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By Dan Hounsell, Editor-in-Chief
Maintenance & Operations Article Use Policy
The Internet has been with us for 20-plus years. LinkedIn arrived in 2002, followed by Facebook in 2004 and Twitter in 2006. Today, it’s nearly impossible to exist without confronting some way in which social media sites have revolutionized the way we communicate, network and, frankly, live.
So how is it possible that so many maintenance and engineering managers treat social media as if it never arrived? At this point, it is probably harder to stay willfully unaware of its existence and benefits than it is to at least dip a toe in this ever-expanding technology pool.
How do I know managers are behind the social media learning curve? Because we asked. Our April 2015 issue will feature coverage of our reader survey on the impact of social media and related technologies on managers and facilities. When we asked managers about the benefits of using social media for their jobs, many respondents cited improved networking, communication and trend tracking.
But a shocking number of responses were the equivalent of a stiff-arm in football — I don’t know, N/A, None, Not sure, I don’t use it, etc.
This has to stop. Managers and their organizations have too much at stake to remain willfully unaware of the benefits that social media offer facilities. Managers have many reasons to enter the 21st Century and begin using social media to benefit themselves and their departments. Here are two for starters:
Technicians embrace it. Many of them grew up with social media. It is an essential part of their personal lives and, increasingly, their professional lives. If managers hope to effectively recruit, develop and promote entry-level technicians to replace aging workers, participation in social media is essential.
Peers are talking. Well, the savvy ones, anyway. Many managers of a certain age rely on e-mail, and that technology is fine as far as it goes. But other managers are having different conversations on new platforms about important and challenging issues that confront every manager. Join the conversation.
Whatever challenges social media might pose for managers, the potential benefits are too great to ignore any longer.