June 14, 2012

Employees Disagree on Social Media’s Role in Workplace Culture

social mediaA new study by Deloitte has found that 41 percent of executives feel that social networking helps maintain a workplace culture while just 21 percent of employees hold the same perception. Accordingly, while 45 percent of business executives find social media to have a positive effect on the development of workplace culture, only 27 percent of employees feel the same. The data shows that even as social media changes the nature of professional communication, the impact on corporate culture remains up for debate.

“Our research suggests executives are possibly using social media as a crutch in building workplace culture and appearing accessible to employees,” says Punit Renjen, chairman of the board for Deloitte LLP. “While business leaders should recognize how people communicate today, particularly Millennials, they must keep in mind the limits of these technologies. The norms for cultivating culture have not changed, and require managers to build trust through face-to-face meetings, live phone calls and personal messages.”

Most study participants expressed agreement that culture is an important ingredient for business success but differed on the priorities of achieving that success. The large majority of executive (76 percent) indicated that the preferred a well-defined business strategy more so than well-defined core values (62 percent). Employees were near parity in regards to each approach with 57 percent preferring a clear business strategy and 55 percent preferring well-defined core values.

In response, Renjen continues, “Leadership changes and evolving marketplace conditions can significantly impact business strategy. To be an exceptional organization in today’s business climate, organizations must articulate, invest in, and nurture workplace culture now more than ever. If properly supported, it will transcend any environmental shifts, and serve as the foundation for organizational sustainability and growth.”

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Joshua Bjerke, from Savannah, Georgia, focuses on articles involving the labor force, economy, and HR topics including new technology and workplace news. Joshua has a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in International Studies and is currently pursuing his M.A. in International Security.