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Boss No Like Social Media

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Mashable reports that employers are not all hep on giving more social media freedom to employees.

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It seems the spread of negative information is their persistent nightmare fear.  There are all sorts of main courses and sides to this tasty debate, but one thing a boss might consider is taking a longer-term look at the issue. Yes, we all know how easy it is to waste hours on Facebook. And many of us are starting to assume Facebook will give way to something else, George Tannenbaum thinks it will happen by 2017. I expect a rising Facebook backlash. But whether a backlash happens broadly, something will rise in its place. That’s because once people realize they have a voice, there is no going back.

But a longer look at giving many people a voice recognizes at least two facts:

  1. The era of sovereign control over you employee’s voices is over. Despite what Vladimir Putin thinks and does, what you allow or forbid workers to say at the workplace matters less and less when you don’t control the technology residing in a pocket. And conversations about your work are already in progress, whether you know it or not.
  2. Reasons and a few simple parameters beat “No” every time. All anyone wants is an explanation. It’s a grown-up thing to explain the reasons behind a choice that affects others. An explanation moves a team in the right direction. Even an explanation like my friend offered a two-year old visitor at his party. The toddler wanted to pick up a little poodle who had no intention of being picked up by the toddler:  “You know what, Jenny? This is a Wiggly Dog. And no one can pick up a Wiggly Dog.”

Even if you have to make up a new category of canine, it’s worth an explanation. Of course, an explanation invites questions. Simply put: bosses need to get used to hearing voices. May as well start planning for it.

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Image Credit: via Retronaut

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Written by kirkistan

June 13, 2012 at 5:00 am

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