Social Media in the Workplace: How do you “Like” it?

Social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google + are a part of your every day experience – both personally and professionally.  While there are several benefits to using social media, there are also downsides that requires social media policies for each company.

Where do you stand on allowing Social Media in the workplace?

Pro: Social Media is a great addition to the workplace!

Corporate Culture: To have a successful and “happy” business, you need to have a happy workforce. Generous social media policies tend to create a fun, young, and bonded corporate culture. A study by employment Services firm Manpower found that access to social media encourages creative and value-adding activities and it is essential for firms to compete for top talent in the latest generation who are used to using social media for communication.

When employees can take short Internet breaks to take their mind off work for 10 minutes, they come back refreshed, de-stressed, and ready to return to the task at hand.

Marketing: One key to B2C companies nowadays is that Customers love using Social Media Channels. The internet has become a massive hub for customer reviews, both good and bad. Social Media monitoring enables companies to interact directly with these consumers. By listening to customers on social media, a company can gauge customer satisfaction, word-of-mouth, and find new directions for marketing strategies. See SoCoCare explain Social Media Customer Engagement methods with tacos here.

Con: Social Media is a waste of resources for the workplace

Security Issues: Social Media can expose several risks to a company.

Technical threats, such as an online virus, can harm the infrastructure of the company and reveal previously confidential information.

Employee misuse is also an issue; employees could divulge too much information to competitors or shed the company in a negative light. Many businesses try to counter this with anti-virus software and policies in place for employees, but many find that risks still exist. Here are tips for company reputation management over social media from Stephanie Rosendahl.

Productivity: The most commonly cited disadvantage to allowing social media in the workplace is decreased productivity. It distracts employees from their main job duties and is a way of stealing company time. According to a 2009 study by Nucleus Research Inc., companies that allow Facebook lose an average of 1.5% in total employee productivity. However, productivity experts like David Allen recommend that setting intervals for checking social media can actually increase productivity. Rather than using social media as a productivity-loss scapegoat, the blame may instead lie in employee motivation. There is a clear correlation between employees feeling valued and appreciated and their desire to perform well and remain engaged with their companies. For more details about this correlation and employee motivation, click here.

Social Media continues to be an issue of debate in the business world. As it evolves, views on employee privacy, HR decisions, and company security evolve with it. It’s important to remember that every company and industry is different, and social media effects can vary wildly between them. One thing is certain: social media is here to stay!

Is your company looking for a “bulletproof” social media policy? Fill out the contact form to receive the first social media policy approved by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in an editable Microsoft Word document. It’s easy for your company to include this policy as part of your employee handbook.


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