When does an Enterprise 2.0 assimilation tool that promotes social activity and integration among new hires become more of a distraction than a benefit at work? This is an interesting question that organizations across the world are trying to figure out within this new era of social media at work.
This look into "Nexus" and it's utilization among USAA's IT department brought up some important issues. First, it may be tough to quantify the benefit of social integration into an organization, but it's importance is very clear to those who are attempting it. Building a base of friends at a new organization makes life so much easier. You can ask them questions about organizational norms, how to accomplish certain tasks quickly, where to go for what, and as illustrated in this case if an associate relocated for the position a forum to help assimilate them to the area is equally as critical.
Second, Enterprise 2.0 social media tools will inevitably provide both positive and negative consequences to the organization. The question will be do the positives outweigh the negatives. Does the quicker assimilation and happier employee base outweigh the loss of productivity due to social interaction at work. In the grand scheme of things, is there even a loss of productivity? Again, this may be tough to quantify.
Last, if these tools are to be utilized, they should be used by everyone. Selecting one group/division to use it while everyone is on the outside looking in could very well counteract any positive effects the tools had. It was clear middle management in the IT department at USAA had build animosity toward the new hires and rightfully so in my opinion, they were being left out of experiences, opportunities and benefits simply because they’re more tenured.
At the end of the day I think it's clear these can be powerful tools with a great deal of benefits, but an organization must be willing to go full-scale and take the good with the bad. You cannot seek the benefits of greater social interaction (increased productivity, associate satisfaction, etc.) without accepting the downside (questionable use of work time, resources, associate focus), they go hand-and-hand.
What do you think, if you have a tool like Nexus at work is it more of an organizational benefit or distraction? If you don't have anything like it, would you want it?