5 things to consider before banning social media in the workplace
Culture | December 13, 2016
Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Instagram. To ban or not to ban? That has been a question among HR directors worldwide. The new technology age we live in today has so many pros and cons, but when it comes to the workplace is there one definite answer?
To sum up, no. There is no comprehensive answer that will work for every office and every industry. However, there are many factors that should be taken into consideration when deciding if banning or not banning is right for you and your organization.
- Use social media to empower employees – More and more businesses are realizing they can train their employees how to use social media to empower employees at work. By writing a social media policy and monitoring correct usage, social media can become a platform for employees to be a representative of the company. If your employees are proud of their work, they will tout their accomplishments online in a respective manner, leaving the company with a positive, optimistic, and beneficial online presence.
- Blocking social sites is the proverbial red flag – Truth of the matter is that when you block social sites on your company network, most the time it never truly stops the employee. Ann Cavoukian, privacy commissioner for Ontario, has called blocking social sites a huge mistake. She continues by saying, “it’s like waving the proverbial red flag in front of your staff, it’s almost a challenge to them to find a way around it.” She believes that blocking social sites are simply counterproductive.
- Make social media a reward – Productivity should not be measured by the amount of time employees spend on non-work activities, but should be measured by quality and output of work. If your employees are producing excellent work, hitting their deadlines and quotas, and participating in the company’s goals, then perhaps a little social media could be a reward at the end of a large project. According to Dr. Brent Coker of the University of Melbourne, employees who can reward themselves between the completion of one task and the start of another are more invigorated and get more done.
- Social media is the new water cooler – It’s more than just keeping in touch with friends, it’s a source for current events, a networking platform, and can be a great place to praise the accomplishments of employees. We all know employee recognition has major benefits, so why not recognize them on social sites too?
- Banning social sites creates a generational divide – Banning social media in the workplace automatically creates a distance between generations, separating the digital natives from the baby boomers. Use social media to your advantage to plan content, see where trends are heading, and know what your audience is talking about. Encourage employees to use social media to produce work that targets your audience versus banning them and causing a divide between generations.