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Forty-one percent of executives say social networking contributes to building and maintaining workplace culture, but only 21 percent of employees believe the same, according to a new Deloitte LLP survey conducted by Harris Interactive.

Another 45 percent of executive respondents say social media positively impacts workplace culture while 27 percent of employee respondents agree. In fact, 38 percent of executive respondents say social media increases transparency, and 17 percent of employee respondents say the same.

“Our research suggests executives are possibly using social media as a crutch in building workplace culture and appearing accessible to employees,” says Punit Renjen, chairman of the board for.  ”While business leaders should recognize how people communicate today, particularly millennials, they must keep in mind the limits of these technologies. The norms for cultivating culture have not changed and require managers to build trust through face-to-face meetings, live phone calls and personal messages.” 

Although most respondents say culture is a critical component to business success, 76 percent of executive respondents and 57 percent of employee respondents report that they typically prioritize a clearly defined business strategy while 62 percent of executive respondents and 55 percent of employee respondents do so for clearly defined and communicated core values and beliefs.

“Leadership changes and evolving marketplace conditions can significantly impact business strategy,” Renjen says. “To be an exceptional organization in today’s business climate, organizations must articulate, invest in and nurture workplace culture now more than ever. If properly supported, it will transcend any environmental shifts, and serve as the foundation for organizational sustainability and growth.”

Executive respondents say the primary factors influencing workplace culture are competitive compensation at 62 percent and financial performance at 65 percent. Employee respondents, however, say the important components are regular and candid communication at 50 percent, access to management at 47 percent, compensation at 33 percent and financial performance at 24 percent.

“Leaders who understand the importance of the intangible elements contributing to workplace culture become sensitive to what makes their organization truly special,”Renjen says. “That is how they define core values and beliefs that are unique, simple, leader-led, repetitive and embedded – transforming themselves from good to exceptional.”

For more on social media and the workplace, see:

Social Media and Sales: Can They Get Along?

The (Regulatory) Rules of Social Media

More Than 90% of Insurance, Annuity Providers Use Social Media