The Consultant's Desk

The Consultant's Desk
Poring over the details on your behalf

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Thoughts on Enterprise Social Media Protocols, Pt. 1


Enterprise Social Media relates to shared information from one department manager to the rest of their personnel as well as from one department to another (or several), and then from the CxO office to the rest of the enterprise. That means reaching out to all of the teams, whether in the 2-3 person business as well as the global enterprise with thousands of employees.

Because the reach is so vast, and the message can be distributed so quickly, great care needs to be taken that people who are hired appreciate and respect the sensitivity of information that is shared. Team members need to keep project details and findings within their team until they are told it is ready for distribution. Even then, their leader needs to define the breadth of the distribution.

Corporate culture with regard to feedback and results of work can be playful on occasion just to keep things fresh and not oppressive (or boring and tedious). However, the jocular moments need to be defined as such because a text message or email doesn't contain voice inflections (unless they're composed on a voice synthesizer) and not everyone from the same country, let alone the same region, understands some things that are humor. But I digress.

Team members need to respect one another in every way. Likewise they need to be imbued with the power to build the results of what they do by being able to offer a different perspective or even object to something that's been put on the table. But they also need to take responsibility for those positions by offering the basis for the position. When points of differences are defined, it's easier to understand where the idea won't work in a particular situation but may be one of the potential solutions in another setting. And understanding the reasoning behind the support or rejection helps to shed light on the project side of it and not allow it to be construed as a matter of personality.

There's no room for gossip (unfounded information about others or things); there's no room for needless distractions that tend to cause panic or discomfort. Constructive criticism should be encouraged for the sake of growth and learning. Learning should be encouraged. Good communication skills through open, tactful speech should be encouraged. Tact is paramount followed by exchanges between parties for the sake of transmission of information as well as building alliances. And exchanges of information mean confirming that the correct message was heard by the correct party(ies). Confusion about terms and terminology should be cleared up quickly so everyone is on the same page.

Nor should there be any space in any way for threats of punishment, suggestions of coercion, destruction of input to work or research or work, withholding of privileges for lack of consent. Abusive and retaliatory consequences simply do not belong in your corporate culture much less on any of your teams. Isolation, being ostracized, personality differences, failure to recognize the advantages of diversity of culture, ethnicity, abilities, and even age make being in your enterprise not a healthy place to be. Get rid of all of it and don't let it slide under the door.

Star status is important to some and not to others. Knowledge that they've been part of the end product sometimes carries its own limelight. To cut the negative side of competitiveness, it's important to acknowledge the more significant contributions of certain members of the team. However, the leader also needs to recognize how the rest of the team contributed to reaching that plateau.

1 comment:

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Social Media Consultant