Courtesy: SBS Newsletter
Generation Y has already forced many employers to think twice about adopting social networking into their business communication strategies.
Online business communication platforms have existed since the local, dial-up bulletin boards of the late 1970s. As more companies adopted corporate email and always-on Internet connections, business communication evolved to include a combination of automated contact management tools and highly personalized staffing and sales portals. Meanwhile, social networking services sprang up through a combination of easy Internet access and flexible mobile technology. Although both kinds of services have traditionally been at odds with each other, shifting perceptions about online communication have brought business users to social media sites, as the process of professional networking grows less formal.
As far back as the late 1990s, business pundits worried about how “Generation Y” would impact the business world. The burst of the dot-com bubble in the early 2000s validated some theories that a wave of loose, informal business professionals would find themselves adopting the stricter habits of their predecessors. However, social media tools, such as Twitter and Face book, have reached the mainstream, forcing many traditional businesses to adopt new ways of communicating with customers. The informality of social media has spread to business communication platforms, with the most popular services blending traits from multiple generations.
The most popular business communication platforms focus on sales, Business Development, career advancement and vertical industry knowledge. Powerhouse career site Monster.com grew from The Monster Board, a bulletin board where professionals traded job leads and resumes. CareerBuilder and Hot Jobs evolved, like Monster, into essential business communication tools for managers, human resources professionals and job seekers. LinkedIn blends the career tracking elements of a job board with social networking content, allowing members to make requests for introductions through shared connections. Brazen Careerist, a relatively new business communication platform, allows members to connect profiles and resumes from multiple sites to searchable profile hubs
The rise of business communication tools mirrors a major change in the American workforce. Instead of working at a single employer for decades, the typical American worker may shift employers or even change careers multiple times. Business communication platforms enable companies to compete more aggressively for talent, while individuals use social networking tools to promote themselves and their services. Prospective employers and customers increasingly expect companies to maintain a presence on social networking services, mirroring a growing demand for transparency in professional relationships. Previous generations of American workers may have been reluctant to share their resumes, except in times of financial or career distress. Today, workers routinely leave career details viewable by prospective recruiters and customers.
“The only people with power today are the audience and that is increasing with Twitter, Facebook and everything else. We cater to their likes and dislikes and you cater to their own peril.” – By Simon Cowell
Although some companies have embraced Twitter and Facebook as part of their business communication strategies, many employers still block social networking websites. Human resources management worry that questionable photos or status updates could tarnish an employer’s reputation. Likewise, managers often feel that accessing social networking sites from work can seriously harm worker productivity. The more professional nature of sites, such as LinkedIn and industry-specific services, makes many companies less nervous, especially when online services help generate business leads. Still, employees who freely over share sensitive information about company policies, salaries and product details could face severe consequences Therefore, many companies have developed policies, procedures, and training programs to help teams use social media more effectively and consistently .
“This may sound a little bit idealistic but when I go to my blog, my facebook page, my twitter account, I talk to different people all over the world and you see how easy it’s to establish a dialogue” – By Paulo Coelho
Article By – Dr Nisha Kant Ojha