Executives, Employees Disagree On Social Media’s Impact on Workplace Culture

Social media services are designed to connect individuals, offer networking opportunities and provide several channels for social interaction. However, when it comes to the role of social media in regard to building a workplace culture, executives and employees have different opinions about the impact of popular networking sites.

According to a Deloitte study conducted by Harris Interactive, 41 percent of executives believe social media helps build and maintain a workplace culture, while only 21 percent of employees agree with this statement. In fact, only 27 percent of workers said they feel that social media has a positive impact on workplace culture, as opposed to 45 percent of higher-ups.

“Our research suggests executives are possibly using social media as a crutch in building workplace culture and appearing accessible to employees,” said Punit Renjen, Deloitte chairman. “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.”

The study also revealed that differing perspectives on the role of social media services was not the only disagreement between executives and employees. When it came to discussing elements that contributed to workplace culture, executives tend to focus on tangible aspects, while workers focused on intangibles. For example, 62 percent of executives named compensation as a key factor in workplace culture and another 65 percent said financial performance was another element.

However, 50 percent of workers said communication was more important than financial compensation and performance, and 47 percent listed access to management as paramount in building a workplace culture.

While social media has revolutionized the ways in which businesses communicate and build relationships with customers, many companies are still trying to navigate social media’s place within the office.

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