Book Review of The Social Employee by Cheryl Burgess and Mark Burgess
Embedded in The Social Employee is a distinct prediction: the future employee will operate with dual monitors – one for ‘work’ and one for ‘social.’ How we get to that point though is a windy road.
The Burgess’s admit that we are still in the ‘first inning’ of this social revolution – that even though as managers we have come to rely on cold, hard data – we must make do for now with the limited anecdotes and best practices we have. For some, this already ends the conversation. For others, this sobering fact is what makes the book – and a socially-engaged workspace – so damn rewarding.
Nevertheless, The Social Employee is a compelling case for today’s corporate leaders to embrace social media in the office and empower their employees. As the Burgess’s retell case study after case study, it becomes abundantly clear that social media interactions between brands and consumers isn’t just a fad – it’s an ongoing conversation that will grow and continue whether or not we take part in it. And while overzealous missteps can be detrimental, avoiding the conversation altogether can be disastrous.
Overall, the book provides a holistic social strategy that is both honest and effective. It takes into consideration the limitations and realities of where we are in the evolution of online media and does not promise to be the all-good-all-the-time savior that too many fantasize it will be. However, The Social Employee still promises benefits for the companies that are willing to unchain their employees and enable them to be integrated into social messaging and, more importantly, listening components of a modern corporation.
This book will be enjoyed by both managers already knee deep in social empowerment, providing them with unique perspectives and best practices to progress their efforts, as well as by managers cautious of the dangers of mismanaged social media