Social media can contribute to a positive workplace culture, but it’s the tip of the iceberg. Try these steps to really make an impact.
Companies such as Google have succeeded in creating enviable corporate culture that has landed them on lists like Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. Other companies following suit think social media might be the answer — and, while useful, it’s just the beginning.
A June 2012 Deloitte survey titled “Core Values and Beliefs,” which included responses from more than 1,000 full-time employees and more than 300 executives, found a stark contrast in the way executives and employers view the role of social media in promoting workplace culture. Whereas 41 percent of executives surveyed said they view social networking as an aid in building and maintaining workplace culture, only 21 percent of employees agreed with the same statement.
The survey’s findings indicate that executives are looking for a quick fix to build greater collaboration with their workforce, according to Jeanne Meister, a partner at Future Workplace, an executive development firm that focuses on rethinking the workplace.
“Many [executives] believe an investment in a new social technology will provide them with the answer they seek in building a more collaborative culture,” she said. “Employees, on the other hand, are often suspicious of these tools.”
The survey also found employees value intangibles in the workplace — such as candid communication and access to management — while executives value tangibles, including competitive compensation and financial performance.
Deloitte Chairman Punit Renjen said the survey shows executives should focus on more traditional forms of culture building, such as face-to-face interaction.
“The norms for cultivating culture have not changed despite the growing use of social media,” Renjen said. “It requires managers to build trust through mentoring, face-to-face meetings and robust feedback.”
Shoe company Zappos.com has developed a reputation for its unique workplace culture. This year the company ranked 11th on Fortune magazine’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For.
Zappos Insights, the business-to-business corporate consultant arm of Zappos.com, was built as a way to assist other companies in promoting workplace culture.