When are not ignorant of the fact that there are times when social tools are not enthusiastically adopted within companies. The reality is that relatively little of such Web 2.0 internal communications happens in companies today. Our initial research suggests three key barriers to the effective use of social internal communications.
This post is focused on the first barrier: Misperceptions and Misuse.
Barrier #1: M&Ms
Misperceptions: Social media activity is perceived to be counterproductive or even wasteful by managers and leaders within the organization. For example, at one multinational the common perception is that if you have an active presence on the companies Yammer site, you must not have enough “real” work to do. The fundamental assumption is that social media activity does not have business value.
Misuse: Another common issue at firms where social activity is actively encouraged by senior leadership is the encouragement of activity that has sub-optimal impact on the company’s bottom line. For example, a firm may encourage its employees to create internal social communities, blogs or twitter-like feeds, but these activities have a limited impact on the firm’s base competitiveness. There may be some value in pictures of the team’s latest social outing or an internal blog where a director shares his or her “two cents” on the latest corporate initiative. However, the director’s energy may actually be better spent leading their managers through activities directly related to their core business activities. For example, as a collaborative platform for collecting ideas on how to drive further cost savings in the team’s operations.
Your Experience with M&Ms: Do you have other examples of how social media tools have encounter misperceptions or misuse in your workplace?