Employees are a key element in social business. Designing roles for employees in social business requires particular thought around ecosystem (i.e. how they connect with others), hivemind (i.e. their level of social calibration), and dynamic signaling (i.e. content creation and distribution).
Most of the people I know who are involved in social media are of the white-collar salaried variety. Many of them participate in order to gain a competitive edge in their work. But what happens when the rest of the company gets involved? In particular, when the participation happens for corporate benefit and being social becomes part of the job…how should employers reward this value creation?
When an entire business ecosystem becomes socially active – and our corporate labor policies and 9-to-5 mentalities have not yet evolved – should employees be paid for participating in social media? What happens if the hourly employees participating in Twelpforce and similar initiatives stop for a second and think – “hey, I’m not on the clock…why am I not being paid for this?”
- Some people might stop participating.
- Others might still do it for “extra credit.”
- It’s not inconceivable that in some environments the workforce might sue. In fact, it’s already happening in some closely-related cases.
The propensity of people to contribute value on a volunteer basis is all around us. Individual editors on Wikipedia, participation in site improvement surveys, or retweeting information for a good cause. But volunteerism is only going to take us a limited distance, the first step or two on the journey of a thousand miles to social business.
So how is your company going to handle the journey? Are you prepared to potentially pay for it every step of the way?