updates through social media can get their employees engaged, make them proud of where they belong and can get them to emulate the organization’s culture. But, is the transparency happening at every level of the organization, even at the bottom level employees?. That is still a question.
Well a recent 2012 report from Deloitte, about “Culture in the Workplace” says,
- 45% of executives say social media has a positive impact on workplace culture while only 27% employees agree.
- 41% of executives compared with only 21% of employees believe that social networking helps to build and maintain workplace culture.
- As it relates to management visibility, 38% of executives think social media allows for increased transparency while only 17% of employees agree.
There are a few other comparisons as well, which is eye opening. The report also says that the level of employee engagement amongst the senior leaders is higher compared to grass root level employees.
The bottom line is- Building a culture and nurturing it cannot be achieved just by sending emails or through Facebook updates. Employees have to really feel that they are connected to the leaders in the organization, they all are on the same page and working towards a common goal and everyone’s commitment is invested in the right areas. That trust and belief cannot be build through a system update or automated messages but through interactions, spending time with your workforce, having conversation and showing empathy towards them.
So let me leave this question to you, What do you think is the role of social media in building the workplace culture?