When the notion first arose that the adoption of social media, E2.0, and other modern conveniences could make employees happier, reduce turnover, and serve as a recruitment tool, I was skeptical. Not that the idea didn’t have logical merit; it did. But can it really be a significant part of ECM’s value?
I’m coming to believe it can.
Consider a conservative organization with information technology systems that were installed 7-10 years ago to address certain specific needs and are now approaching end-of-life.* How fundamentally engaging do you suppose they are? How Web-enabled? How generally searchable is it, and how interoperable is it with other information systems?
Now consider the fact that the company occupies a very competitive market niche, and its customer service skills are fundamental to its success. How attractive do you think it is to a new generation of employees who grew up with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and various other mechanisms for sharing knowledge? How happy do you think those people will be having to deal with information solutions that are steeped in hard-copy imaging, manual processing, and old-school telephony?
Not very. And therein lies the appeal.
Young professionals today know no other computing reality than one fraught with social/E2.0 applications, which they’ve used all their lives in their homes and universities. Is it so unreasonable for them to expect at least the same level of digital communication/collaboration in the workplace? Certainly not, and hiring managers will ignore such expectations at their increasingly peril.
*Based on a true story
Great post steve, Ant Clay did a related post The ROI of SharePoint Social Features (Measuring the Intangible)
Although not mentioned in Ant’s post I very much think he had this as one of the hard to measure values of doing this.
I have heard it quoted, recently, that in times of austerity young people should be please to have a job and shouldn’t be making demands for new fangled social media…. I don’t agree with this view and i’m completely in agreement with your post about what people will expect from the workplace.