Is Social Media an Option for Your Employees While on the Clock?
With all that your employees have to do on a given work day, do you wonder how many of them may be spending too much time on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and other social media venues while on the clock?
Back before social media, employers were most likely concerned that workers were spending too much time discussing office politics and then some. Now, however, the focus is likely on employees devoting too much of their daily schedule to sharing conversation and images on Facebook with friends and family or tweeting their “friends” about the latest plans for the weekend.
Either way, many employers have to think twice about whether or not it is a good idea to have a social media policy in place in the office.
If they don’t, will employees take advantage of such and spend too much time on social networking sites when they should be working? If they do, will workers feel like there is yet another restriction in the workplace that makes them feel like they are back in high school?
As an employer, here are some things to consider when it comes to social media and your employees:
1. The numbers don’t lie - According to a study from Salary.com, for those employees with access to social media at work, 41 percent favor Facebook, with 37 percent using LinkedIn. Surprisingly, Twitter only garnered a mere 8 percent.
2. Does blocking really work? - According to the study from Salary.com, 30 percent of respondents indicated sites like Twitter and Facebook are blocked at their place of employment. While employers may think they have the upperhand, keep in mind that workers can also turn to their laptops, tablets and smartphones to access social media and personal email accounts during the workday. Employers that offer and encourage reasonable access to social media during the day may find themselves with happier and more productive employees;
3. Will employer rules influence the decision to go work there? - The same survey also noted that 79 percent of respondents reported they did not care one way or another if employers prohibited certain websites while on the job, meaning it would not influence their decision to work for them. Meantime, 18 percent of individuals said such a ban would impact their decision on working for that employer;
4. Flexibility is important to some - Meantime, a Cisco survey of the workplace noted that more than two of five respondents say they would take a lower-paying position that offered more flexibility when it came to social media access at work than a higher-paying offer with less flexibility.
So, does your company prohibit workers from using social media during the work day? If so, do you feel the ban is truly working?
As more and more companies are discovering, workers will find their way around a ban here or there in the office, so why not allow reasonably restricted social media usage during the day?
If you’re a small business employer, set aside blocks of time during the workday where your workers can access their favorite social media sites. By doing this, you allow them to get their fill if you will, while keeping them productive the rest of the day. Instead of employees taking breaks to essentially do nothing, they can use the time to chat with friends on Facebook or Twitter, do a little online shopping, or check other Internet desires.
Lastly, you can also put social media to work for both you and your employees.
In order to promote your brand online, allowing employees to run links to your blog copy, press releases and other promotional items allows you to in essence get free publicity. While your employees are promoting your brand using their social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, you can allow them some time to also tend to their personal SM wishes.
In a day and age where social media only continues to grow, are you being social or anti-social with your employees?
Social Media Today