The leader I lunched with was ranting, and waving his arms while saying, “People just don’t want to work any more. They stay on Facebook and are half-asleep in my meetings. They don’t care about doing a good job, and I can’t change that fact.”
I don’t agree that people don’t care about doing a good job, but I absolutely agree that many employees are sleepwalking through their jobs and spending more time on social media than they should.
Before we declare the employee brain-dead, however, let’s consider four reasons why social media is more intriguing than work:
Since many businesses have stopped all activities where employees can get to know each other outside of work, the sense of community at work has lessened. Work today can be more like the metaphorical salt mines where you show up, sit in a cubicle, do your job, and leave.
The topics are dull, and the participants know that most of what they’re talking about will never be put into action anyway. I’d like to recommend “Twitter” meetings, where people can share their updates in 140 characters or less.
3. Photos are allowed. Visuals are the best way to make a point. They tell a story in one glance. I’d like to recommend, as author Carmine Gallo does on his book about Steve Jobs’ presentation style, that all Powerpoint decks filled with bullet points be thrown into a big bonfire. Replace 80% of the slides with interesting pictures that tell the story instead.
4. People listen to you. In social media circles, people actually respond to what you say. In addition, they tell you that your kids are pretty and that you should be proud of your recent promotion. There is an emotional connection made online that is sorely missing in Corporate America.
Whoever determined that all cubicles should be gray and people should not be allowed to put up pictures should be drawn and quartered. By taking away their individuality, an environment has been created that has nothing to do with the heart of the employee.
Those are my thoughts about why people spend so much time on social media. What are your thoughts? I’m listening. And I’d like to see a picture of your family :).