A few minutes ago, because my friend Russell Lawson shared a link on Twitter that intrigued me (thank you Russell), I read an article in The Post and Courier from Charleston, South Carolina.
It’s about Social Media use troubling some managers.
Author Cindy Krischer Goodman wrote about the dilemma facing businesses today.
“While most companies understand the value of connecting with customers online in social networks, some also fear employees will waste work time or worse, reveal confidential information or offend a customer or co-worker.”
“With social networking exploding, at some point this year, every business will have to confront the challenge and answer this question: Embrace it or ban it?”
Some of the comments readers left mentioned how important it is because this is the way digital natives, those who were born with, or grew up with, digital methods of communication as the norm, live.
I left Cindy, and everyone, a comment that boils down to this:
Embrace It Already!
Many workers who are not digital natives, but who understand the importance of keeping up with communication in all forms, are also important to consider.
Social Media are being used by employees of all ages and interests. You can no longer keep these communication tools out of their lives during the work day just as you can’t keep email, telephone and face-to-face communication away from people. These are tools that are here to stay, and will become a large part of every business around you, so it’s time to:
- Become familiar with them.
- Frame them.
- Train people on them.
- Monitor them.
- Integrate them in to your business and marketing plans.
- Then repeat all of these steps regularly.
I would not sit back much longer, hoping you learn all of this from osmosis, or hoping it all goes away because neither is going to happen.
Look at the steps above, and figure out what you are uncomfortable or unfamiliar with, reach out and ask for help, and get on with it!
It’s your responsibility as managers, partners, business owners and leaders to do what needs to be done to make your organizations run safely, effectively and efficiently, to drive the internal and external forces that help you accomplish your business goals, and to be responsive to your clients and potential clients.
Now is one of those times.
If this post interests you, you might also find this one interesting. Even though it is written with wording for law firms, it is applicable to any type of business. Should Law Firms Ban Use of Facebook At Work?
Thank you very much to Melissa Wiese for the adorable photo of Data, the cat, above.