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The Facebook generation at work

The Facebook generation at work


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Social networking inside the firewall looks a lot like the mainstream thing.  Profiles, status updates, communities, analytics, etc. – these are all a part of an enterprise social network, or a platform used by a company to foster collaboration, innovation and culture change among its employees.

On Monday, Deloitte hosted an event “Using Social Tools to Collaborate Inside Your Organization” that explained these similarities that are second nature to the Facebook generation but that may be new to many people in the workplace.

Lindsey Hitchcock detailed an important part of Deloitte’s user adoption strategy, a reverse mentoring program that matches “digital natives” with “digital dinosaurs.”  As junior staff coach more senior level management about how to use social media in their work, everyone also participates in an online community to share best practices and other program feedback.

Lindsey described the inevitable, rewarding aha! moment that occurs when social media finally clicks with a dinosaur.  She herself was paired with the COO, and when her mentee was trying to get information by email for an upcoming presentation, Lindsey suggested she crowdsource the answer on the Deloitte social platform.  In record time, the community provided the COO with exactly what she needed and she graduated to “digital immigrant” status.

Prioritizing this individualized attention is a key to the success of an enterprise social network. Digital natives can be the community ambassadors who make sure everyone knows the rules for engagement and how to find their ways around.  Soon enough, the organization’s digital natives and digital immigrants will outnumber the dinosaurs, and “social business” will be business as usual.

Written by Maggie Tunning, an official Social Media Week DC blogger. Follow her at @MaggieTunning.