Here’s an interesting story about Serena Software and an innovative way to use Facebook. Serena, based in San Mateo, CA is encouraging its employees to hold “Facebook Fridays“. It’s a chance for “employees to find fun and personal connections in the workplace. Each Friday, employees are granted one hour of personal time to spend on their Facebook profiles and connect with co-workers, customers, family and friends.” The company is rolling the initiative in all 18 of its global offices.
I absolutely love the idea. Many companies don’t realize that Facebook can be a free way to create an intranet for its employees. I think Serena’s idea will go a long way towards retaining its employees. The company’s press release says that their President is an avid user of the popular social networking site.
Serena President and CEO Jeremy Burton is an avid user of Facebook, using it to keep in touch with employees, friends, and business partners from wherever he is in the world—in Japan visiting customers or racing cars at Laguna Seca. He wants to bring the benefits he gains from using Facebook to his company, and allow employees to have more fun combining their personal and professional lives. He is doing this by making Facebook his company’s intranet—a place where employees can find everything from a list of company holidays to the CEO’s favorite movie. Burton believes that colleagues who get to know one another on a more personal level will work together better. The company already has more than 30% of its global workforce on Facebook prior to the launch of Facebook Fridays.
“As our business continues to grow, the workplace becomes more and more distributed, which can make us feel disconnected from one another,” said Burton. “Social networking tools like Facebook can bring us back together, help us get to know each other as people, help us understand our business and our products, and help us better serve our customers—on demand. A corporate culture that fosters a sense of community and fun will ultimately help us get more done. Companies that do not embrace social networking are making a huge mistake.”
I’m willing to bet more companies will follow this trend.