Been pretty much a lost week - ten days if you go back to my Texas trip to visit Dad - due to illness but I did see that socializing has gained importance at one company.
You know, socializing, as in posting things and then 'liking' them.
Over at "Dear Lucy", a person wrote in their problem. The company's management wants them to put content onto a social site and have others comment and like it. There are apparently minimums. Managers are judged by the quantity of likes. Sounds like high school and not business to me. Since I could be wrong, I thought I'd ask two of myselves to debate the pros and cons. Therefore, let me introduce Mickey and Mike.
Mike - what absolute bullshit. I don't understand or appreciate the value of this social media for a business. Like us on Faceback? What does that return a company? Ooo, we've been liked! Sure, revenue is flat and sales projections suck but we have a google of followers liking us on Facebook. We are awesome. Call me a cynic, because I am, but this seems really fatuous. And now, as part of their reviews, managers will be reviewed how many likes they have on Facebook? Get real.
Mickey - socializing is bullshit? Corporations are people, my friend. What's bullshit is your absolute refusal to recognize that socializing is an investment in people, in opening windows on one another through our comments and likes. This is the way forward to repproachment. Gaps have emerged. Pay inequality and the fungible worker cause these. Both gaps breed cynicism. As companies have gone international, there's less patriotism associated with the company and less of a sense of pride. Many workers know that the bottom line is the word of God. They may have performance bonuses tied to it but most understand, they're at will, disposed like a used cell phone, for the latest one to be offered.
Socializing gives them an outlet for re-approachment, for workers to come across as more than a function. Socializing also allows brainstorming, for who knows what will be born of these casual encounters and comments? If companies can't recognize their employees' usefulness and contributions through better pay and bonus, at least they can like them.
Mike - yes, sure, that'll pay the bills. I still call bullshit.
The two make some interesting points. However, I'm inclined to believe this is another effort to be part of a wave that has little meaning. Facebook and other social media have already shown a decline. It's a toy that's been used and is being tossed aside. Virtual work spaces using avatars is still out there, milling around, as are core values and mission statements, part of the TQM fad. As part of TQM, there is teamwork and consensus. Before that were quality circles. And sigma six is still out there.
But more often, as times get hard, the words and posters remain while the intent changes to dust and blows away. A company's bottom line is the stock price and the return for investors. Sadly, many of the cited styles have had great successes. Some still do. But corporate managers use these as tools to manipulate employees and investors. Like counting the number of likes to quantity a comment's usefulness.
That cynicism disheartens me.
Please like and share if you agree.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com