1 Good Reason – Social Marketing

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Stifling Social Interaction

February 13th, 2008 · No Comments

Image from PSD on flickr

Some companies today are trying to place restrictions on employee interaction via social networking. I know of several companies that forbid current employees from recommending or even communicating with former employees.This is a trend that I see as foolish and foolhardy. Foolish because former employees can and usually will help their former co-workers and can apply their direct experience to the issue. Foolhardy, because a company has no right and no power to choose who its employees associate with outside of work. And foolishly foolhardy because it’s a lawsuit waiting to happen if any company fires a worker for violating such an order.

Social Networking is built upon the premise that people like and trust those they know. And they like to turn to these same people for advice and council. When you last moved or started a new job you turned to your neighbors or co-workers to find the best local restaurants, or hardware stores. That is driving force behind social networking, the basic human nature to be… well, social.

The real issue here is trying to control what is essentially uncontrollable. It’s identical to the Chinese trying to restrict access to the three T’s (Tibet, Taiwan, & Tienanmen Square) via their internet links. This effort by China is destined to fail just as the restrictive communications of the old Soviets failed. People can and will find ways around it and the desire to be in the know combined with the forbidden fruit aspect will make it all the more irresistible.I know in my own life that I must know the limits of what I can change, and what I cannot. Trying to change things that I don’t have the power to change (who’s in the White House for instance) will lead to bitterness resentment and failure. Corporations trying to control employees actions outside of the workplace are destined to create the same feelings in the employees, bitterness and resentment. And this will drive employees to seek less restrictive work environments, elsewhere.

What do you think?

Tags: For Unknown Reasons · Reasonable Social Networking

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