Historically, the workplace has been a community with emotional gratifications that have centered on interactions with others. Those interactions provide security of life, and nurture an important need for “being”. Work had a “greater purpose”, enriching us by defining who we are. The workplace was to a large part a place where we found our identities. It was a social network far more important than it is today.
The arenas of social interactions are rapidly changing. For many people today a great deal of the social emotional needs, knowledge, entertainment, community and sense of self-worth are delivered through Facebook, LinkedIn and similar sites as and when they want it. And, for people who may otherwise have difficulties forming and maintaining social ties, there is now a place they can easily belong to with the security of virtual distance. Social emotional gratification is now faster and easier than ever.
Therefore, today there probably are quite different needs for organizations to provide employees with these areas of emotional gratifications and sense of belonging. There is no need to share our lives with the organization. With the click of a mouse there are other forums for doing that. So when people today go to work, the expectations are different. The social media have raised the bar in terms of satisfying emotional needs in the workplace. What people would have settled for five years ago just won’t do today. And this now puts new demands on leadership. Possibly these demands are that leaders are more emotionally intelligent and has the ability to more effectively integrate the employees emotional needs with their working duties. This is absolutely an arena for further exploration, and this article is only scratching on the surface of this very interesting topic.
What do people get from social media networks?
1. Community — being connected provides security and belonging
2. Problem solving — advice and the sense that people are there to help
3. Expressiveness — self-worth and identity
4. More friends, more interest — feeling popular with more significance
5. Acceptable place to complain
6. Achievement — social networking for business or personal gain
7. Personal growth and learning
What can you as a leader do today to triumph the social competition from Facebook, LinkedIn etc in your workplace ?
By Dag Roslund, Prudencia