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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Scroll TikTok to see the real stars in the workplace


Anne Leibovitz photographed many celebrities: The Queen, Kanye West, John Lennon-now the engineering manager Mary.She is numerous Modern employee Filming for the marketing campaign of the car manufacturer’s cancer charity. Of course, this is also a kind of sales promotion.

this The pandemic triggered an adjustment in the celebrity market. They suddenly appeared frivolous rather than ambitious. In July last year, the cover of the British version of “Vogue” had neither models nor actors, but important workers. Showing frontline employees may be new to the magazine, but organizations have long used employees for sales and recruiting new employees. The British government launched a campaign to attract caregivers, in which real caregivers support clients in shaving, socializing and living independently. This stage management inevitably conceals the problem. Gavin Edwards, a senior national official in charge of social care at the union Unison, bluntly stated that “fancy advertisements” did not mention “work without sick pay, where treatment and exploitation are widespread.”

Social media has rewritten the rules. Employees may promote themselves like a brand-and easily lose control.

I should admit that I am addicted to TikTok (Hello, kids!). Its short videos are eye-catching: from chubby babies to heartfelt sadness, it shows everything and also reveals insights into work life. Nursing staff complained of long working hours, gas shortages, burnout, as well as jokes, dances and feelings. HGV drivers explain the working conditions, rest time in the toilet and where they eat. Bank interns calculate their working days, salary and interview preparation.

These are useful to employers. A recruiter at a consulting company told me that TikTok and YouTube videos in their 20s help attract students who are left out by the job fair. Real people uncover the mystery of work and humanize it.

Patrick Thelen, an assistant professor at San Diego State University, said this is important at a time when so many workers are resigning because they are called “great resignations.” He studied employee advocacy and said: “The past 20 months have changed people’s expectations of employers. Work-life balance, flexibility and burnout have become increasingly important topics, and employees are looking for companies that can meet their expectations. ”

It’s no surprise that employers want employees to champion the brand on social media – because Walmart hasJenna Jacobson, assistant professor at Ryerson University, looks at social media and branding, and stated that in some cases “there is an exchange of money or gifts.”

It makes sense to pay people for extra work, but it can lead to false authenticity, which can be counterproductive, just like what happened when Amazon deployed ambassadors to respond to bad news. “If you ask employees to act like they are having fun, don’t expect positive results when they feel pain in your workplace,” Thelan said, as he quoted report A game held at GameStop last year required employees to dance on TikTok to win extra shifts.

These relationships may be exploitative. Jenna Drenten, Acting Chairperson of the Marketing Department of the Quinlan Business School of Chicago, said: “The company likes to carry and select brand-oriented content for young people when it is suitable for young people, but there is little stability in employment. .” However, the power dynamics are complex. “Brand Ambassador Representative [company] And they are brands themselves,” she added.

This is the problem I am trying to solve. If I post this article on Twitter, am I promoting myself or the Financial Times?

Most importantly, tweets and posts highlight the workers’ conditions and provide a platform Speak out. In the most diverse example, a product manager last month explain In the YouTube video, she quit her job at TikTok: her reasons include lack of professional development, tight working conditions, lack of diversity, and the impact on her health.

“I can’t be there anymore,” she said.

emma.jacobs@ft.com

Pilita Clark is away



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