News: Managers and staff differ over value of social media in the workplace

4th Jul 2012

Although 41% of executives believe that social networking helps to build a positive workplace culture and makes them more accessible to the workforce, only 21% of employees have the same view, according to research.The survey of more than 1,300 employees and executives conducted by Deloitte and Harris Interactive revealed that business leaders and staff also differ on whether social media has a beneficial impact on the workplace.According to the figures, 45% of executives believed that social media produced benefits compared with only 27% of staff. Some 38% of senior personnel also indicated that the channel increased management transparency compared with only 17% of junior staff.Punit Renjen, chairman of the board at Deloitte, said: “Our research suggests executives are possibly using social media as a crutch in building workplace culture and appearing accessible to employees. While business leaders should recognise how people communicate today, particularly Millennials, they must keep in mind the limits of these technologies."The norms for cultivating culture had not changed and still required managers to build trust through face-to-face meetings, live phone calls and personal messages, he added.The study likewise showed that executives tended to prioritise a clearly-defined business strategy (76%) over clearly-defined and communicated core values and beliefs (62%), while employees valued them equally.In terms of individual elements of workplace culture, senior staff ranked tangibles such as competitive compensation (62%) and financial performance (65%) among the top factors influencing workplace culture, whereas employees felt that intangibles such as regular and candid communication (50%) and access to management (47%) outweighed the tangibles.

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