This caught my eye recently, amongst all the press about companies banning Facebook and it being generally bad for productivity and business, Serena Software has launched Facebook Fridays. The idea is that for one hour every Friday employees should spend time on Facebook, collaborating with colleagues and customers and recruiting. Interestingly, the approach includes one of the key components to a successful internal collaboration project, which is sponsorship. Not just in terms of warm words, but actual engagement from senior management. In this case, a Senior VP and the CEO are using their profiles on Facebook as an example of what they are looking for from their staff.
This sounds similar in philosophy to Google’s 20% time, where engineers are encouraged to spend 1 day a week on projects they find interesting. “Encourage” is probably the wrong word, it’s actually part of their performance review, so it’s almost mandatory! Could this happen at Serena? Employees being reviewed on how they have used Facebook in an innovative way to recruit someone to the company, collaborate with an employee or customer? You could imagine that if someone refused to use email it would be brought up during an appraisal, so how long until using social networking sites becomes as key a skill as using Office or Outlook?