The positive psychology of social networking

Some of you might be wondering what the connection is between social media (aka social networking), business and positive psychology. The answer (or at least one of them) as far as I am concerned is performance. Both individiual and organisational performance depend on employee engagement and well-being, both of which can be increased through social networking.

As Will McInnes points out in this slide show (presented as part of Social Media Week), technological changes are unstoppable, so we’d be better off working out how we can use them effectively. Huge organisations like IBM have shown that it can be done – as this great blog from Casey Hibbard at the Social Media Examiner shows.

Of course there are headlines every day reporting the dark side of social networking, or about how many hours employees are wasting as they update their Facebook profiles. But technology can be used to change people’s behaviour for the better – McInnes gives the example of Toyota Prius drivers competing to better their MPG  ‘score’ on the dashboard. You may remember that I touched on this subject with my posting on the so-called “Fun Theory” last year.

So if you want to engage your staff and take advantage of the social connections that people naturally make, think seriously about how social networking is being used in your organisation.

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