Is that the $20000 question? To me, it seems the challenge for businesses today is to find the right mix of media and collaboration tools for the workplace.
I read 2 interesting articles today which I think reinforce that statement. The first was a post on ReadWrite Enterprise highlighting the results of a Forrester report that surveyed nearly 5,000 American IT workers and found that not many of them are actually using social media for work-related activities. (Despite The Hype, Few Enterprise Workers Embrace Social Software)
Checking their personal Facebook pages aside, we are still at the early adopter stage for many of us when it comes to using these tools in business. The report, The Enterprise 2.0 User Profile: 2011 was written by TJ Keitt and based on research conducted during May 2011.
There seems to be an interesting divide developing as far as new media adoption (or use) in the workplace. There is a lot of talk, and I am one of the talkers, about collaboration, creation and curation as the new “magic sauce” for business (and schools) but, for me, this was a sort of reality check.
The survey found that three population groups account for most of the social media users, the early adopters/tech optimists, upper-level management, and younger workers.
The “why this is important” was also revealed in the survey.
Social media users are more productive than non-users, at least in how they assess their own productivity. Part of the reason for this is because they can more readily find the information they need to do their jobs.
The second post I read was “How to build a crappy workforce” by David Meerman Scott. He says that if you want to employ second-rate employees and cannot wait to build a team of D-players ban Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks at your workplace.
What is the answer to the $20,000 question? To me, training and sharing. The early adopters and younger workers need to lead the way by helping other workers see the value of social media. It is great to have social systems or to allow workers to use social media in the workplace, the trick seems to getting everyone on board (and comfortable with the tools) to get the real benefits.