We all use social media of some kind, at least for personal use. But when it becomes part of your business, does that ultimately lead to more or less productive employees?
According to a study by Microsoft, 46 percent of workers say that their productivity has greatly or somewhat increased because of social media use in the office, and more than one-third (37 percent) say that they could do their job better if their organization’s management was more on-board with the use of social tools in the workplace. But, as a manager of a business, it’s important to know what the goal is, and then choose the right tools.
Goal #1: I want to foster a sense of community.
Most workplaces want employees to feel like they are part of a club; to have a way for people to interact with each other about work matters but also about things they find and want to share. By having a place dedicated to this type of “socializing,” you are fostering that sense of community, and keeping it easy to manage.
At MarketMeSuite, we use a great little tool called SendToInc. It behaves a lot like a Facebook group, but you don’t have to have your employees mixing personal life (which lives on Facebook) with their business life – my team loves sharing photos and links, and you can even see who saw a post, liked it, and commented. It’s very lightweight and super simple to use.
Goal #2: I want people to get more done.
Social media doesn’t just refer to Twitter and Facebook. There are plenty of tools that cater to “social networks” that provide the benefit of working socially without any of the unnecessary social noise. Do you work in a company that has a long roadmap? Do you often need teams of people to collaborate? If the answer is yes, then you’ll likely want to boost productivity by introducing a tool that facilitates this.
One tool that you probably haven’t heard of was actually created by Facebook. The tool is called “Phabricator.” It’s completely open-source, which means it is free to use. Warning, it is not for the non-techy. We use it in my company to track every task from marketing to engineering, and the collaboration on it is essential, which is what makes it such a socially productive tool. For those who are less technically inclined, there is also Podio, which offers the social hooks without the tech heaviness.
Goal #3: I want to keep people connected, even on the go.
Let’s face it, we live in a fast moving world and people aren’t always at their desktops, but that doesn’t mean you travelers aren’t able to be able to plugged into day-to-day business from their smartphones. To keep people productive, however, you need to be able to streamline the conversations. Many companies have implemented HipChat as their social messaging tool because it works great on the web, desktop and mobile.
Communication = More Productivity
Social Media in the workplace can ultimately be very beneficial to any company because it allows team members to help team members. The more connected they are and the easier than can access each other, the less chance someone gets stuck(which is probably the most unproductive state to be in)!
What do you think? Do you agree with the Microsoft survey results? Does social media make you more productive in the workplace? Have you experimented with promoting more connectivity in your company? What were the results?