By Steve Moran
If you are alive you know that Facebook is facing buckets and buckets of criticism, and most of that criticism seems legitimate. In response, they have denied or attempted to put “lipstick on a pig,” continuing to abuse the trust of their users, knowing that for many—most—of us, Facebook is like meth, a habit that is nearly impossible to break.
Most of us don’t really think about it much, but all this negativity—talk about how Facebook is abusing trust and creating zombies—is taking a toll on many of the 70,000 team members. No surprise, most of us want to be proud of the work we do, proud of the companies we work for.
Many Facebook team members are embarrassed and ashamed.
Facebook leadership knows this and is taking steps to make it better. Foolish steps.
The Facebook Action Plan—What Not to Do
The first thing Facebook did was to rename itself “Meta.” They then went on to enumerate six new values:
- Move fast.
- Focus on long-term impact.
- Build awesome things.
- Live in the future.
- Be direct and respect your colleagues.
- Meta, Metamates, me.
I want to make note of the last one. It is shorthand for “put the company first in your life, put your team members second in your life, and you (and by extension your family) third.”
The other big thing they did was to move from being a place where free speech, even when critical of the company or company initiatives, was a high value to shutting down dissident conversations.
So Far …
It is not going over well with team members. There is scorn, derision, and mockery. While there is no way to know for sure, one can only assume that it is hurting every single thing Facebook/Meta is trying to accomplish. It is reasonable that team members are not working with enthusiasm and passion; that they are spending hours a week talking about management in negative ways.
Most baffling and most clueless is this idea that by demanding that Meta be first in the lives of team members, they near guarantee this will not happen. True loyalty is always and only earned.
Too often we see senior living organizations writing and rewriting mission statements, slogans, and values that sound noble—that are noble—but then the organization, or rather the leaders of the organization, don’t live them out in practice.
It would be better to do nothing than to not practice what is preached. Too many organizations simply don’t really value people, which is the heart of the problem.
Don’t be like Facebook.