The word onerous means: laborious or oppressive and having or involving burdens or obligations that counterbalance or outweigh the advantages. Onerous processes and “social” are in contrast with people’s intent.
Oppressive Social Behavior
Social oppression represents various types of social dysfunction, whereby an organization designs processes which are barriers against people: employees, suppliers, customers and entire markets intent to engage.
The term oppression is derived, in a direct experiential sense, from the sensation of being pushed around by a greatly superior force. The superior force are organizational processes designed for an assumed benefit without the end user in mind.
Marginalization is the social process of becoming or being made marginal (to intentionally and unintentionally relegate or confine to lower importance or standing).
Being marginalized refers to being separated from other priorities, forced to occupy the fringes and edges and not to be at the center of attention. When marginalized processes that engage people are not considered to be important then when people interact with these processes they feel unimportant, marginalized. On the other side of the definition is organizations assuming that people’s intent to communicate, using all things social, is a negative and risky endeavor which must be oppressed. And organizations wonder why marginalizing people’s intent to communicate causes a backlash of communications.
Are Your Processes Onerous, Oppressive and Anti-Social?
Many organizations create processes that are onerous. A few examples:
- The performance review. For too many organizations, performance reviews are onerous activities that managers and direct reports go through because they have to, not because it adds value to the organization. Most performance reviews are not oriented to finding out how the organization can help people rather subjective opinions based on opinion and politics as to what and how are people helping the organization. The truth is that people don’t control, own or design the organizations processes, management does.
- The social policy review: Many organizations are instituting social policies out of fear as to what, when, who,why and how employees are using social technology on the job. Instead of hardness the power of who and what the employees know organizations are creating policies to dictate what, when and how employees can and cannot use social media. Said policies become oppressive to communications and marginalize the value and power of the intersection of technology and the human network. In fact most social policies create anti-social environments which breed closed cultures. You cannot be “open” for business if you have a closed culture.
- The customer service process: Everyone talks about customer service but few walk the talk. What was your experience the last time you tried to engage with “customer service” in most organizations. Did they steal your time by putting you on hold? Were they able to address your concerns? Your answers are indicative of entire markets.
- The Marketing Process: Buyers get bombarded with marketing messages in every kind of media imaginable. From print, TV, the internet, snail mail, spam, phone calls and door to door solicitations. Even the 2 -3% response rates end up being onerous processes. Their ads are tricks to engage you for up sale opportunities. Online they try to capture your information, on TV and radio they push irrelevant messages. The worst example is when marketers calling themselves social ( Facebook) sells other marketers everything about you so you can be targeted for more marketing messages.
These are just a few examples and I am sure you can relate with many examples of your own.
The future of business is and always will be centric to empowering, enabling and engaging people to get what they want when they want or need it and doing so without being onerous. Doing so means you’ll get more in return than you expected because the human network is intrinsically social. Get it?