How to lower productivity

Dilbert.com

There are plenty of books, talks and case studies demonstrating that people work better when they are happy and motivated. Yet it seems too many employers will stop at nothing to make the workplace devoid of any personality.

ELSUA.net has posted a great article about how employers are increasingly looking to tools to monitor what their employees are getting up to on social networks. The title says it all – Keeping a Closer Eye on Employees’ Social Networking Will Give You More Than a Headache. The post references a New York Times article of the same title (without the headache) which, to give an idea of its content, includes the quote: “You definitely want to take advantage of your legal right to monitor,” by Nancy Flynn, executive director of the ePolicy Institute.

Organisations that get their underwear in a twist (I was going to say knickers but guess it might not translate outside of the UK…) over idiotic but mostly harmless activities employees (current or prospective) get up to on Facebook and other social networks risk limiting themselves to an ever-decreasing pool of talent. That is unlikely to be a successful business strategy.

If you want to read a book full of advice on this topic, I highly recommend ‘What Were They Thinking‘ by Jeffrey Pfeffer, published in 2007 by Harvard Business School Press. The first chapter heading says it all: “It’s people, not software, that build customer relationships”…