Can Twitter improve safety and productivity?
Many major accidents in the process industries could be avoided if companies were more switched on to ‘tweets’ and other such messaging about what was happening at their facilities, a social media expert has suggested.
Companies are often too conservative in their approach to the services such as Twitter and Facebook, said Euan Semple, who was guest speaker at Emerson Process Management’s recent global user group meeting in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Semple, who helped develop the BBC’s internal social media strategy, said organisations tend to filter out the ‘noise’ at the cost of missing out on important signals about safey and performance issues from their workforce.
Some CEOs’ tweets are like watching your dad dancing at a disco: you admire them for having a go, but you rather wish they didn’t
Hearing from attendees at the Emerson event, though, I found that many process companies – BASF, Bayer and Akzo Nobel among them – already operate internal social media programmes. These are being used in many areas, ranging from operational excellence to dealing with problematic pumps and sourcing spare parts.
There are some challenges, they said, including managing the sometimes vast volume of messages so as to avoid data-overload on staff. Another problem, it seems, is getting the more senior managers and engineers up to speed with the jargon.
As Semple put it, “some CEOs’ tweets are like watching your dad dancing at a disco: you admire them for having a go, but you rather wish they didn’t.”