A recent article in Znet, gives a synopsis of a research study done about employees who are friends with their bosses on Facebook. Here are the highlights:
The study was conducted by Russell Herder, who surveyed over 1000 employees in the U.S. in late 2011.
Two interesting points in the article:
Of the 21% of those who are friends with their boss, they are more likely to be younger employees.
Being Facebook friends with their boss leads them to believe it helps them do their jobs better.
In terms of who initiates the FB relationship, 46% of the employees initiated and 38% of the bosses initiated.
Male bosses are more likely than female bosses to connect on social media, the study reports.
The article recommends that companies have a written social media policy governing what the expectations are for all company employees.
Another recommendation from the researchers is for leaders to fight the urge to retreat or over-react to friend requests from employees. Until recently, organizational leaders have often been coached to avoid interacting with subordinates on social media. That is beginning to change as more and more people begin to adopt social medias as part of their social interactions, both on and off the job.
Organizations (that includes companies, non-profits and educational organizations alike) are beginning to see social media for what it is — a means to engage and connect with others.
Are you Facebook friends with your boss?
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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.