As of April this year, it was claimed that LinkedIn has 500 million users, 10 million active job posts and information on nine million companies. So it’s easy to see why it’s so popular.
But the latest LinkedIn update seems to have divided users: its new ‘active status’ feature. A little green dot that will now signal when users are active online has got people thinking: ‘If I can tell when my team are online does that mean they are looking for new jobs?’
However, I don’t think the new feature is anything for leaders to worry about.
Social media is a huge part of our everyday lives, and has increasingly become part of our professional lives too. As LinkedIn is used for much more than simply job hunting, managers can’t assume their team are planning to jump ship. People use LinkedIn to keep up to date with news in their sector, connect with colleagues, and explore new connections. So instead of being suspicious why not have an open conversation about it? Transparency is essential to ensuring your entire team is on the same page, and that rumours or negative attitudes don’t spread. The arrival of this new feature would be a great opportunity to talk to your team about how they use LinkedIn and what it offers.
You also have to trust your team so don’t let your misgivings get the better of you. If you are concerned that someone might be spending their time on LinkedIn to look for a new job perhaps there is an underlying issue? Take a look at what you can be doing to make sure your employees are engaged and satisfied. Check your training and development calendar and if it’s looking a bit sparse try and spruce it up with some exciting new opportunities. Nobody likes the thought of their boss looking over their shoulder in real life, let alone online, so learning to trust your team is really important and will hopefully help foster stronger relationships in the team.
Don’t let LinkedIn’s little green dot bring out the green-eyed monster. If someone wants to leave their job they won’t wait to start looking for their next role. But if you are making an effort to retain and nurture the talent in your team social media updates won’t be such a threat.
Nick Goldberg is CEO UK and Ireland for Lee Hecht Harrison | Penna