And yet, very few managers connect up with their team members on social networks.
We're great believers in connecting up with your team on Facebook and here are our top 5 reasons.
1. Learn more about your team members
Your team members have lives! They have families and friends, and shocking as it may be - they probably rank these relationships much higher than their relationship with their job and their manager! Don't worry - you are probably the same! Connecting on Facebook helps you to learn more about what motivates your team members and what their inspiration is. Do they love the outdoors? Do they enjoy motor-racing? Do they come from a large family?
By understanding more about what makes up your team members' lives you can provide relavent and timely support to them that will differentiate you from other managers.
2. Let your team members learn more about you
The great thing about Facebook is that is goes both ways! Once connected your team members get to see what you are up to. You have a family, you enjoy going out with your friends, you fell of your bike at the weekend. Oh my goodness - you are human after all!
Share your life with your team, let them know what your own dreams and passions are. Break down the corporate hierarchy and build more personal relationships with your team members.
3. Uncover common interests
|Do you love the same tunes?|
4. Share team events
Facebook gives you the ability to show how proud you are of your team in public. Having a lunch and learn session, or a Friday night drink after work with the team? Take a photo, and post it to your feed. "Having a great time with the team after a hard week! Great work everyone!"
By being connected to your team members (or perhaps tagging them) then they'll see the photo in their feed and are likely to "Like" it, share it or comment on it. This then pushes the content into their own feed, generating interest and comments from their own networks of friends. "Wow, your team looks pretty cool at work!"
This all helps to differentiate your team, and your company from Any Old Job Inc.
5. Give support around personal events
Finally, one of the top things employees want is support around personal situations. Perhaps an ill parent, or a sibling who is about to have their first child. This is information that your team members are not likely to come to you for consideration, even though they would really want to.
By being connected on Facebook you can have spacial awareness of what is going on in your team members lives and give them support even if they haven't asked for it.
It's essential to remember Facebook etiquette applies to your team members just as it would for your families and friends. You wouldn't share confidential information about your friends, and you wouldn't use any inappropriate postings against them - so don't do it for your team. The success of your Facebook strategy relies on only using it for good.
You may come up against some resistance from your team who don't want to connect. No worries - don't pressure anyone. It's for you to prove the value to them by delivering great social leadership to those that you are connected to.
Are you connected with your team on Facebook? Have you run any specific team activities solely on Facebook? We'd love to hear your stories.