by David Zinger
Speech is civilization itself. The word, even the most contradictory word, preserves contact — it is silence which isolates. ~ Thomas Mann
Many organizations fear the voices they may hear in social media and what employees may say publicly about their own organization. We are making a big mistake if we muffle and stifle the voices of the people we work with.
Disengaged energy. I believe that disengaged employees who take the energy to express, connect, and voice their disengagement for their company are demonstrating a high level of energy that can potentially be used for engagement.
Here is the story. A participant in a recent course told me that 5 young employees in her organization started a negative Facebook group about their company. The company became aware of it and thought about what action to take. Two of the employees received suspensions for a few days based on what they said and their use of company logos etc.
Now here is where it gets interesting. The company and the union had discussions with the 2 two main employees responsible for the site. With greater understanding of what they were engaged in both employees expressed sincere apologies and their own naivety about what they had engaged in.
From enraged to engaged. One of those employees is now a supervisor and has transformed his energy to working with, not against, the organization.
It gets even better. This formerly disgruntled employee is now in the training department and is the first person that new employees meet and receive training from when they join the company. He is the first voice of the organization!
The major points:
- We need to encourage the different voices from within the organization.
- We need to listen and educate.
- We need to see that voiced disengagement has the potential for transformation.
- Social media does need respect and a code of conduct within organizations.
Are you listening? What are you waiting for? Are you letting employees give voice to their experiences, their engagement, and even their disengagement?
Photo Credit: Toy Sampling Megaphone by http://flickr.com/photos/altemark/337248947/