Mary Ellen Slayter, senior editor of SmartBrief, led a panel discussion titled “Taking the Social Media Leap” at People Report’s Summer Camp Workforce Symposium in Dallas last week. Panelists talked about their experiences with intranets, social media policy and viral recruitment channels, including YouTube.
James Fripp, senior director of diversity and inclusion for YUM! Brands, addressed the difficulties associated with traditionally conservative organizations embracing the diversities of thoughts, experiences and capabilities of a younger generation of workers.
“These folks that are coming up, and have those diverse skills, are what’s going to move our business forward,” Fripp said. “But what occurs is the senior leadership, in a lot of cases, will say ‘Hey look, we’re not ready to go there yet, and oh, by the way, you don’t know enough to be dangerous yet.’”
Fripp pointed out that organizations are wary when it comes to social media and have a strong tendency to filter the messages heavily, which lacks an element of transparency and authenticity that is usually evident to users.
“We’re really working on getting folks’ minds wrapped around embracing that diversity, and that plays to the business in the context of the broader diversity conversation, which is around gender and race and experiences,” Fripp said.
To answer the question posed about how to facilitate this within the workplace and connect it to business goals, Fripp said members of an organization need to find someone to champion the cause that could effectively influence senior management.