I can feel the boomers groaning now. But there is too much research indicating social media helps people be more effective than less effective. Organizational leaders should spend time encouraging space for SM use, it would focus time instead of becoming a waste of time. Check out this great this infographic with sited research:
Organizational leadership needs to consider a new working perk is connectivity. Younger employees have grown up being connected to one another all the time. Regardless of what a leader thinks about this life style new employees will value connectedness as a "work benefit." Isolation or doing things "the old way" will discourage an organization from recruiting the best and brightest.
So what should a leader do? Consider these ideas:
1. Create space for employees - A conversation never hurts, unless you're a bully. Discuss with employees ideal times for them to be on social media. Maybe come up with "social media breaks". For fun you could do a "Tweet Up" in this space using a hashtag so employees in different departments have the opportunity to connect.
2. Think mission - If employees are going to be online why not encourage the mission. Do a Instagram competition in your office or organization. Make sure it communicates, "This is why we do what we do." This could be a fun way to connect employees as well as encourage and praise them at the same time.
3. Think connection - "Our organization is too big." "To change would cost us too much money." Bull-hockey to both. Making the top connected to the bottom in your organization will only lead to more benefits. Don't believe me? Maybe you should believe what's being done at Intel. Check out Part One and Part Two of their story in Forbes.
4. Have a training strategy - People respond differently to social media and leaders need to keep that in mind. Don't snuggle up to one side or the other based upon your preferences. Instead, consider the benefits of providing social media training within the organization. Here's a great infographic to consider:
There was a short period of time where I was offended being around people who were constantly checking their phones or computers. But then I realized these actions are a make up of a generation instead of a fault. As leaders we have an opportunity to harness this for productivity instead of trying to remove the habit from a generation. To the most connected will be the most talented.