The workplace has always been a social place, where unofficial communication channels and social contracts have been as least as important to employees as their organizations’ formal communications systems and official organizational structures. The recent explosion of ubiquitous, low-cost social technologies both within the workplace and outside of it have prompted many managers to examine how new social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn might affect their roles, the workings of their teams, and the manner in which their organizations engage with the external environment. In this whitepaper, Human 1.0, the International Association of Business Communicators, and the Society for New Communications Research and Great Place to Work examine how organizations are using social media, and the impact that workplace trust, passion and social media use have on select employee activities and attitudes.
The data provides a rich, nuanced view from the employees’ perspective of how contemporary organizations are leveraging social media, and where there are potential opportunities for improved business operations related to social media use. As discussed below, these opportunities arise in areas as wide-ranging as cost efficiency, improved communications, improved talent management, and improved marketing. The data also indicate areas where organizations may want to direct additional attention and analysis, especially in terms of understanding the risks associated with participating in (or, in some cases, not participating in) social media interaction with their employees, customers and other stakeholders.
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