Today’s guest post is from my pal Mila Araujo discussing one of my favorite topics – Social Business and how it affects the workplace and generations. Enjoy!
As humans we doubt ourselves, we fight change, we fear things we do not know. When it comes to social in the workplace, the situation is further compounded by misconceptions about the “abilities” that different generations stereo-typically possess. The saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” comes to mind…However this type of stereotype is among the most harmful for business. The belief that older employees will face too great a difficulty to adapt to new technology is harming employers and workers. Workers deserve a chance, and employers need to make sure their teams are the best they can be!
Social business tools provide huge opportunities for any organization, whether it be large or small. To avoid implementing new tools because you lack the confidence in your workforce is ridiculous. You have two options: 1. Have faith in your people, give them proper training and patient support during the learning process – or 2. Eliminate the employees who refuse to adapt with the times. To do anything else is not only costly, but will put your business behind the times as well!
Having worked with employees from all ages I can assure you that if you choose the first option, you will not only empower your employees, but you will profit by:
- Increasing efficiency
- Giving everyone a chance to have their voice heard – to feel supported and listened to.
- Improve processes
- Improve employee engagement and retention
- Increase and amplify communication
- Provide opportunity for innovation
All of this leads to increased sales, profitability and stronger customer service. So why would anyone hold back?
In the video below from a case study @OgilvyInsurance (originally presented at <a href=http://Impact99.ca> Impact 99</a> employees share their views on one of the social tools they’ve been using successfully. Ogilvy Insurance is a third generation family run business with employees from all generational groups who must work together, there are no boundaries based on age. The employees comments speak for themselves.
Encourage employees to take on new challenges and coach them into a comfort zone with new technology. I challenge you with this question for the new year, is it the age of employees that holds companies back, or is it the rigid and prejudice mindset of management that is stumping the growth and development of the company.
2013 will be a year for social business to empower employees, what will you be doing? Bridging the gap between generations with social tools, or continuing to create reasons why you can’t do things?
Photo Credit: Sparkboutik
About the Author:
Mila Araujo is a Social Business Speaker and Consultant, as well as Director of Personal Insurance for Ogilvy & Ogilvy in Westmount, Quebec. Mila has a diverse background in management, public relations, non-profit, and events. She’s a contributing author for several sites on the topics of Leadership, Social Media and Customer Service including “12 Most”, “Social Media Today”, “Grow” and her Perspectives blog featured in AllTop. Connect with her on Twitter @Milaspage