To tweet or not to Tweet as an IT director that is the question. In fact it’s not a question anymore, the answer is YES
In my many years as IT Consultant, working for Governments, Banks, Retail, Trading companies ,.. I have noticed 1 recurrent fact. Developers are by nature curious people, they want to know where the IT department wants to go so they can work quietly to reach this goal and yes, maybe offer solutions.
IT Developpers are by nature innovative and creative people, they are the master of the code, being a master of the code, trying to create a tool that works is like an orgasm if I may say so Yes developers are proud of there work.
On the other hand, the distance between developers and top management is rather big. And again there are good reasons more structure was created within an IT department. As IT director you can’t afford the business goes down due non documented software, due sick leave or people changing job. Also IT become more complicated then 10 years ago with more different software, tools, more severs, security etc.
You don’t have to change the structure immediately, small gestures can create big impact, ex. start using Social Media internally, share your vision, let employee engaged.
Directors Need a Place to Think Out Loud
As IT Directors, we can’t know everything in this fast moving world of technology, but you have your goals. By sharing them with your team on all levels, you could come up with solutions, which gives you more time for your vision
Directors Needs To Keep Learning
As IT Directors, you need to get information on solutions, information on issues, etc. Social Media is a channel you can use to lern about your department from different angles.
I don’t have time to tweet?
This means I don’t have time to talk to my staff, but you do talk. Don’t tweet 10 times a day, not even once a day. Start with 2 tweets every week.
What if people start really engaging, then I need time to reply which can take a lot of time?
Not really, famous CEOs don’t reply on every tweet or questions (ex. Richard Branson) and I am sure he receives a lot of questions and replies.
Several solutions are available:
- Reply to Tweets who of general concern of the department
- Why not just pass by the employee in person and reply him/her in 1 minute. He will be proud and it creates a human conection, not only to him/her but to the team. (everyone is watching)
If everyone tweets, the employees will spend more time reading what the colleagues are saying then work
I don’t say you have to create a Wild West, create a policy, an easy one that push people to engage, strict enough to make sure the team is working.
- Max 1 Tweet a day or 5 Tweets/team a week
- Make every week someone responsible as moderator
- Create a list of subjects you like to start with. Ex. Delivery of Project on Time, Ask solutions for issues you can’t solve within x hours,…
What Happens if you make a slip on your internal twitter account?
You will get a good laugh from your followers, your employees. This shows you are human and accessible. Don’t forget, humour is a key to success
What happens if staff use this channel to ‘fight’ , show there unhappiness?
If this happen, be happy:) as you will see the real atmosphere in your IT department. In case it goes very far, make a statement and organise a meeting in group to make it clear you will solve it. That is part of your job no?
What about confidential information?
Again the channel you use have nothing to do with broadcasting confidential data. Using Social media is the same as any other channel, you have to pay attention.
Make sure the software/tool you use is used only internally.
Start small, let people engage and encourage them to engage, don’t forget some guidelines or policy but be open enough so your staff feels it is a way to communicate.