Yesterday I twittered “Industrial Age, Atomic Age, Jet Age, Space Age, Information Age… What’s next?” Andre Martin replied “social age?” If the world around us is moving to the social age, far too many corporations are stuck in the industrial age, the stone age even.
With growing economic uncertainty, inter-office rumors, gossiping and eavesdropping in the workplace are inevitable. More than 20 per cent of respondents to an HR survey said their employees had been disciplined for such behaviour. And so the solution is to invest in technology to prevent it. But you are never going to be able to stop it, indeed taking such measures is more likely to give oxygen to fear, mistrust and dissent. The investment would be better spent opening up channels of communication, getting the gossip out in the open and developing a culture of trust and understanding. How? Introducing a corporate FaceBook to replace the moribund intranet would be a start.