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Bridging the Employee-Executive Gap with Social Media

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson is going to define power distance. You'll then learn how social media can help close the gap in power distance and why this will benefit everyone involved.

The Power Distance

Let's say you're the CEO of a 10,000-employee organization. You've got a 100-story building with your name on it. Your corner office is on the top floor. By virtue of all of that, when an employee sees you they may either be giddy with excitement, ambivalent, in awe, in fear, or confused as to who you even are.

Some of this has to do with the concept of power distance, which in this context refers to the extent to which employees accept the unequal distribution of influence and authority within a company. In this lesson, we go over how executives can help bridge the power distance using social media.

How to Use Social Media to Bridge the Power Distance

Let's say you want to minimize the power distance. You want to work in a team where you aren't feared. You can use social media, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube for that.

Research has shown that social media is a great way by which executives can communicate with employees. But why bother doing that? Well, with respect to narrowing the power distance, employing social media can help executives:

  • Avoid being feared, so long as the executive shows a friendly side.
  • Increase employee engagement because employees, like most people, are social and social media helps connect with a wider pool of employees than direct contact.
  • Boost innovation, by breeding a culture of openness and increased communication between executives and employees.
  • Improve morale, as studies have shown most executives on social media help instill positivity and inspiration among employees (including other executives).
  • Increase authenticity, by showing your true side, which may even be quirky. But that's ok! Employees want to know you're human and not some fear-mongering machine. It'll help break the ice when you talk with them face to face.

Examples

So how can you benefit from all of that? Well, here are just a few examples.

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