Monday, July 4, 2011

The Internet as a Driver of the Future

If you are waiting for the future then wait no longer, the future is already here. Innovation will be your most valued skill as a company or individual in this tumultuous market. Outside of this market is also a changing landscape, introducing new trending topics never faced before in the workplace. It is time to get with the times as not only are entertainment and leisure moving ahead at lightning speed, but so is the business world and the internet is the driving force.

As at September 2010 1,971 million persons were users of the internet according to The user base of Facebook was larger than the population of the United States, that is 350 million and more videos were uploaded to Youtube in 2 months than the total number of footage aired on ABC, CBS and NBC combined since 1948. Today’s leading companies are remiss to not have a Facebook page, website, and if they really want to branch out, a Twitter account. But where do you stand amidst the downturn in the economy and the flurry of pings and tweets? Establishing a foundation for continued success in the realm of the internet is key to ensuring that value is added to your ROI.

The major challenge of ruling your internet domain is staying current. In order to compete on a global level, your clients and competitors must grow accustomed to your strong and continued presence. The nature of social media is immediate gratification and as such, failure to update these sites can lead to extinction in the mind of your client. Along with your online presence, the very way in which the message is broadcasted holds influence. Social networking happens virtually the way it does in reality, therefore instilling the desire to share your content in your target audience becomes a primary goal. In this way, feedback from the audience is also crucial to building your online network.

On Sunday June 26 the Jamaica Observer reported the latest figures of Jamaican Facebook users at over 600,000 persons, 80% of which are aged 18 years and older. Tishan Lee of NCB hails social media as one of the most successful marketing tools that allow you to stay on trend with your customers.

"Social media has certainly proven to be a useful marketing and communications tool for us at NCB. As the media grows in popularity, so too does our ability to utilize it to reach our customers from the popular youth and other key demographics," noted Lee.

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Establishing real-time communication lines with your customers holds significant long term benefits such as increased transparency and problem solving capabilities. Although confronting the open criticism may prove challenging, never before has there been a medium to settle an issue with speed and efficiency.

What do social media hold for the future of human resource management? In addition to the benefits they offer, social media has created an entirely new field of employment. While there is no educational course available to certify in social media management, the young ones have it as they are the generation of the internet. Some of the most adept professional Twitter and Facebook users who work for entertainment or social organizations are fresh out of high school or university. There may be an arising need for accommodating these fresh minds, honing not only their technological competences, but propelling them to go from techies to technocrats. Is training necessary for social media buffs to help them develop more management and communication skills?

For some companies, the idea of social media when coupled with their employees is a recipe for misrepresentation, time wasting and productivity loss. Wayne Marsh, an Internet Marketing Consultant, however disagrees. In the Sunday Observer on June 26, Marsh outlined the pros and cons of blocking social media websites from office computers, revealing the archaic reasons he believes should be disregarded and the remedy in developing a social media policy. Not only does he view social media websites as a way forward not backward for a company, he also thinks blocking these sites may deter from building employee morale.

“As you must have realized by now, social media website blocking is not a fool-proof way of preventing employee access. So why give employees an unnecessary reason to dislike their company?”

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Much is in store for the business world with the internet as a driver of the future. Will the face of HR evolve successfully with the world around it? Will today’s concept of the office become obsolete? How does management harness the potential of social media to work with and not against them? Will HR be the next trending topic?

Join in the discussion and tell us where you stand. It begins with us, it begins right here.

The Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica

“Enhancing the Value of Human Capital for Growth and Development”


  1. Social networking is just the latest wave of technology to make us worry about the negative effects. Like everything else it has positive and negative impacts. The positive are obvious - marketing, quick dissemination of information and bringing people together. The negative seem obvious too - time wasting being the one that most employers worry about. I want to suggest that if someone spends a good percentage of their work time on social networking, that should be viewed as the symptom of something greater. In other words - they are probably alienated, bored etc and choose to spend the time on facebook rather than work activities. If Facebook were not around, then they might doodle, chat on the phone, play solitaire etc. - anything but work in other words. When we are truly engaged in what we are doing, then we continue to do it - when we aren't then we turn to social networking to fill a need.
    Anne Crick

  2. Interesting Anne. Thank you for your comment. Social networking can indeed act as a distraction, doing harm not good. What are your suggestions for getting persons truly engaged in the work they should be doing?

  3. As much as we would want to ignore it, the Internet and social networking is taking over. Most persons are resistant to change because they believe that it will change the way thing are done, that is, things that they are complacent with. I believe that if a person or an organisation is resistant to change, then that individual or organisation will be stagnant. Who (in this day and age) would want to work for an organisation that refused to allow technology (including the Internet) into the organisation? I wouldn't, because to me that organisation wont be going anywhere up the ladder anytime soon.
    For a small business or a conglomerate to truly succeed they need to get abreast with all the Internet has to offer (including social networking). I am not saying that the Internet dont have its dark side but if we continue to focus on that, we will never get to where we want to be. Just look at Obama, he is the first black president of the US & what was is main strategy...Social Networking & the Internet. I think we should take a page out of his book.

  4. Interesting perspective Yan Sam. Thank you for your comment.

    Is this Yannique Samuels from our Facebook page?

  5. Yes this the same Yanique Samuels from the FB page.

  6. Glad to see that you have made it to our other social media sites! Remember to follow this blog to keep up to date with HRMAJ.