Information technology surrounds consumers in the digital age. But many who use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media tools to connect with friends outside the office find themselves stuck with little more than corporate e-mail at work.
Intel Corporation social media strategist Laurie Buczek said that needs to change. “No longer do you have to come into a company to leverage the latest and greatest technology,” she said Dec. 1, 2010, at Thunderbird School of Global Management. “It is now the reverse. The employee will access things like iPhones, Internet and Facebook outside of work and then try to eke them in and demand that they get used inside of work.”
Buczek, who spoke in the digital marketing class of Thunderbird Professor John Zerio, Ph.D., has been helping Intel turn the power of social media inward to create a more connected global workplace. The California-based chip manufacturer has 100,000 employees worldwide, and most work in virtual teams with colleagues in two or three geographies.
“Many people would not even recognize their teammates if they passed them on the street,” Buczek said.
Finding effective communication and collaboration platforms becomes a challenge in such a diverse environment. Buczek said one study suggests workers spend eight to 12 hours each week searching for people or information necessary to do their jobs.
She said social media technology can alleviate many of these challenges in ways never before possible. But companies must commit to change.
“How can a company get beyond corporate e-mail and start to leverage some of the Facebook-like and Twitter-like technologies? It is a challenge,” she said. “E-mail is 100 percent used as a collaborative tool in most corporations, so to introduce one more tool into the fray, you have a reduced probability of people leveraging that.”
She said companies increase their odds of success when they identify their key challenges and choose technology that fits the situation.
“Make sure it is fully integrated into where people work and how people work today,” she said. “If it is disconnected — if they are not tripping over it in the way they get work done — you have a lower probability they will incorporate it into their workflow.”
[This article has been reproduced with permission from Knowledge Network, the online thought leadership platform for Thunderbird School of Global Management https://thunderbird.asu.edu/knowledge-network/]