Working for an HR Software provider I attend my fair share of HR events. A topic that has been trending in the conferences and seminars for a few years is the opportunity and challenge that social media presents the industry.
Essentially the debate goes like this… Social media enables people to communicate quickly and easily with one another and has the potential to aid collaboration among our employees. Yay, we like that, surely social media is a force for good. But wait, didn’t I just say that social media enables people to communicate quickly and easily with one another? This means slurs against your organisation have the potential to go viral, potentially reaching millions of people around the world in minutes. Boo, hiss, social media is dangerous. Cue calls for companies to simultaneously embrace social media while maintaining a level of control that would make Orwellian Thought Police blush with pride.
My own belief is that the control argument is futile. Human beings have thrived because of our ability and innate desire to communicate with one another. Urban legends and scare stories (think “Kentucky Fried Rat” or “Cling Film Causes Cancer”) used to go viral long before the internet; it just took longer and was harder to implicate someone for taking part.