16 Characteristics of The Social Workplace - Social Media Pearls

16 Characteristics of The Social Workplace


I had another great interview about what is social media however this time focusing on the characteristics of the social workplace!

There are no shortage of headlines in the media about some employee’s social media account and what the employer did or did not do. Is this really representative of what social media means in the workplace? Not at all!

One tool or platform does not make an organization social. It is not just about the tools- especially in isolation of the bigger picture. Well at least it ought not be. Sensational headlines just feed the fear of those with a social media phobia. What organizations and businesses should be thinking about is how can they leverage this new way of doing business.

Social media and the new technologies of today have totally changed how we work, communicate, interact, collaborate and relate to each other. Business leaders need to rethink how to take their organization to the next level and consequently “enable” their staff to succeed in this new environment- our new reality. As I reflected on my recent interview on the topic, I identified a number of characteristics that is associated with a social media savvy business environment.

Here are 16 characteristics of a Social Workplace


1. A consistent brand built on trust, integrity and relationships. Not built on a flashy logo.

2. The brand voice and tone is understood. That is to say not just by the Marketing department but by everyone.

3. The social media sandbox is understood with a well defined social media policy.

4. An above average digital/ social IQ across the organization. Employees, managers and C-suite leaders have a comprehensive knowledge and consistent view on how social media can be used and leveraged.

5. Unleashed creative minds.

6. Listening is a core competency.

7. Cross-functionality is a way of conducting business.

8. The social media lines of home and work are blurred; accepted by the employer and accepted by the employee.

9. Social networking is a key way of communicating, engaging and collaborating – both inside and outside the organization.

10. Key stakeholders’ needs and strengths are understood (including the customer and the employee).

11. Similar to an organization’s culture, Social media is integrated and owned by all employees.

12.The business lives the values of transparency, customer focus and continuous improvement.

13. Another core competency includes the agility of sharing and accessing information, knowledge and innovation within the organization.

14. Go seek, find and research information is a norm. Employees no-longer totally rely on a vertical structure to get information.

15. A culture of continuous learning.

16. Monologues are replaced with dialogues.


This is what I listed upon reflection of my interview with Pam Ross and Christine McLeod. It was a truly refreshing collaboration. Do listen to the audio of episode two: What is social media in the workplace?

In closing, I leave you with my social media pearl for this topic: Embrace the Future. Unlock the value of our new reality. Make it work.

…..and if you feel so incline do spread the word and share 😎

Below is also a Vblog summarizing the highlights



Social Workplace Tools (Pam Ross)


12 Responses to “16 Characteristics of The Social Workplace”

  1. Two of the words I like to hear most used when describing social media are consistency and listening. Your points 1, 6 & 9 refer directly. Interesting that point 1, underpins the whole of the rest of your points. Without point 1, the rest have no traction or gravity.

    There is a lot of “white noise” engagement. White noise engagement through social media is ONLY used to promote the person speaking, the engagement is not used to facilitate, listen and help the other person.

    When we chatted and laughed at length the other day, I heard you, and you heard me, how often does that really happen?

    After talking with you I may even start using Google + actively, you never know!

    Ultimately in life, it is ” know, like and trust ” that creates business collaboration. When was the last time you liked someone who never listened to you?

    Success is a simple procedure, help others, build trust, look for synergistic opportunity and work on developing a way to help each other simultaneously.

    I know we see social media in a similar way. Over the next few weeks we will have a lot of fun and perhaps break a few myths about how it does or does not work.

    • shirley williams May 31, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      First of all, it is lovely to see you hear! Thank you so much for the visit. Filtering those with depth of character and will is key I think. I am so loving bringing my connections alive! You are a prime example. We met some time ago on Linkedin and here we are at a high level of engagement and collaboration. How can you not just love this media!

      Yes, many of the characteristics are inter-related which in itself is telling. I have been in organizations that want to cherry-pick solutions. Well in this case – the dependencies are directly related to how effective a social workplace can be. So your points are well taken.

      I am so hoping that in my small way, we bring forth the real gems (pearls) and remove some of those myths! It is great to have you on board.

      Thanks again Simon!!

  2. I agree that in social media workplace, we go seek, find and research information. The best and significant part of these all is to share. This is the core of the functions of the social networks.


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