Tribe Research Increases Productivity by Encouraging Staff to use Facebook

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While some corporates have been getting media coverage about their IT departments blocking access to Facebook, Tribe Research is using the popularity of the online networking site to its advantage. Improved job satisfaction means that Facebook can actually increase, rather than decrease, productivity.

While some corporates have been getting media coverage about their IT departments blocking access to Facebook, Tribe Research is using the popularity of the online networking site to its advantage.

The reasoning is simple: The increased desire to work in an environment where work/life balance is respected, means that facilitating access to the websites they want to use increases staff satisfaction. Improved job satisfaction means that Facebook can actually increase, rather than decrease, productivity.

Permitting rather than blocking websites that are important to employees shows them that their employer trusts them to do their job honestly. When trust is given in a great work culture, staff step up to the plate more often than they abuse this trust.

Employers should aim for staff to become raving fans of their business -- talking about it as a great place to work, attracting other great staff and being a sales team in themselves.

Tribe Research is a small team. Half are casuals who work on different days, so it is difficult to interact on a regular basis as a team. Everyone is encouraged to explore ideas, uncover solutions to problems and have the opportunity to drive change. We are always looking for ways to facilitate this, and being a small business, cost effective options that use existing technology are always a bonus.

How Tribe Research uses their Facebook group:
All staff were already members of Facebook, and joined the Tribe Research team group without having to reveal their personal profile, so their independent lives are still private.

Everyone posts discussion topics within the group, including ideas for how Tribe Research can grow, recommendations for client projects and general topics of interest.

Everyone is encouraged to reply to posts, and they are given time to do so within work hours.

If an idea is supported and more research is needed to get it to the implementation stage, then the person who posted the discussion topic is encouraged to research the idea more, take ownership of it and complete an Idea Form that we have developed for fostering idea generation.

Kate Tribe (managing director) says, "As a small business owner I have received ideas and read discussion between my team that might not have otherwise been discussed. It also means that I don't feel like I am the only innovator in the business. The generation of ideas that we have had flowing in the business has increased dramatically without anyone feeling like they are working harder."

Other team members at Tribe Research say ...
"I was a little surprised when Kate encouraged using Facebook, but it has really increased the flow of ideas between staff, and doesn't even feel like work ..."

"... the use of Facebook allows one staff member to post up the beginnings of a great idea, and other staff members to add to it, nuance it and turn that one great idea into something that could be implemented with fantastic results."

"... you can post a business idea as soon as it comes to you, not just when you're next in the office. It's also a good way to get to know other staff who you might never see because you work on different days."

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Kate Tribe
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