In the children’s classic, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, towards the end of the movie the lead characters enter what appears to be an ordinaryelevator.  But Willy quickly proclaims that it is not an elevator but a Wonkavator. He states that  “An elevator can only go up and down, but the Wonkavator can go sideways, and slantways, and longways, and backways, and frontways, and squareways, and any other ways that you can think of.”  If you’re just riding up and down through your company, perhaps there is a lesson here.

The backbone of any Talent Management, or HCM software solution is a hierarchy. Picture an organizational chart if you will, straight arrows going up and down connecting boxes that contain job titles and names. Companies use this structure to manage their employees by position as to what responsibilities, access, security, and compensation they get.  It’s logical and functional in practice but inherently limiting in the direction and breadth of communication.  Feedback and discussion is mostly confined to boss/subordinate or intra-departmental relationships.  Thus it’s not a huge leap to infer that organizations can exponentially empower their employees by providing access to larger populations and information sources.

Social Media first came on the scene by capturing the consumer outside of work.  It allowed the individual to increase the number of people they could stay in touch with, publicize personal and professional information, and gather input more directly from original sources.  Soon enlightened organizations discovered that these individual benefits were as much useful to employees doing their jobs, as they were enjoyable to them off the clock.  Integrating and embracing social media within a talent management solution turns up and down boxes on the org chart into innovators who start going sideways to LinkedIn for job candidates (93% of companies use for recruiting), slantways to Twitter for customer support (over 32% of brands have support handles) and longways to Facebook for corporate collaboration (74% of businesses).

So even if you have a top of the line Talent Management solution in place, don’t be satisfied just running up and down the hierarchy.  Wonkavate through social media to a whole new universe of company consciousness, and you’ll be going frontways to greater success.


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Brian Christie Brian Christie 10/21/2015

I'm going to add "Wonkavate" to my social media dictionary. 

Tom McKeown Tom McKeown 11/7/2015