Happy Labor Day. Here is a relevant message. I recently read an article, Are You Using Social Media as a Management Crutch?, that focused on the different perceptions of Management and employees on how effective social media is. According to a survey conducted by Deloitte, 41% of the executives participating in the study believe social networking helps build and maintain workplace culture while only 21% of their employees agree.
It quoted Punit Renjen, Chairman of the Board of Deloitte. "Social media is a useful tool, but not when it's used as a crutch that allows leaders to appear to be accessible... when really, they are not." The survey goes on to report that 45% of executives feel social has a positive effect but only 27% of employees feel the same way. In addition, 38% of executives feel social media allows for increased management transparency; only 17% of employees agree. Some employees feel that face time is most important and some social media efforts by managers take away from this face time.
However, it you look further at the results you see some confounding trends. It adds that executives rank tangibles like competitive compensation (62%) and financial performance (65%) as the top factors that influence culture. While employees have a different view say intangibles such as regular and candid conversations (50%) and access to management (47%) rank higher than compensation (33%) and financial performance (24%).
So the firms surveyed have a basic and fundamental disconnect between managers and employees that may influence the social media results. If the employees already have a disconnect of such traditional issues as what supports a strong company culture and makes employees happy, then they are likely to see social media as just another way to distract they and paper over their discontent. I would not blame social media for this but the rotten preexisting culture of the companies surveyed.