A social workforce. An amazing concept.
12 years ago businesses were fretting about employees having unlimited access to the internet and all sorts of restrictions were put in place to “increase productivity”. Now the thought of holding any job where internet access is restricted is unthinkable. Today it’s a integral part of our productive lives.
And so it will be with social media but we are going through the same productivity worries. I love this cartoon which sums up my feels on the matter, courtesy of 9gag.com.
In truth employees are already connected and they will (and have) find ways to connect with or without sanction. They have Blackberries and smartphones. They have tablet computers.
But beyond just begrudgingly allowing your employees to update their Facebook statuses there is a far more important picture. There are many advantages to having a social workforce:
- Every employee becomes a potential brand ambassador on the social web
- Tapping in to the vast shared knowledge base of your employees
- Greater collaboration among your workforce
- A social workforce will identify and present excellent opportunities for better customer engagement. Being social allows innovation from staff you would otherwise never think of bringing in to the creative process of your business.
- In large corporates with offices spread over the country or the world, social platforms allow for interaction, sharing and collaboration between this otherwise disconnected employees.
- Being social internally makes your business social and being social means you will start truly connecting with your customers where they are – on the social web.
In the next few short years this social integration with be a natural course of business so it makes to get in there now and get the best possible use out of it.
Of course there are issues of policy, risk, training as there are in all aspects of business but the rewards to be had will make the effort very worthwhile.