Commercial Director accessplanit
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HR: Children of the [technological] revolution can never be silenced

2nd Sep 2011
Commercial Director accessplanit
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Now that it seems the rioting behaviour that consumed the UK public for days on end is finally behind us, it is time to reflect. The government has to show that it is taking action, and for the home secretary, this meant calling in the leaders of social networking sites and telecommunication firms to discuss how they will stop the scaling up of violent action in such a short space of time, should the problem ever occur again.

What short-sightedness. It simply highlights how out of touch ministers and other sections of the country are with technology, and the communicative platforms that are common-place in the world today.

Ministers that want to cull the spread of word, halt communication and muzzle youngsters, are fighting a losing battle. Facebook, Twitter, BBM and other tools are simply children of the technological revolution, you can’t stop that. What you can do is try to educate and shift the thinking of those using the tools, to ensure that the content is not inciting violence – the problem is not with technology, but with the content being spread.

But, in truth, when it comes to technology, you can’t stop still, it is ever-changing, and to try and resist it or continue without acknowledging it, in organisations especially, is totally futile. And this is a something of a deal for HR, because while the merits of social media have been touched on in the press once or twice, so too have the fact that many companies ban employees from using it.

Just as the government is looking to use a sledgehammer to crack a nut, HR must concentrate on controlling the content of communication, rather than the communication tools themselves.

The fact is, social media and other innovative communication tools are here to stay, and to throw a blanket over them is basically to run and hide. Instead, I would like to see HR teams integrate these platforms into everyday working lives of employees, embrace the new ideas and understand them, rather than simply keep resisting the inevitable.

Dave Evans
Commercial Director - accessplanit - HR Software

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