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Quick Note: Social Networks in the Work Place

March 13, 2012

Today’s Quick Note is about social networks in the work place. Written by Lisa Bonner, guest blogging at, “Employee Social Network Brings Employees Closer Together” is a very brief and down to earth testimonial of the power of digital engagement, and a very different take on the subject.

Bonner introduces her topic by describing some of the reactions people at her organization had to early social networking projects:

Three years ago we launched an employee social network at our company for both professionalAND social groups.  Many of the executives were concerned.  There was a perceived loss of productivity.  The buzz around the water cooler was, “I’m not sure about this social network thing. I don’t want our employees to all become friends.  They’ll start dating and not working!”


[all italics are added by me, and denote quotes from the original post]

Bonner really drives toward some significant new ground. She argues that social networking is about more than just connecting people. It’s also about building workplace friendships. Her words on this topic are among the most powerful part of her blog entry:

everyone needs friends at work! Friends stay late to help you with your presentations.  They’ll give you honest feedback when you don’t want it, but need it…and will lift you up when you’re having a bad day.  Friends help you find the information you need to solve a problem or complete a project. To be a high quality decision maker, you need good, quality INPUT.  You need diversity of thought and online collaboration enables sound, smart decision-making. Career progression is all about “who” you surround yourself with, and social media expands your proximity.  Friends will recommend your work and leverage their connections for you. Friends are different than co-workers.  They have a vested interest in being on your team…and know that you feel the same way about them. The list of reasons to have friends could go on and on.  One thing’s for sure, friends at work are necessary!

Some of Bonner’s closing words are also worth noting, “A remarkable shift is occurring in the workplace.  Online collaboration tools like corporate social networks are empowering employees to connect, share ideas, and solve problems.  Social media is the latest and greatest vehicle to drive business results and collaboration is a high priority for most companies.  It unlocks ideation and the full potential of all employees!

You might be tempted to think that Bonner represents a fringe firm. I can hear you know, thinking she comes from some strange progressive place, probably California, or possibly Seattle. Would it surprise you to know that she is, instead, employed by a significant player in the insurance market, one you are sure to recognize by name? Maybe not. Take a look at the post and make your own conclusions. Your time won’t be wasted.


One Comment
  1. Back in the day as a garment buyer having a social network would have been fantastic as well as internet marketing in general. With the exception of those who absolutely need to be a part of the “In” crowd it simplifies so much.

    Will there come an end to industry beasts such as Magic with nearly 3/4 million square feet? Never! But that much show is tremendously easier to navigate with today’s media marketing tools.

    It was fun to be involved with the coverage of New York Fashion week via one of our fellow EA’rs.

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