A personal story of how a social business creates a healthier work environment.
As a continuation of my previous blog post from last week, I was inspired to share some additional insights from Mark Fidelman's new book, Socialized! How the Most Successful Businesses Harness the Power of Social.
What I'd like to focus on today is when he talked about preparing for the new workforce's "digital natives." In this section he elaborates on how new graduates are taking their time to find a meaningful job - a job that goes beyond a great paycheque. Instead of securing any job after graduating school, new graduates are keeping their options open and are researching the company before they sign a job contract. They are interested in researching aspects of the company such as the corporate culture, their mission, their social responsibility, the work/life balance they offer and of course, the additional perks offered. Mark sums it up perfectly when he states, "The workforce today is not fixated on salary or logos or a fixed workplace or work - life separation. Their personal values play a much greater role in their choice of where, how, and when to work".
Being in my mid-twenties myself, I could definitely relate to this section. After graduating, I went through a series of interviews with other companies looking for that "dream job". My criterion for a dream job was not too extensive - as long as it was something in my field, fair pay and I got along with everyone. Interview after interview, nothing really clicked for me and I was not having any luck. After coming to the conclusion that I was too stubborn, I ended up securing a contract job that was somewhat in my field. However, the woman I reported to was authoritative and controlling. The strict corporate culture made me realize that I was not happy with what I was doing. Sure, the commute was an easy breezy 15 minutes away, but I was not happy, I was not motivated, and I was definitely not engaged in what I did.
I came across an open position at Igloo Software, and after my interviews, I immediately fell in love with the team. I felt so comfortable - the corporate culture was friendly, welcoming, and everyone was extremely laid back. Turns out the feeling was mutual and I got the job. After working here for a while, I also learned that I have the ability to work from home - an additional plus in case I had a dentist appointment at a random time. Having the ability to be a mobile worker where I can come and go keeps me motivated, engaged and most of all, happy.
In Mark's book, he touches on my past workplace culture when states, "Your work life and your personal life were mutually exclusive, and you were expected to show up to work at a certain time and a certain place so your bosses had "proof" you were actually working". At my previous job, we indeed all had to show up to work at a certain time and we had to do our jobs independently - another setback. I was only knowledgeable of what I had to do in my job and that was it - I had no idea what my other colleagues were doing, or working on.
However, working at Igloo has made me accessible to all departments since it is an incredibly flat organization that values open communication. At Igloo, using our own intranet software, I have insights into what other departments are working on and what they are doing, whether it be documents they are uploading, microblog posts they are sharing and relevant industry articles they are sharing. Being a fan of the "sharing is caring" motto, I learned Igloo Software values this motto too.
Once again, Mark touches on why being a social business is important when he states, "Because of the ubiquity of useful information from industry thought leaders, analysts, bloggers, etc., on social networks, any employee can be as knowledgeable as the smartest executive in the company." I completely agree. At Igloo, we are all very collaborative. Even if we have what seems like 3,509 things on the go (which we do), we always drop what we are doing if someone has a question or want to share some interesting insights. The approachability of everyone and the passion of wanting to help each other out is really truly, a fabulous work environment. It is refreshing to come into a workplace where I am consistently learning and evolving every day as more information is being shared - instead of it being stored in email silos.
After reading Mark's book, I see he is also a fan of my "sharing is caring" motto except he goes beyond this and proclaims that "sharing is the new currency". He states, "those who create and share content are more likely to be seen as influencers, authority figures and experts". I'm glad to be part of an organization that believes in this motto, but also creates a product to help influence other businesses to work with a more social mindset.
Shout out to Mark Fidelman on his new book, Socialized! How the Most Successful Businesses Harness the Power of Social . It offers wonderful insights into how and why organizations are wanting to become a social business.
Do you agree with his insights? Is your organization moving toward becoming a social business? Share your thoughts below or tweet.