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POPin Blog

A Circle of Social Media Safety

Finding a safe space at work is absolutely essential. When your employees actually love their job, they will work harder and engage completely. That feeling of love usually comes out of feeling safe—and that means not constantly fearing reprisal or getting laid off every time there is a bad financial quarter or someone shares an unpopular opinion. A huge part of feeling safe is having a place where your opinion can be heard. We’ve talked about engaging your employees to their full potential. This is similar in that creating a safe space for your team is a step towards engagement. When you empower your employees by letting their personalities shine through, you set your company up for success. People just want to be heard. When you give them that opportunity they will strive to do their best for you.  The concept of a “circle of safety” is covered extensively in the book Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek. Creating that safe space also means providing an environment worth being in. This could mean having free drinks and snacks in the break room, creating flexible work hours, developing a collaborative, open office, generating tuition reimbursement, and giving great health benefits. As important, if not more, is establishing an environment where everyone can share their ideas for innovation. All of these little things ultimately lead to happy employees. When you have happy employees, you get a chain reaction that leads to happy customers. Your customers and employees are your greatest assets. By giving them an open, collaborative, and safe space to engage in, you are giving them a chance to better themselves and your company. Social media platforms for the enterprise facilitate new levels of communication and collaboration, but unfortunately in some instances they have caused a backlash as well. Politically sensitive or unpopular sentiments voiced by individuals in these forums can lead to unrest and even punitive actions. Ultimately the “circle of safety” breaks down because these social platforms don’t facilitate anonymous contributions. In order to be successful, enterprise social media tools should allow the flexibility of “accountable” participation for when you want to know who is contributing or “anonymous” when you are looking for an equalization of interaction and a circle of safety. We will leave you with a quote from Mr. Sinek’s book Leaders Eat Last:
“Chapman understood that to earn the trust of people, the leaders of an organization must first treat them like people. To earn trust, he must extend trust.”
This sums up our point quite nicely: People need to feel safe and trusted in order to work to their fullest potential. They need their social media tools to also foster that trust else you are defeating the purpose of collaboration, engagement and innovation.