Social Media within the Enterprise

Posted: October 11, 2012 by Matthew Hanwell in Organization, Social Media

I’m looking forward to speaking at HR Tech Europe in Amsterdam later this month (25th & 26th October). I’ll be sharing my personal reflections, thoughts and lessons learned from evangelizing, encouraging, promoting and supporting the implementation and adoption of collaboration and social media capabilities within a large global enterprise. I’ll reflect on how the world of work in my opinion has and is changing, the challenges and opportunities, and what in my opinion one should focus on.

Having presented at HR Technology events over the years; it will be interesting to hear how my message is received in 2012. Is the concept of ‘social media’ now accepted and widely and successfully adopted within organizations? Does social media remain in the domain of Marketing as an external channel to customers and consumers? Have Corporate Communications picked up social media to improve communications? Have the IT folks installed some social media applications? And what role, if any has HR had in all this – maybe written a policy?

I remember talking about the use of Social media a few years ago at a large event in the US. Following my presentation I was surprised by the questions I received; how can we block this? How do we prevent that? How do we control what our employees do? What are the security risks? We can’t allow our employees to do that, it will impact productivity? We can’t trust our employees…..and so on…And I was in the USA the land of the free?

At subsequent conferences and events I included a slide where I reminded people of the fear and concerns that existed when earlier disruptive communication technologies were introduced into the workplace, (not quite going back to the pen) – The fixed line telephone – fear that people would spend all day speaking with their friends? Email – would employees send inappropriate emails to each other or to senior management – except that senior management might have been the last people to use email! Or Internet browsers – fear that employees would access/download inappropriate content, and spend all day browsing the web. I would challenge the audience to think how many of them could work ‘productively’without a telephone, email and a browser today? And state that in my opinion, so it will be with the social media capabilities, these will become as embedded in our daily work as email and browsers are today. And in any case performance and productivity, specifically for ‘knowledge workers’ can’t be measured based on the time a person spends sitting in front of a computer screen, but rather on the outcomes of the work they do. I hope now in 2012 we have moved beyond this, and that it is safe to leave this slide at home.

I’m also looking forward to catching up on the latest news and thinking from the world of HR Technology, and the Social Enterprise – it looks like a great line up of speakers and topics.


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