A very welcome report form Silverman Research for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) chimes well with the sentiments often expressed in this blog.
The report argues that, as a result of the relentless advance of social media, the employee voice is evolving rapidly. The greatest difference is the shifting patterns of communication, from being one-way or two-way to being multi-directional: social technologies are allowing new forms of collaboration that comprise mechanisms for making collective decisions. The result is a new form of collective employee voice that is mobile, organised and intelligent.
The report concludes:
To date, much of the conversation [about social media] within organisations has been about the risks and threats (especially to employers) that may be associated with social media. However, the perils of an open approach to employee voice and the benefits of more traditional closed systems are often overrated. Moreover, there is little organisations can do to stem the rise of social media. Organisations should be designing their future in employee voice, before it designs them.
I don’t think there is much to add to that except to say read this report (only about 26 pages) and show it to people in your organisation who see more risk than opportunity.