The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology


Social Media, Gen Y and the Workplace

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Michael Specht linked over to some survey results presented by Microsoft and Insurity.  There were a couple of interesting findings and in my opinion they certainly do point to our need to change how the workplace operates, not only for Gen Y, but also for the sake of business growth and overall collaboration.  To simply say that we need to implement social media tools for the sake of Gen Y would be erroneous as these are great tools for the sake of collaboration alone.  To steal some of Michael’s text:

Less than 50% would expect or use the following:

  • ­    social networking sites (40%)
  • ­    company provided virtual meetings (42%)
  • ­    personal instant messenger (45%)
  • ­    mobile or smart phones paid by company (48%)
  • ­    Wikipedia or other Wikis (49%)

My honest reaction is not that less than 50% of Gen Y expects these tools, but “wow! More than 40% of Gen Y expects these tools.”  Let’s face it, we don’t need a majority of the next generation of workers expecting these tools, we need to realize that 40% and more is a seriously upward trend.  Again stealing from Michael:

  • ­    being able spend time on outside charitable efforts (70%)
  • ­    being able to work with people their age (71%)
  • ­    opportunities to work on collaborative team projects (72%)
  • ­    and the ability to telecommute or work from home (77%)

As we look that the opportunities that Gen Y wants, many of these fall right into the social media buckets.  Certainly we’ve all learned to work remotely (at home or in a hotel) using the phone and e-mails, but how much better when IM’s and non-real-time collaborative technologies also exist to help out?

Michael talks about these tools as part of a talent strategy for Gen Y, but I’d add my 2 cents that the reasons for implementing social medias go well beyond Gen Y.  These tools make good business sense, assuming your governance and privacy rules can handle them.

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3 responses to “Social Media, Gen Y and the Workplace”

  1. Thought For The Day: The foundation of Recruiting Strategy is an understanding of labor market supply and demand. This is strange…I can read the blog but I can’t see the site. Anyone else blocked in this way?Social Media, Gen Y and the WorkplaceIf You Can’t Recruit from a “Van Down By The River”, You’re Not A Real Recruiter… Beneath the macho posturing is a smart idea…learn the fundamentals. Garmin gets in the social-networking groove

  2. Rich Milgram Avatar

    Employers are not only realizing the importance of incorporating social media tools into the workplace, but it is also becoming an important aspect of creating a successful recruitment program. A recent poll of more than 4,000 professionals conducted by found that nearly 30 percent of professionals currently use social networking sites. Of those respondents, more than 65 percent use social networking sites for job searching and professional networking. Many of the individuals who frequent social networking sites are internet savvy and willing to give out information, which is why employers should take advantage of these online resources by integrating social networking sites into their recruitment program to attract quality candidates.

  3. CommonCraft on Social Media Comes Up Short…

    If you’ve not seen CommonCraft “In Plain English” videos, I’ve written about them in the past here and showed off many of them. Lee Lefever and team have a simple means of explaining issues that are sometimes quite difficult to…